<![CDATA[NBC 6 South Florida - Green News]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/green http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC+6+LOGO+GOOGLE.png NBC 6 South Florida http://www.nbcmiami.comen-usSat, 28 May 2016 09:50:16 -0400Sat, 28 May 2016 09:50:16 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Senators Talk King Tide and Climate Change]]> Thu, 09 Oct 2014 22:13:42 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/whitehousenelson.jpg

Senators Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) sounded the alarm Thursday in Miami Beach about the potentially crippling effects that climate change and rising sea levels could have on the city, accusing skeptics of “avoiding reality.”

At a Thursday news conference, Nelson warned that if no action is taken, massive and expensive infrastructure projects – like the one that gave Miami Beach a new system of underground pumps to combat tides – could “be our future.”

Senators Nelson and Whitehouse came to Miami Beach as the king tide rolled into South Florida, a phenomenon when the sun and moon exact a powerful pull on the earth to threaten city streets. It used to mean about a foot of water on Purdy Avenue in Miami Beach, but thanks to a $15 million investment by the city in several permanent underground pumps, the street is dry.

"What we're gonna have to do on the coast of Florida, spend millions of dollars with pumping and trying to keep out salt water intrusion — that's gonna be our future," said Nelson, a veteran Democrat who grew up across Biscayne Bay from the site of Thursday's news conference.

Over the past 50 years, the sea level has risen five to eight feet in South Florida, Nelson said. "And that will continue to rise," he added, "unless we change the way we are treating this home we call planet earth."

Seventy-five percent of Florida's population lives near the coast. Sea level rise threatens the entire state, but its effects are seen most acutely right now, right here.

"We're really standing here at ground zero. There's just about nowhere else on the planet where there's more at risk from sea level rise so fast," said prominent marine researcher Dr. Mike Heithaus, who is dean of FIU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

The Union of Concerned Scientists released a map this week showing if seas continue to rise at projected levels, much of the west side of Miami Beach will be underwater by 2045.

Sen. Nelson was asked, “What do you say to your colleagues, so many of whom, including the governor of this state, don't seem to believe the science involved here?”

"Well, they're avoiding reality," Nelson replied.

Sen. Whitehouse, a Democrat from Rhode Island, leads a Senate task force on climate change.

"By the way, 90 percent of the heat from climate change has gone into the oceans. There's no debate about that," Whitehouse said. "And unless you want to repeal the law of thermal expansion, the sea level's gonna continue to rise."

Speaking as students from Mast Academy at FIU tested the bay's waters behind them, both coastal state senators said every nation needs to cut carbon emissions.

Pumps and sea walls, they say, will eventually not be enough to hold back the sea. Climate change must be fought at its source.

EPA administrator Gina McCarthy, who was also in attendance, agrees.

"The time for action is now. The president has called for it, EPA is taking it," said McCarthy. "Folks, how are we going to pump our way out of this challenge if we don't start now to take action to mitigate the release of carbon emission pollution which is fueling this changing climate?"

Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine said the bay and the ocean aren't Republicans or Democrats. Everyone is affected by rising sea levels, and everything must be done to fight climate change.

He said his city's efforts are just beginning, and he plans on spending up to $500 million on pumps all over Miami Beach in the coming years. 

Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[Chief Meteorologist John Morales at UN Climate Summit]]> Tue, 23 Sep 2014 18:43:05 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/WTVJ_000000014787416_1200x675_332621891825.jpg NBC 6's chief meteorologist John Morales reports on the latest developments from the United Nations Climate Summit.]]> <![CDATA[International Science Fair Attracts Local Students]]> Tue, 20 May 2014 05:15:54 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/160*120/isef.jpg

Go anywhere in the world in scientific circles and mention "ISEF", and immediately, the researchers, teachers, and students will know what you're talking about: The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

It is sometimes called the Olympics of science. Anyone who walked into the Los Angeles Convention Center last week would see why. It's an overwhelming maze of scientific research projects, all done by high school students.

"We want kids all over the world to have the chance, not to learn about science, not to memorize facts about science, but to be scientists, try that on for size, see how that fits," said Wendy Hawkins of the Intel Foundation, which sponsors the fair.

