Sustainability Resources for Residents and Businesses
Sarasota is fortunate to have many resources available to residents and businesses to help make sustainable choices. What are sustainable choices? To achieve the balance necessary for a sustainable community, our actions must be:
- Economically viable: we have to be able to afford them, today and tomorrow.
- Environmentally sounds: they should have no negative impact on the environment.
- Socially equitable: they should be accessible to all groups, without favoring one class over another.
Read this great article from a Sarasota resident explaining what community members can do to be more sustainable, including information on recycling, composting, energy conservation and more!
Take a sustainability-related class: Visit Sarasota County's Extension office's website at www.sarasota.ifas.ufl.edu to review all the classes they offer (many for free!) on countless sustainability topics ranging from canning, vegetable gardening, lawn & landscape, nutrition, pesticide training and much more.
Energy Efficiency: Contact FPL by visiting www.FPL.com/ohes or calling 1-800-342-5375 to schedule a FREE, in-person energy audit today. If your home is within the City of Sarasota, you'll even get a FREE goodie-bag of items to help with your energy upgrades!
Community Garden: Want to garden but don't have the land available? Consider joining a community garden! Visit the County's extension website or call 941-861-5000 for more information.
Recycling: Wondering if something is recylable? Have questions on how to recycle? Need a new recycling bin? Visit our reycling-specific webpage with more information or call Waste Management at 941-753-7591
Fertilizer: Did you know that no fertilizer can be applied within 10 feet of any water body or wetland? Also, fertilizer containing nitrogen or phosphorus can not be applied to turf or landscape between June 1 - September 30. Nitrogen fertilizer must contain at least 50 percent slow release nitrogen. No grass clippings, vegetative material or can be deposited in stormwater drains, ditches. Read the full fertilizer ordinance in the City of Sarasota here.
Stormwater: Stormwater systems are a tool for managing the runoff from rainfall. When rainwater lands on rooftops, parking lots, streets and other surfaces that the water cannot go through, the run off flows into grates and ditches around your neighborhood. A stormwater pond is specifically designed to prevent flooding and remove pollutants from the water before it can drain into the ground water or into steams, estuaries or the gulf. For more information on how to manage stormwater ponds in your neighborhood visit Southwest Florida Water Management District or call 1-800-423-1476. You can also visit the County's Neighborhood Environmental Stewardship Team (NEST): website.This Sarasota County program helps interested community leaders design, finance and build environmental improvements with hands-on teamwork in their own neighborhoods. If your community is motivated to have a more natural shoreline, better stormwater management or other aquatic enhancements - call the NEST Coordinator, Rob Wright, NEST Program Coordinator. Phone: (941) 861-0929 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Resources for Business Owners
Energy Efficiency: If you're a city of Sarasota business owner and you'd like to receive more information on how to be more energy efficient, including getting a FREE in-person energy audit and help identifying what incentives may be available to you- contact FPL at www.fpl.com/eccr/business or call 1-800-342-5375.
Green Building: To encourage voluntary green building, City of Sarasota offers fast-track permitting and reduced building permit fees to new commercial, residential buildings that meet Florida Green Building Coalition or USGBC LEED standards.
Become a Green Business Partner: Sarasota County has a Green Business Partnership Program to help businesses look at their operations and identify ways to be more sustainable. This program certifies businesses that make an extra effort to operate in an environmentally responsible manner. More than 200 Sarasota businesses have earned a certification to-date. Learn more by visiting this website or calling 941-861-500 and asking for the Green Business Partnership Coordinator.
Recycling: Businesses are required to recycle in the City of Sarasota but can choose the vendor of their choice. Visit the recycling-specific webpage to find more information or call a recycling vendor to set-up your recycling contract today.
County Sustainability Information: The County's Sustainability program has been flourishing since 2002 and has an excellent website with information on sustainability topics for residents and businesses.