Orlando celebrates Earth Day many ways, on many days

Written by: Alexa Stone

A national day to focus on the environment was first proposed in 1970. Setting aside party differences, two U.S. Senators collaborated to support a “national teach-in on the environment”. An initial staff of 85 promoted events nationwide.

To encourage youth participation, a date falling between Spring Break and Final Exams was chosen. That was April 22, 1970. More than 20 million Americans participated that day. Many gathered at rallies and marched in demonstrations. Others attended civic meetings to advocate for environmental awareness and action.

Earth Day, 2019

Now, Earth Day is the largest secular observance in the world. More than a billion people attend events that promote awareness and advocate for changes in public policy.[1]

A month of events in Orlando

In Central Florida, Earth Day (April 22nd) and Arbor Day (April 26th) observances overlapped and were extended, beginning with a month-long, 24,901 Mile Challenge run in Orlando.[2]

Winter Springs held observances on the first Saturday of April, followed the next week by Winter Park.

The Central Florida Earth Day event drew residents from Orlando and neighboring communities at Lake Eola on Saturday, April 20th. Greenworks Orlando[3] and IDEAS for Us[4] presented panel discussions. Other presentations focused on vegan food preparation. An area was set aside as a Kids’ Zone, and fourteen free acoustic and hybrid music performances were offered.[5]

One of the larger and certainly best-attended celebrations happened on Earth Day itself, April 22nd, Travelers and local attendees at Orlando International Airport (MCO) viewed information about sustainability efforts around Central Florida and at the airport. ecoPreserve exhibited there, as did the City of Orlando Green Works, Orange County Solid Waste Division, Orlando Utilities Commission, and more than two dozen other vendors.[6]

Earth Day Work Day

Other events occurred later in the month. A lunchtime sustainability fair, Earth Day Work Day, was held on Wednesday, April 24th at Orlando City Hall Plaza. Music, games, and exhibits were there to inspire “how to be green at work and home.”[7]

The Central Florida Zoo celebrated Earth Day, Endangered Species Day (May 17th), and World Oceans Day into a Party for the Planet on Saturday, April 7th. Throughout April, accredited members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) held similar celebrations nationwide.[8]

Looking ahead

Many of the above events are certain to be offered again next year. April 22nd, 2020 will be the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. More venues than ever are likely to participate.

News and Notes items accompany the longer articles found in ecoPreserve’s newsletter, Sharing Sustainability. Several issues of the newsletter can be previewed here.

[1] EarthDay.org – History of Earth Day
[2] Runner’s Challenge
[3] CityofOrlando.net – Greenworks Orlando
[4] IDEASforUs.org – IDEAS for Us
[5] CFEarthDay.org – Schedule
[6] OrlandoAirports.net – MCO’s 6th annual Earth Day Celebration
[7] Orlando.gov – Earth Day Work Day
[8] AZA.org – Party for the Planet

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AWARE of CDC and NIH guidelines

The Baseline Property Condition Assessments described in ASTM E2018-15 do not specify consideration of infectious disease transmission concerns. In a pandemic and post-pandemic environment, that inspection and documentation is essential.

Buildings open to the public must comply with local regulations. For best results and greatest public acceptance, any planning for building repairs and maintenance should not overlook current CDC and NIH guidelines.

Optionally, ecoPreserve's can assist with a comprehensive GBAC STAR™ Accreditation which extends beyond the building to include the goals, actions, equipment, and supplies needed to implement best practices for outbreak prevention, response, and recovery.

Tools tailored to location and need

Disaster resilience requires a select toolset, identified, adapted, or created as needed based on planning calls and inclusive workshop participation.

Business and government organizations today are confronted by threat categories that range from drought to flood, from fire to hurricane, and extend globally to pandemics and sea level rise. Threat categories are broad and diverse, but ecoPreserve and collaborating organizations design resiliency tools for specific local context.

Local needs are identified and verified. Building from that essential understanding, tools are designed, tested in pilot programs, refined, then implemented through action plans.

