Conference teaches environmental resourcefulness

How to preserve resources through community collaboration was the focus of conversation at the Sustainable You two-day conference.

Local political leaders, business professionals and students collaborated on ways to minimize the community’s waste at Florida State University’s Turnbull Conference Center.

Tim Fadiora, Tallahassee’s Regional Airport facilities manager and Sustainable You attendee, said the conference showed him how to utilize his resources.

“I will monitor my energy usage – my electric usage and also my water usage – and just buy things that are more recyclable,” Fadiora said.

Fadiora said the event also allowed him to share how the airport implements sustainability and hear what other business are doing to preserve resources.

“We do practice sustainability,” Fadiora said. “We have solar power, for instance. We installed over 75 kilowatts of solar, and we have done low shading to reduce our eclectic consumption over the years.

“Those are the things we have been able to implement at the airport. I just want to see what others are doing to see if we can do better.”

John Baker, policy and program development administrator for the city of Tallahassee and one of the event’s organizers, said everyone should participate in protecting natural resources.

“No one entity can take the community to where we want it to go,” Baker said. “It requires all of us working together.”  

Baker said personal gardening and bartering are a couple of ways individuals can practice sustainability.  

Cynthia Barber, director of environmental policy and energy resources, said “reducing the amount of water we use, buying less packaging … carpooling and using mass transit” are all things people can do to optimize resources.

Barber said there are a limited amount of resources, and if they aren’t used sparingly, it could cause health problems and restrictions.

“There are a number of things I think we should be concerned with,” Barber said. “One is pollution and air quality. There isn’t going to be new air. If we don’t take care of air, we can have problems with our health.

“We will find ourselves where we may have higher rates for our energy because we will have to buy energy from somewhere else or restrictions on the use of water – things that we aren’t accustomed to in Tallahassee.”                                                       

Barber said residents need to consider these concerns for themselves and the future.

“I think if we don’t make the decision, we need to understand that we may not run out of resources in our lifetime, but future generations will be faced with that problem,” Barber said.