This year, seven Miami-Dade high school students and an equal number from Broward County made it to ISEF. That means they all had to win at the local and state levels to compete with the best from all over the world. This year, 1,800 students from 70 nations showed off their research projects.

What's the best thing about spending a week in Los Angeles, discussing science with peers, judges, astronauts, and Nobel Prize winners?

“Definitely meeting new people, it's life-changing,” said Chandler Precht, a student at Westminster Christian School in Miami who did her research on the effects of pollution on coral reefs.

"We got to listen to a whole panel of six Nobel laureates talk about their research and answer questions from the audience and that was really exciting as well," said Nicole Odzer of Pine Crest School in Fort Lauderdale. She studied mutations in Everglades shrimp populations.

The ISEF experience is designed to motivate and inspire kids to continue their scientific pursuits and have fun doing it. The Universal Studios Hollywood theme park was rserved one night just for them to blow off steam. They compete for prize money and scholarship dollars, but just being there at ISEF is already a victory.

"What we really see as the most valuable opportunity is for these kids to meet each other, other scientists from around the world, the chance to talk and argue with real working scientists about the work that they've done," said Hawkins. "They're taken seriously as scientists and they see themselves as scientists, that's life-changing."

Perhaps the biggest eye-opener is rubbing shoulders with, trading pins with, and exchanging ideas with teenagers from every corner of the earth.

"I turned around and I was, like, where are you from? And they were from China, it was so cool," said Swati Narasimhan, a student at Killian High School in Kendall.

“You really feel like the world is bigger than you think it is and you have more things to do. It's not just your small community. You just feel like a part of something much bigger. It's very inspirational," said Yenny Dieguez of Miami Lakes Educational Center. "Definitely not in Hialeah anymore!"

Every discipline of science is represented at ISEF, and it seems like every country you've ever heard of is represented as well. Some of the foreign kids wear their nations' native costumes, which adds a huge dash of cultural flair to a scientific event.

“Just talking to kids who love science as much as you do is really inspirational and it makes you want to pursue research as a career," said Brigitte Blanco of Pine Crest School.

From astrophysics to zoology, the kids absorbed evertyhing and seemed astounded by what they found at the ISEF.

“The amount of curiosity and interest in finding new ways of looking at things and solutions for a lot of problems," points out Vivek Miglani of Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland as an example.

Brilliance all around the cavernous exhibition hall. I watched a girl from Indiana and a boy from Kurdistan take a selfie together, dissolving borders and boundaries. ISEF is about social science, too.

<![CDATA[Stunning Historic Photos of Air Pollution ]]> Tue, 25 Mar 2014 12:36:12 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/air-pollution-AP7004221649_7.jpg Click to see some fascinating images of air pollution throughout the US from the 1920s to the 1970s.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Green Car Wash Sanitizes Without Soap]]> Mon, 05 Aug 2013 13:37:08 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/128401773.jpg A car wash in Arizona installed a water filtration tank allowing high levels of oxygen to sanitize the water they use to clean customers' cars — all without soap. An environmental engineer at Arizona State University is skeptical about the car wash's filtration system.]]> <![CDATA[Energy for Sale: Is It Worth It?]]> Wed, 17 Jul 2013 13:58:12 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000003170932_722x406_37270083593.jpg Door-to-door salesmen, telephone calls and direct mail, all trying to sell you electricity or natural gas. The pitches promise to save you money. They are called alternative energy suppliers. There have been more than 1,000 consumer complaints about them to Maryland and D.C. authorities so far this year, and we've been receiving emails asking whether these companies are real and are the deals worth it. CLICK HERE for a list of legitimate suppliers.]]> <![CDATA[State-of-the-Art Green Workplace Provides Lunch, Games and Slides]]> Wed, 01 May 2013 15:13:33 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Slide_aweber.jpg AWeber Communications headquarters in Chalfont, Bucks County, Pa. isn't your average workplace as it features video games, a pool table and even slides. NBC10's Jesse Gary reports ahead of the ribbon cutting.
Click here for information on jobs

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Junkyard Trash Turns to Art]]> Thu, 25 Apr 2013 13:42:18 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/160*120/ben+in+trash.JPG With his castoff treasures rattling in the cart, Ben Cowden wheeled back toward his art studio in San Francisco's Recology Recycling Plant to continue work. Joe Rosato Jr. reports on a man who turns others trash into treasure. Read the full story here.

