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Cocoa Beach Main Street Inc. “Creating an Environmentally Sustainable Downtown”


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LEAD Brevard's Leadership Brevard Class of 2019 Leadership Action Project
Cocoa Beach Main Street is part of a statewide and national network of revitalization programs. This project will help to improve negative environmental impacts and support conservation and cooperation within our community. The project team will create a strategic plan and implement a conservation program centered on downtown businesses. The goal will be two-fold: encouraging the use of reusable serve ware and packaging as well as begin a downtown business recycling program. This project will require communication and cooperation of downtown business owners, local city government, and community.

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Cocoa Beach Main Street Inc. “Creating an Environmentally Sustainable Downtown”

  1. 1. Creating a Sustainable Downtown A 2019 Leadership Brevard Leadership Action Project with Cocoa Beach Mainstreet LAP Team Members: Roger Anderson - Kelly Billon - Charles Biondo - Mark Boyd - Amy Envall - Sarah Kraum - Joe Perno
  2. 2. Project Introduction  In the summer of 2017, Cocoa Beach Main Street submitted a project application to Leadership Brevard for their Leadership Action Project program.  The project’s purpose was to “improve negative environmental impacts and support conservation and cooperation within our community.”  The two main focus areas were to be encouraging the use of sustainable products in restaurants and begin a recycling program.
  3. 3. Project Participants  Leadership Brevard Leadership Action Project Team  Leadership Brevard class members are required to participate in a Leadership Action Project. Leadership Action Projects are meaningful community projects that help fulfill the goals of Leadership Brevard of Community Education, Relationships, and Network. They also enrich our community and provide the team members the opportunity to learn more about volunteer opportunities and ways to engage and give back.  Cocoa Beach Main Street  Cocoa Beach Main Street is a 501c3 non-profit, fully accredited Main Street America program and a member of the statewide main street program. The purpose is to encourage economic development, health, revitalization, and vitality in Downtown Cocoa Beach.
  4. 4. What is Sustainability?  Sustainability is a complex subject that can be difficult to define. Sustainability, as discussed by the UN World Commission on Environment and Development, is “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” The Environmental Protection Agency states that “to pursue sustainability is to create and maintain the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony to support present and future generations.”  In the simplest terms, sustainability is being mindful of the use of resources so that the economy, community, and environment can thrive for generations to come.
  5. 5. Project Development  Stakeholder Meetings  The first step in the project development process was a series of meetings with various stakeholders to discuss sustainable practices already being implemented in the project area, interests of the community, and the City of Cocoa Beach, and consider steps of implementation.  The team met with the following stakeholders: • Cocoa Beach City Manager, Jim McKnight • Cocoa Beach Sustainability Committee Chair, Todd Swingle • The Tiny Turtle Owner, Kelly Lieneke • Waste Management Inc., Amy Boyson • Keep Brevard Beautiful, Bryan Bobbitt and Kaylyn Palmer
  6. 6. Project Development (continued)  Keep Brevard Beautiful Litter Quitter Program - “Businesses Against Waste”  During the stakeholder meetings, the Keep Brevard Beautiful Litter Quitter Program was discussed. Litter Quitter is a program designed by Keep Brevard Beautiful in partnership with the Brevard Zoo with the goal to reduce common sources of litter. It targets businesses to change policies and switch to sustainable options as a means of reducing common sources of litter, like single-use plastics, plastic bags and polystyrene (Styrofoam). The businesses can then either apply to be members or be nominated by a volunteer. Bronze Level: •Ask-first straw policy •Switch to a sustainable straw option (i.e. paper, metal, hard reusable plastic, etc.) •Encourage customers to bring their own reusable straw Silver Level: •Switch plastic bags to paper bags •Encourage customers to bring their own reusable bags •Switch plastic utensils to a sustainable option (corn-based, paper, reusable, etc.) Gold Level: •Switch styrofoam cups to a sustainable option (corn-based, paper, reusable, etc.) •Switch to-go containers to a sustainable option (corn-based, recycled plastic, paper, etc.) •Encourage customers to bring their own to-go containers •Deck netting for waterfront businesses
  7. 7. Project Development (continued)  Waste Management Site Visit  A recycling site visit was also completed by the project team, City of Cocoa Beach Staff, Cocoa Beach Main Street Staff, and Waste Management Staff. The purpose of the site visit was to review the recycling facilities already present in the main street area and discuss potential expansion.  Some of the key points that arose from this meeting are as follows:  Business owner must pay for recycling service  Process for a business to receive recycling includes visit from Waste Management to assess options, needs, and available space (including a visit by a truck to ensure accessibility)  Contamination issue – if the recycling load exceeds the contamination thresholds, there are additional fees  Potential locations – parking is a priority of the City’s, locations may not be accessible by truck, best location is the parking lot behind Yen Yen’s where a dumpster is already present, other potential locations are behind the strip with The Tiny Turtle and The Green Room
