Miami Beach Goes Green: How The City Government And Private Businesses Are Making The City Environmentally Friendly
It’s Miami Beach’s Centennial year and one of the city’s primary objectives is to bring attention to its environmental initiatives. A summit during its March Centennial celebrations served as a platform to address Climate change and sea-level rise and provided a forum to discuss some of the most pressing concerns facing the environment while designing strategies to tackle the next century. Not only is the city of Miami Beach checking its environmental health with sustainable actions but private businesses like hotels and restaurants are doing their part to up their green game with a wealth of eco-friendly programs and packages. The city of Miami Beach recently invested $15 million in stormwater pumps to mitigate the highest tides on the beach, King Tides. Pump stations installed last year are expected to minimize flooding — resulting in less standing water for shorter times.
“The city of Miami Beach has really set an example for businesses, residents and visitors, creating an environmentally impactful agenda that demonstrates our present-day and future forward thinking and commitment,” says Peggy Benua, Chair, the Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority (MBVCA). “Everyone is putting their best foot forward because we know climate matters, the environment matters and collectively reducing our carbon footprint is important.”
The cross-section of businesses who have implemented green initiatives for residents and visitors are impressive whether those residents and visitors are choosing where to stay, where to eat, what to drive, or what to do for fun.
The newly opened 1 Hotel South Beach has been has been labeled as ‘ultra-glam and ultra-green’ for among other things, its Farmstand in the lobby; fleet of Tesla electric vehicles; 100% organic linens and the hotel’s three restaurants all dedicated to farm-to-table menus. The Z Ocean Hotel has put smart water practices into action, energy conservation programs and waste reduction and clean air practices by installing low-flow toilets with showers and faucets that reduce water consumption throughout the hotel. The Dream South Beach takes part in the Florida Green Lodging program and has instituted programmable thermostats; a linen and towel re-use program in rooms; low flow faucet showerheads and toilets and a recycling program for guests and within hotel operations.
“The level of commitment to environmental and green programs on Miami Beach has been impressive,” notes Grisette Roque Marcos, Executive Director, MBVCA. “Our city and city businesses have really been commendable in this area.”
Residents and visitors are also contributing to the environment by doing things they love like… eating out. At Beachcraft by Tom Colicchio, the much talked about new restaurant, Farm-to-Table is the philosophy with a classic seaside grill and an exhibition kitchen that provides a view of the day’s catch as well as farmstand-fresh vegetables. A member of Slow Food Miami, Essensia restaurant focuses on “the pure essence of taste.” Essensia’s culinary team extracts a kaleidoscope of flavors from local, seasonal, sustainable and organic ingredients, creating a fresh and wholesome concept.
The Lincoln Road Farmers’ Market is also a local favorite for its green market which features fruits, vegetables, fresh cut flowers, plants and other items, such as bread, honey, jams and jellies. The market takes place every Sunday on Lincoln Road between Washington Avenue and Meridian Avenue year round. And visitors and locals can get to the Farmers’ market via DecoBike, the city’s popular bike-sharing program which encourages environmentally responsible transportation.