Photo Credit: Joe Rosato Jr.]]>
<![CDATA[Cemetery for Green-Friendly Burials]]> Tue, 23 Apr 2013 11:17:32 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/meadow.jpg A cemetery in Lehigh Valley, Philadelphia, has become environmentally friendly for burials.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Baxter Brewing Company Goes Green]]> Wed, 24 Apr 2013 14:49:39 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/baxter-brewing.jpg Luke Livingston, president and founder of Baxter Brewing Company, talks about ways in which he is expanding his business sustainably, with the help of John Rooks, president of The SOAP Group.]]> <![CDATA[D.C. Has The Worst Traffic]]> Tue, 05 Feb 2013 11:49:47 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/traffic-4.jpg Washington, D.C. has the worst traffic congestion in the nation, according to a new report from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute.]]> <![CDATA[Program Ships Fresh Veggies to Members]]> Fri, 05 Oct 2012 12:45:18 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/resized+tomatoes.jpg

For food lovers who want their vegetables shipped the day after they’re picked, Teena’s Pride Community Supported Agriculture program in Homestead may be the answer.

“People buy an annual subscription to vegetable boxes that contain our heirloom tomatoes and many other varieties of tomatoes that we grow here on the farm,” said Diane Diaz, who helps run the program.

Community-Based Group Teaches About Organic Foods

Subscribers get a weekly shipment of freshly grown vegetables for their contribution to the farm. Diaz said that when buying from the CSA, mother nature can play a big role – similar to buying stock.

“And that’s the one risk people run when they join a CSA,” she said. “As long as mother nature treats us well, and fortunately Isaac only dropped some rain on us so we didn’t have any losses, but we if we do get a freeze or another hurricane it could destroy all of this and we have to start all over again.”

Members pay upfront so the farmer has the money needed to start growing. Diaz told NBC 6 South Florida that the plants are grown with on the family farm.

“Using the best possible practices of sustainable growing that can ever be made, and they are just ultra-fresh when they are picked and packed the very next day,” Diaz said.

Study Questions How Much Better Organic Food Is

Teena’s Pride packs boxes of produce and ships them to distribution points from South Miami to Aventura. The program hopes to expand into south Broward soon.

“There’s nowhere you can get vegetables that are cut the day before you receive them. Nowhere,” Diaz said.

Beginning Nov. 4, Teena’s Pride CSA will hold farmers markets once a month where the public can come and buy what’s available.

More Local News

<![CDATA[Community-Based Group Teaches About Organic Foods]]> Tue, 04 Sep 2012 20:35:07 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/organic-food.jpg

Cindy Hill taught North Beach Elementary students the importance of eating fruits Tuesday afternoon.

Hill, from the from the community-based organization Once Upon a Carrot, also told them the difference between organic food and conventional food. 

Hill prefers organic food to conventional, but at Stanford University, researchers found “organic” doesn’t necessarily mean “healthier.” 

“What we’ve gotten from this is good, solid evidence that organic produce is not necessarily superior in terms of safety or nutrition,” Lisa Cimperman, a clinical dietitian said. 

Researchers found the two were virtually the same in vitamin content. All of the produce studied had pesticide levels below federally-set safety limits, but organic foods had less pesticide residue. 

For Hill, that's the deciding factor. 

"The biggest issue is the pesticides and the herbicides,” Chef Hill said. “We do not want our children consuming those toxins on a regular basis." 

There was also no difference in the protein or fat contents in organic and conventional milk. However, few studies found organic milk may have higher levels of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. 

Now, you can almost find anything organic, even baby food. 

Hill hopes teaching after school classes, like the one in Miami Beach, lead to a healthier South Florida. 

"Our goal is to give the cleanest food we can and it organic food is slightly more nutrient-dense than conventional, then that's the direction we're going in," Hill said. 

Even though researchers claim cheaper, conventional foods may be just as healthy, organic food sales brought in $30 billion.

