Orlando mayor pushes for green initiatives in city

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer recently revealed the city's plans for several eco-friendly initiatives and a renewed emphasis on development in his annual State of Downtown address. Potential homeowners with a bent toward environmentally-conscious cities should look at the homes for sale in Orlando.

The city's goals range from long-term to short-term, and from initiatives focusing on residential development to downtown enhancements. One of the most unique proposals is the energy-saving retrofit of more than half the homes in Orlando, as well as developing a green building code, the Orlando Sentinel reports. Additionally, beginning in November 2012, the city will be switching to single-stream recycling. This new initiative will replace the traditional methods of having two recycling bins. Residents will no longer have to separate newspapers, cans and bottles, and Dyer hopes that this new program will increase the rate of recycling from Orlando denizens.

The city has been a leader in environmental initiatives in recent years. According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Orlando Magic, the city's professional basketball team, was recently lauded for its green programs. Its home arena, the Amway Center, was recently Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold-certified. The stadium received this certification because it now uses 25 percent less energy and 40 percent less water than similarly-sized arenas.

"A cultural shift in environmental awareness is needed in order for us to address the serious ecological problems we face, and the sports industry, through its own innovative actions, has chosen to lead the way," Dr. Allen Hershkowitz, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council's green sports project, told the news source. "Pro sports are showing that smart energy, water and recycling practices make sense."

Dyer mentioned the planning and rollout of several other eco-friendly programs for Orlando. According to Click Orlando, the city is expanding a program called Green Works, where officials plan to plant one tree for every Orlando resident. Additionally, in order to stem rising pollution rates that can largely be attributed to car and automobile exhaust, a  bike- and car-sharing program was announced. Residents are now encouraged to either adopt alternative modes of transportation, including walking and taking public transportation, or carpool with each other.