Driving Sustainability Through Community Outreach

Through community outreach and education efforts, Sarasota County Sustainability promotes a healthy environment, community engagement and environmental awareness.

However, we can’t achieve a healthy and sustainable county without your help. Individuals and groups can participate in a variety of events and programs.

Annual Sustainable Communities Workshop

2022 Annual Sustainable Communities Workshop Energy Panel
CREDIT: UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County

Every year since 2005 Sarasota County Sustainability has hosted an annual workshop to gather the community to discuss our region’s most pressing challenges and solutions. This year, we are teaming up with the Science and Environment Council to host a two-day Green Living Expo and two-day EcoSummit later. The EcoSummit and Green Living Expo offer space for everyone interested in learning, connecting, and experiencing how to grow a greener, healthier and more sustainable future. From film, panels, storytelling, and music, to hands-on demos and family-friendly activities, there is a way for everyone to connect over the week-long series of environmental events. We hope to see you there or at our next Annual Sustainable Communities Workshop on Nov 7, 2024.

Energy Upgrade

Staff with a resident of Sarasota Housing Authority during energy efficiency upgrades.
CREDIT: UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County

The Energy Upgrade program offers education and outreach to residents on how they can save money and help the environment through energy and water efficiency measures at home. Residents can attend a workshop to learn resource saving strategies and receive an energy and water efficiency kit estimated to save $167 each per year. The energy and water efficiency kit includes items such as LED lightbulbs, a smart power strip, and more. While providing devices is a great way to help residents start saving right away, we find that the most impactful strategy for continued savings is education. Educating residents about no-cost behavior change tips is why utility savings increase and persist over time beyond installation of the devices. Our goal is to empower residents through an educational approach, which leads to a greater and more lasting impact. See how you can save money on your energy and water bills by checking out our Energy and Water Savings Factsheet and the Energy Upgrade webpage. Visit our Eventbrite regularly to register for upcoming workshops and classes. Sign up for a free, at-home consultation to identify where you can save money on your utility bills. If you have any questions about Sarasota County’s Energy Upgrade program or are interested in how we can help you, contact us at sustainablesarasota@scgov.net or 941-861-9829.

Volunteer opportunities

Two Energy Coach Volunteers during an "Energy Sweep" or efficiency upgrades at Sarasota Housing Authority
CREDIT: UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County

Are you interested in learning how to save energy and water while helping low-income families in Sarasota County? Our goal is to make Sarasota a more equitable and sustainable place, but we need your help! Become a Sarasota County Energy Coach volunteer by attending our upcoming four-session, in-person training series to learn energy and water saving techniques to aid low-income community members. Check our UF/IFAS Extension Eventbrite page to view dates for upcoming trainings.

Speaker requests for community groups

As part of our mission to provide practical education for building a better future, Extension offers educational programs on a variety of topics. While we offer an array of classes, presentations, workshops, and other events both in-person at locations around the county and as online webinars, we understand that you might like something tailored more to your needs. You can request one of our experts to speak directly to you and your group. We’ll come to your classroom, community room, conference hall or just about anywhere you need us in Sarasota County, or we’ll work with you to establish a virtual, online webinar open to your guests anywhere.

Inspiring Positive Change

Sarasota County Sustainability has multi-faceted programs that reach all ages. These efforts have made significant impacts by decreasing water usage, increasing energy efficiency, improving water quality, fostering resilience and more. Through purposeful community outreach initiatives, we seek to contribute to a brighter future, where environmental stewardship and social equity are at the core of our collective progress.

For more information, visit scgov.net/government/sustainability/sustainability, call 941-861-5000, sign up for the monthly Sustainability newsletter, and connect on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.




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Posted: November 27, 2023

Category: Community Volunteers, Conservation
Tags: Efficiency, Energy, Events, Pgm_Sustain, Speaker, Sustainability, Volunteer, Workshop

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