Audience members and a videographer take in the action at the 2018 Sustainable Communities Workshop

Sustainability year in review

By MARY BISHOP
Sustainability Outreach Specialist

As Sarasota County UF/IFAS Extension and Sustainability celebrates the excitement of the new year, we’d also like to take a minute to reflect on our many accomplishments from 2018.

infographic about sustainability program impacts in 2018

To see this infographic in its full size, click on the image. [SOURCE: UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County]

Last year, we greatly expanded our Energy Upgrade program to include not only our Energy Upgrade workshops but also energy-savings help desks and in-home sweeps for low-income families in Sarasota County. Our first class of Energy Coaches completed a 5-day training in August, and then hit the ground running to complete 60 in-home energy sweeps by the end of 2018.

Our 13th Annual Sustainable Communities Workshop, held Nov. 29, saw record attendance with nearly 200 attendees. We received a lot of positive feedback about this year’s event and our keynote speakers, in particular. Retired NASA astronaut Nicole Stott gave an inspiring speech, reminding us that we are all crew on this “Spaceship Earth.” Dr. Joanna Huxster brought a more down-to-earth approach, offering practical tips on how to communicate about climate change. More than 30 other speakers shared with us the great work they are doing to make our community more sustainable. It was truly an inspiring day!

Overall, Sarasota County sustainability staff reached 5,717 individuals with sustainability information and education in 2018, pushing to 16,688 individuals the total reach since 2012. And, we organized or participated in 123 classes, events and workshops in 2018.

Finally, we want to give a heartfelt “Thank you” to our volunteers and community members for staying engaged with us. Here’s to another great year!

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