More local news

<![CDATA[Miami's Design District To Get A Makeover]]> Tue, 05 Jun 2012 13:28:04 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/design+district.jpg

Miami's Design District will get a fashion-forward makeover.

Developer Craig Robins, chief executive officer and president of DACRA real estate, plans to turn the Design District into a posh retail destination.

According to The Miami Herald, the promenade will comprise of four blocks of luxury fashion shops, cafes, and plazas. The neighborhood will be drenched in green, with sod-covered rooftops and scattered trees to provide sufficient shade at the plazas.

More local news stories.

The project is being developed with partner L Real Estate, a French investment fund backed by luxury connoisseur Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy. 

The passageways of the project would function as a public street that exclusively serves pedestrians. It would be embedded at both ends by a new plaza and two department stores. The new promenade requires four new parking garages, two of them will be underground to keep the scale of the sidewalk leveled.

NBC 6 videos.

The blueprint was submitted to the city last week by DACRA. It was created by Duany Plater-Zyberk, a Miami firm. The draft makes extra space for a hotel and up to 100 units of housing on the west side of Northeast First Avenue at 39th Street.

The entirety of the project was made to fit within the low-scale character of the district. Existing buildings would be preserved and supplemented with extra design.

This $312 million dollar project has already begun within the current laws and codes.

Photo Credit: DACRA]]>
<![CDATA[Self-Sustaining Farm in Homestead Helping Homeless]]> Fri, 18 May 2012 08:17:09 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/051812+homestead+homeless+farm.jpg Some 500 formerly homeless people live and work on a self-sustaining farm in Homestead.

Photo Credit: NBCMiami.com]]>
<![CDATA[How to Be Earth Friendly Without Nagging]]> Wed, 18 Apr 2012 19:20:39 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/143072279.jpg Just because you like to recycle doesn't mean others do. How can you talk to people about their green habits without sounding like a nag? Watch how to be environmentally friendly without offending your friends! For more exclusive videos go to iVillage.com

Photo Credit: Getty Images/PhotoAlto]]>
<![CDATA[Earth Week]]> Fri, 01 Apr 2016 16:55:58 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/dreamitgreenitlogo.gif ]]> <![CDATA[Teaching Kids to Recycle]]> Wed, 11 Apr 2012 16:30:34 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/recyclekidsgreen_722x406_2221795961.jpg You may think that teaching your kids how to recycle is difficult, but it may be easier than you think. Turning disposable trash into reusable items is a great way to help the environment. iVoices Beth Engelman, Sharon Rowley, Amanda Rodriguez and Brandi Jeter sit down with Kelly Wallace to discuss ways to encourage kids to recycle. Find out what tips and tricks work to help kids reuse and reduce waste. For more exclusive videos like these go to iVillage.com]]> <![CDATA[Greenest Home Is a First in Miami Beach]]> Thu, 17 Nov 2011 09:43:49 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/111711+miami+beach+green+home.jpg

Imagine having a four-bedroom house with a pool and not paying a dime on your electric bill. That's about to become a reality at the first "Platinum" green home in Miami Beach.

"Platinum" is the highest energy efficiency rating you can get for a house.

Robert Arkin is the general contractor of the ultra-modern home that he calls "sustainable luxury." It's a 3,200 square foot house located at 2020 Alton Road and it's so green, they don't plan to pay an electric bill.

"We're trying to obtain net-zero," Arkin said, "which means at the end of the day we're not going to be paying for electricity."

On the roof, they'll have solar panels and collapsible wind turbines. The pool in front of the house will contain no chemicals or chlorine. It will electronically clean itself.

"We'll also have geo-thermal air-conditioning," Arkin explained. "It's where we take water from the ground and we cool the air-conditioning system with [it]."

Ari Sklar is the architect of the house that has so many bells and whistles, it even comes with an iPad that controls everything.

The City of Miami Beach is excited about this pioneering project. It fits right in line with their desire to become a greener city.

Miami Beach Commissioner Michael Gongora visited the site and said he's hopeful this will encourage more green building in the area.

2020 Alton Road is scheduled to be completed in April 2012. The house is currently on the market. The asking price is $2.19 million.