Today's challenges/
tomorrow's potential

ecoPreserve collaborates with major community and private organizations in optimizing the resiliency and resource efficiency of their workplaces, venues, and public spaces.

In response to ever-increasing environmental, sociopolitical, and public health challenges, we advocate for and participate in assessment and planning actions that directly address disaster preparations, recovery activities, infrastructure improvements, and smart building/city design.

Online and in-person workshops

ecoPreserve designs and leads workshops in varied formats, to achieve varied goals.

Often an event is held for skill and knowledge development, but some needs of an organization or community are better resolved through collaboration to identify requirements and to design solutions. A range of Disaster Resilience workshops are available for solutions planning and development, as well as for training and communication.

Disaster Planning and Recovery Workshops

  • Identify technical and business process gaps
  • Define stakeholders, recovery teams, and processes/functionalities necessary for operation
  • Highlight missed expectations from a data loss and recovery time perspective
  • Address compliance with regulatory agencies and industry standards
Here's how to request further information. Thank you for reaching out!

Here's how to request further information. Thank you for reaching out!

Facility Condition Report

The report is prepared in accordance with the recommendations of ASTM E2018-15, Standard Guide for Property Condition Assessments. This is a partial list of contents:

  • PHYSICAL CONDITION
    • General condition of the building, grounds, and appurtenances
    • Physical deficiencies, their significance, and suggested remedies
    • Photographs
    • Safety issues observed
  • INFECTIOUS DISEASE SPREAD POTENTIAL
  • OPPORTUNITIES
    • Potential operating efficiencies
    • Electricity and water use reductions
    • High-efficiency interior and exterior lighting
  • ORDER OF MAGNITUDE RENOVATION BUDGET
    • Recommended interior finishes
    • Construction costs

Risk Mitigation Improvements

  • IAQ
    • Airflow
    • Temperature and humidity
    • Vertical transportation (escalators and elevators)
  • HVAC EQUIPMENT
    • Settings
    • Conditions
    • Capability
    • Filtration
  • FLOORPLAN
    • Traffic patterns
  • FURNISHINGS
    • Placement for social distancing
    • Clear barriers where social distancing is not possible

Interior Elements

  • Foundation
  • Building frame and roof
  • Structural elements
    • Floors, walls, ceilings
    • Access and egress
    • Vertical transportation (escalators and elevators)
  • HVAC equipment and ductwork
  • Utilities
    • Electrical
    • Plumbing
  • Safety and fire protection

Grounds and Appurtenances

  • Façades or curtainwall
  • Topography
  • Storm water drainage
  • Paving, curbing, and parking
  • Flatwork
  • Landscaping
  • Recreational facilities
Here's how to request further information. Thank you for reaching out!

AWARE of CDC and NIH guidelines

The Baseline Property Condition Assessments described in ASTM E2018-15 do not specify consideration of infectious disease transmission concerns. In a pandemic and post-pandemic environment, that inspection and documentation is essential.

Buildings open to the public must comply with local regulations. For best results and greatest public acceptance, any planning for building repairs and maintenance should not overlook current CDC and NIH guidelines.

Optionally, ecoPreserve's can assist with a comprehensive GBAC STAR™ Accreditation which extends beyond the building to include the goals, actions, equipment, and supplies needed to implement best practices for outbreak prevention, response, and recovery.

An OPTIMIZED Assessment

Certified Sustainability Consultants on a facility assessment team can discover ways to lower energy costs. Their understanding of HVAC equipment suitability and condition along with the specifics of LED lighting retrofits can provide offsets for needed investments in upgrades and replacements.

Knowledge of water systems can bring further savings while averting water waste. It can all be part of an assessment which might otherwise overlook water fixtures and irrigation schedules.

How should a facility be ASSESSED?

A thorough facility assessment finds the issues - on the surface or below - which have a potential negative impact on the building. That brings the facility to meet building codes. Beyond that, the assessment proactively addresses the deficiencies not covered by code.

The occupants of a building benefit as the assessment reveals conditions having a potential impact on their health or safety. The assessment must not overlook those conditions, nor fail to consider the frequency and duration of occupant visits.