  8. 8. Project Goals  Restaurant Sustainability Initiatives: “Businesses Against Waste”  “Meet & Green”  Organizational alignment is a foundational element for the success of this project. Task 1 for the Lead Brevard team is to assess the current stakeholders and a build a bridge.  Cocoa Beach Main Street-KBB-Restaurant Owners – Litter Quitter Program Goes to the Beach  “Educate & Act”  Host two workshops with KBB and distributors (Sysco/US Foods)  Provide information and immediate on-ramp to ask questions with representatives  Goal-50% participation of eligible restaurants in the Litter Quitter Program; Stretch Goal-100%  Goal-Information Distribution  Clear path to follow-up with Litter Quitter POCs, Cocoa Beach Main Street, Sysco/US Food Representatives  Community Recognition Program
  9. 9. Project Goals (continued)  City Planning-Keep Moving Forward  Paving the Way  Assess current recycling options for restaurants in Cocoa Beach Main Street  Work with city to identify a location for a recycling receptacle  Goal—Identify acceptable location for recycling receptacle and path to implementation with Waste Management and City
  10. 10. Project Implementation  Litter Quitter Volunteer Training – February 25, 2019  On February 25, 2019 the project team and Keep Brevard Beautiful hosted a Litter Quitter Volunteer Training at the Brevard Zoo in the Nyami Lodge.  The purpose of the training was to educate potential new Litter Quitter volunteers on the program and their role as a volunteer.  Fifteen (15) potential new volunteers attended.
  11. 11. Project Implementation (continued)  Litter Quitter Restaurant Workshop – March 4, 2019  On March 4, 2019 the project team and Keep Brevard Beautiful hosted a Litter Quitter Restaurant Workshop at Coconuts on the Beach.  The purpose of the workshop was to educate the restaurants on the Litter Quitter Program, provide them with tools and ideas to implement sustainable practices via restaurant supply vendors, and provide a forum for current Litter Quitter members to share their experiences with becoming a more sustainable restaurant.  Through the process of planning the workshop, Coconuts on the Beach became a Silver Level Litter Quitter.  The workshop was attended by 12 guests/vendors and 8 workshop planners from the project team, Keep Brevard Beautiful, and the Brevard Zoo.
  12. 12. Project Implementation (continued)  Litter Quitter Restaurant Outreach  Following the Restaurant Workshop an analysis of the Cocoa Beach Main Street Restaurant’s Litter Quitter Participation was completed.  It was found that of the 37 restaurants provided to the team by Cocoa Beach Main Street, 6 are already Litter Quitter Members, and an additional 3 non-members attended the workshop.  With overlap, this left 28 restaurants that neither are Litter Quitter Members nor attended the workshop.  The team members made the decision to divide the remaining restaurants and utilizing the skills they learned at the Litter Quitter Volunteer Training and reach out to the remaining restaurants.
  13. 13. Conclusions  Developing sustainable communities is a complicated, but necessary task.  It takes continuous work and improvement.  The steps taken by the LAP team, not only completed the goals outlined by the project application, but also positively impacted the environment and Cocoa Beach Main Street Community.
  14. 14. Suggested Next Steps to be Taken by our LAP Team  Education campaign at Main Street events to educate citizens on sustainable options and programs.  Regular restaurant workshops held by Keep Brevard Beautiful.  Distribution of materials educating on the process of getting recycling services.  Cocoa Beach Main Street to develop monthly meetings for the businesses to discuss sustainability and implementation.  Creation of resource website.  Outreach to the other businesses in the Cocoa Beach Main Street area.  Publication of sustainability materials in local magazines and press.  Informational booth at Friday Fests and other Cocoa Beach Mainstreet events.
  15. 15. Sustainable Practices for Everyone - What LEAD Brevard is Doing To Become More Sustainable:  Utilizes venues and other vendors that practice sustainability, such as minimizing use of single use items, have a refillable water bottle station, or offer recycling.  Attended Litter Quitter Volunteer Training in Feb. 2019.  Includes sustainability in the Leadership Brevard curriculum.  Encourages presenters to utilize the mobile application or email.
  16. 16. Sustainable Practices for Everyone - What LEAD Brevard is Doing To Become More Sustainable:  Practices sustainable office practices, such as recycling and electronic documents and file housing.  Eliminated straws from annual fundraiser and other events.  Reuses name badge holders.
  17. 17. 10 Things Anyone Can Do To Live More Sustainably  1. Support sustainable businesses and organizations.  2. Get involved with your local sustainability board.  3. Make changes in your business or place of employment.  4. Educate and empower a friend, family member, or neighbor on sustainability.  5. Reduce single use plastic items in your household.  6. Bring your own reusable to-go box when eating out.  7. Properly recycle.  8. Incorporate “meatless Mondays” or other non-meat options into your diet.  9. Ride transit, bicycle, walk, carpool, or use another sustainable form of transportation.  10. Reduce household or office energy.
  18. 18. Start with the straw….. parting points to ponder: