The Healthy Florida 2020 Campaign launched in partnership with VoLo Foundation in order to educate local voters on some of the more pressing environmental challenges facing Florida this year. The purpose of this message is to inform residents on the connection linking the social, economic and environmental issues of today with the hope of creating more awareness so together, we can combat pollution, algae blooms, and the detriments affecting our beloved Florida ecosystems.
Every day, Floridians have a choice to make behavioral shifts that can protect our natural lands and combat climate change! We thank VoLo for giving IDEAS For Us the capacity to help educate local leaders on these issues so TOGETHER we can make better choices and conserve nature within the beautiful State of Florida!
Thanks to VoLo Foundation, IDEAS For Us is launching the Healthy Florida 2020 campaign to educate our community about how environmental issues impact our health and how we can positively impact it through real action.
The reality of most charitable giving trends is that environmental causes are at the bottom of the list, while health is at the top. How can we get people to see the link between these seemingly separate things? If you understand this connection and value our planet, you can see how we are all connected. Even though human civilization has done much to separate itself from nature, all life is one and the same. If Earth is in danger, so is humanity.
This year, we are going to utilize visual stories around human health, ecological health, and economic health to understand how environmental detriment is tied to our health, and how solutions will lead to better health.
Every eco-action project that IDEAS For Us embarks on is linked to at least one of our five focus areas of sustainability. The Healthy Florida 2020 campaign will aim to link all the issues explored to an action project, such as tree plantings, solar training, urban agriculture, shoreline restorations, and more.
When appropriate, the Healthy Florida 2020 campaign will promote specific bills and policies at the state and local level that are positioned to accomplish environmental progress. For example, state commitments to 100% renewable energy by 2050 will ensure a slowdown and eventual end to coal-powered energy, leading to less CO2 emissions.
The most important thing you can do in 2020 is cast a vote for pro-planet candidates, both at the local and national levels.
In the past six years, IDEAS has been seeding and stewarding a healthy food accessibility movement in Orlando, FL known as Fleet Farming. The neighborhood of Audubon Park is where this began, transforming underutilized grass lawns into abundant micro-farms known as Farmlettes.
The hyper-local proximity of these plots allows the farmers to work harvest via bicycle, offsetting the impact of CO2 emissions from gasoline-powered cars. Biking and outdoor work also keep our farmers physically and mentally healthy by staying active and being close to nature.
Additionally, when food is grown hyper-locally, without the use or need for any pesticides and toxic fertilizers, it is healthier than most of what you find at a regular grocery store, where the price of over-abundance is vegetables that have traveled an average of 1500 miles and contain chemicals to increase their size and shelf life.
IDEAS has a goal to plant 200 trees in 2020. This will offset the deforestation that happens because of rampant suburban development and create natural air-filters. Cleaner air means healthier people.
Trees are habitats for a multitude of species as well. When a single tree is cut down, it means that dozens of animals are losing their homes, pushing them closer to civilization, leading to their death by a car collision.
Preserving our natural wildlife habitats isn’t just good for animal and plant life. Having nature that is untouched by urbanization is good for human mental and physical health. Activities like walking, biking, running, hiking, fishing, hunting, horseback riding, bird-watching, and more are not only good for tourism economies but essential for physical health and mental health.
Florida is surrounded and full of water, both fresh and slaty. The aquatic life here is constantly impacted and depleted by overfishing, warming oceans, oil drilling and spills, and toxic fertilizer runoff from sugar plantations and other industries. Not to mention the immense amounts of trash and plastics that end up in the water.
IDEAS volunteers can be mobilized to beaches, swamps, and lakes, to offset this impact by cleaning up debris and waste from these waterways, averting the wildlife from ingesting it and suffocating from it.
Florida faces some serious aquatic environmental detriment due to the practice of fertilizing lawns and not having any plant varieties next to ponds and other water bodies. Algae blooms tend to occur because there is not enough fish and other biodiversity to eat the algae. These algae blooms aren’t just aesthetically unpleasant, but also toxic to the water and the air surrounding it.
Shoreline projects comprised of plant removal and native plantings can lead to a healthier ecological balance, better recreational spaces for activities such as kayaking, swimming, and canoeing, and fewer respiratory health risks associated with breathing the air near these blooms.
Photovoltaic Solar Installer is the fastest-growing profession in the nation. IDEAS is working to train the solar workforce with partners in the Orlando community like LE Rigby and 15 Lightyears. These are solar companies that need experienced candidates for their team. IDEAS sources candidates and gives them valuable training for free.
The projects not only work to transition our society to 100% renewable energy, but it is good for our economic health by creating jobs and human and ecological health by offsetting the burning of fossil fuels.
Have you experienced health issues that may be linked to climate change or environmental destruction? Do you see any environmental areas in your day-to-day in need of repair? Are you thankful for the natural spaces in your community? Use the hashtag #HealthyFlorida2020 and help us create a healthier Florida for all life.
If you value our efforts and want to stay up to date with all our work and projects, become an IDEAS member, and join a movement of eco-warriors.
Part of this campaign is to get experts in the environmental movement to voice their concerns and propose solutions to the issues our community and our planet are facing. Here is a preview of the amazing leaders we have featured:
Check out this playlist of virtual panels we hosted in collaboration with Orlando Zero Hour.