For more information on the home go to www.2020alton.com

<![CDATA[Local Start-Up Pushes Better Oil Trap]]> Mon, 24 Oct 2011 19:29:37 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/vlcsnap-2011-10-24-19h23m09s151.png

The BP oil gusher that poured hundreds of millions of gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico last year took three agonizing months to plug -- polluting the water, killing wildlife, and fouling thousands of miles of shoreline.

"We all sat there and watched in disgust the devastation it caused," said orthopedic surgeon Dr. Tom San Giovanni. "We were like, why did this happen?"

Dr. San Giovanni is also the president of Mendes Oil Trap Technologies, formed when one of his patients Joe Mendes invented and patented a system to clean up oil spills. Impressed with the retired heavy equipment salesman, San Giovanni got involved in starting up the company.

The firm's other partners include a former FBI agent and a software company executive. None of them has previous experience in oil recovery, but Mendes says they're motivated to find a better solution than what they saw last summer.

"We're just a group of environmentalists that are volunteerng our help, our time to develop this here. Hopefully it'll do something for the environment and for our nation. This is something that's for the world," says Mendes, the former Caterpillar salesman.  

The Mendes Oil Trap consists of floating plastic crates, filled with oil-absorbing material made from recycled plastic bottles. They can be deployed to encircle an oil platform or a spill, chained together like train cars to protect the shoreline, or be towed by boats through a slick.

Mendes explained that unlike traditional floating booms, his crates will contain the oil and filter the crude right out of the water.

"It's like a filter, exactly," he said.

San Giovanni said he and his partners firmly believe that if their system had been available, the BP spill could've been contained and much of the environmental damage averted.

Instead, the old methods of using booms and chemical dispersants were the preferred methods of dealing with the oil.

"I know in my field as a surgeon, if something's not working efficiently, you don't keep doing the same mistake over -- there's a word called 'innovation'," San Giovanni said, pointing at Mendes' invention as innovative and effective.

Mendes gave small-scale demonstrations of his oil trap at last week's Society of Environmental Journalists convention in Miami.

It worked remarkably well in a plexiglass container, with the crude oil literally disappearing in front of the viewer's eyes. Mendes poured oil into the water, and with a few movements to simulate waves, the oil was gone, absorbed by the trap.

The question is, can it work on a large scale, in the open ocean?

"Joe's system was actually already tested on the open water in Aruba, and it removed 99 percent of the oil in a controlled spill test," San Giovanni said.

Mendes admits there's still some research and development that needs to be done to make his system commercially viable. But he's hoping the oil companies beat a path to his door, for inventing a better oil trap.

<![CDATA[Cousteau Family Makes Historic Appearance]]> Thu, 20 Oct 2011 22:09:47 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/vlcsnap-2011-10-19-23h40m37s21.png For the first time ever the family of famed oceanographer Jacques Cousteau appeared together on one stage to discuss the legacy of their father and grandfather -- and it happened in Downtown Miami at the Society of Environmental Journalists' national conference.]]> <![CDATA[Dry Cleaner Released Toxic Chemicals: Report]]> Wed, 05 Oct 2011 16:34:44 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/100511+dry+cleaners+generic.jpg

A Pompano Beach dry cleaners has been polluting the surrounding area for years, according to Randy Merchant, Florida Department of Health Environmental Administrator.

Flash Cleaners, which served as a dry cleaning business from 1977 to about 2001, is now a drop-off facility for other dry cleaning businesses. Calls to Flash Cleaners on Wednesday for comment weren't immediately returned.

The way waste water was handled and disposed polluted the groundwater and soil on the site, the Broward Health Department said. The main cleaning agent that the cleaners used was tetrachloroethene, also known as perchloroethylene, a toxic chemical.

Officials say that the municipal water was not affected by the chemicals from the site, and have regularly tested it for safety.

The Hillsborough River and other canals near the business and any chemicals related to the business were found below levels that could harm the public, said the health department.

"Because nearby businesses and residents use city water, the health risk for this site is minimal," Merchant said in a report.

The Florida DOH asked the public to review a draft health report, make comments and express health concerns by Nov. 21. The department will share facts with residents in the area to summarize the report and solicit public comments.

A final report, addressing all comments and concerns, will be ready in early 2012. Officials will continue to test the site.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>