September 2022

Our Next SENFC Events


October 6th, 2022

@ 4:00pm ET

SENFC Virtual Networking, "Share Your Favorite Sustainable Hotel or Resort in Florida or the Caribbean and Why!"

Everyone participates!



November 3rd, 2022

@ 4:00pm ET 

SENFC Virtual Networking,"Bring and Share Your Favorite Sustainable Ideas for the Thanksgiving Holiday."

Recycling & Sharing!  


September is Hunger Action Month 

This nationwide movement is designed to mobilize the public to take action and help raise awareness on the issue of hunger.

This month-long campaign brings attention to the reality of food insecurity in our community and across the country. This comes at a critical time when so many of our neighbors need our help. Each year, the Feeding Florida network provides food to the 2.2 million Floridians facing hunger, including over 660,000 children. Feeding Florida is a unified voice regarding hunger and food access by focusing on each community’s needs.  Learn More and Help

The Sustainable Events Network, Florida & Caribbean

is a 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity and can accept tax deductible donations

Click HERE to learn more...

When you shop at Amazon and have designated SENFC as your favorite non-profit, Amazon will donate 0.5% of eligible purchases to SENFC to support our sustainability initiatives at meetings and events - no fees, no extra cost.

Register at

SENFC Supported the Florida Festivals And Events Association at their Annual Conference 

The Hyatt Grand Cypress was the site of this year’s Florida Festivals & Events Association’s annual conference in August and SENFC was fortunate to participate in many impactful ways. SENFC member, Sarah Gabel, spearheaded the conference’s first ever Sustainability Plan and thanks to the partnership and support of FFEA’s CEO, Suzanne Neve, huge strides were made in creating a “zero waste” conference. SENFC President, Joanna Berens, interacted with many people at the trade show and led a Peer Discussion on Zero Food Waste. SENFC board member, Sue Flak, and member, Heather Armstrong, shared their extensive knowledge during a panel discussion breakout on creating Zero Waste Events. Kandy Marroquin, Flagler College senior and SENFC Intern, assisted with the conference sustainability initiatives. A sustainability report is in the works. Congratulations to FFEA on incorporating this initiative into its conference!

A celebratory pose by SENFC members Jill Brown, Joanna Berens, Sue Flak and Sarah Gabel

(l-r) SENFC member and Recycle Florida Today Executive Director Heather Armstrong; SENFC President Joanna Berens; SENFC member and FFEA Conference Sustainability Chair Sarah Gabel; SENFC member and Indian River County Recycling Coordinator Sue Flak and the City of Orlando's Office of Sustainability & Resilience Joe Englund.  Heather, Sue and Joe presented on Zero Waste Events at the conference.

Above - SENFC Intern and Flagler College Senior Kandy Marroquin and Sarah Gabel at the SENFC booth


Right - SENFC's Chief Recycling Enthusiast Sue Flak, FFEA CEO Suzanne Neve and SENFC's President and Chief Zero Food Waste Enthusiast Joanna Berens 

SENFC President Joanna Berens and SENFC member and FFEA Board Member Rosemary Prince

The SENFC booth complete with recycled cardboard background and stools

SENFC New Partners


Renewing Members

Maurice Arbelaez - HelmsBriscoe 

Shannon Barry - Illuminations by Barry 

Molly Crouch - Sodexo Live

Marci Guttenberg, CPCE, CWP - An Affair To Remember By Marci, LLC

Rosa Mendoza - Vista South Convention Services

Anthony Montanaro Vista South Convention Services

Jason Pelton - Vista South Convention Services

And Learn how to be a sustainability enthusiast and advocate

 September - November

Calendar of Events

September 17, 2022 - 2022 International Coastal Cleanup Day    Learn more

September 24, 2022 (1:00pm ET) - "Recycle Derby" in Vero Beach (sponsored by Coastal Connections)  Learn more

September 27, 2000 - World Tourism Day "Rethinking Tourism"  Learn more

October 6, 2022 (4:00pm ET) - SENFC Virtual Networking, "Share Your Favorite Sustainable Hotel or Resort in Florida or the Caribbean and Why!"  Register

October 14, 2022 (Live 8:45am-4:30pm) - Jacksonville Environmental Protection Board "Environmental Symposium"  Learn more and Register

November 3, 2022 (4:00pm ET) - SENFC Virtual Networking,"Bring Your Favorite Sustainable Idea for the Thanksgiving Holiday."  Register

December 1, 2022 (4:00pm ET)SENFC Virtual Networking,"Bring Your Favorite Sustainable Libation during the holidays."  Register

Indian River County Wins 2022 Outstanding Program Recycle Florida Today Sustainability Award

Sue Flak (pictured left) led the county's efforts to develop the

Fellsmere Community Fridge

On September 8th, Recycle Florida Today, Inc. came together to congratulate three 2022 Recycle Florida Today Environmental Sustainability (RFTES) finalists and hear information about their outstanding Florida programs.  These programs displayed an increased awareness of the importance of sustainability and ability to motivate others to maximize their recycling, composting, grass-roots efforts, waste reduction, sustainability efforts and improving their recycling rates through education, outreach and by example. Collier County, Indian River County, and Lee County showcased their programs through a webinar share and provided information about their programs.  At the conclusion, Indian River County was named their 2022 Outstanding Program award winner for their Fellsmere Fridge Community Fridge Program

The Fellsmere Fridge is part of a new local pilot endeavor called the Community Fridge Program. A household (donated) refrigerator is placed within a community and is used to share food at the neighborhood level. The motto of the program is, “Take what you need, Leave what you can.” The purpose of the program is to reduce food waste, build stronger communities and promote equal access to healthy food.

The Fellsmere Fridge will be maintained by a communal collective of partners from various communities, officials, businesses and individuals. The volunteer organizations include the City of Fellsmere, Indian River County, the Sunrise Rotary, the Haller/Loja family, Cutting Edge Signs, United Against Poverty, the Treasure Coast Food Bank, the Boys and Girls Club of Fellsmere, Indian River Charter High School Interact Club, Heather Kramer/Luz De La Hoz, Marsh Landing, Lowe’s of Vero Beach, Complete Electric and the first-grade students of Fellsmere Elementary.

Those interested in volunteering to help stock and clean the fridge can email

End of Summer Sustainable Ideas Discussed

at the SENFC Virtual Networking

on September 1, 2022

  Focus on health and wellness for attendees, staff, and yourself. Drink water, rest, eat right and exercise so you don’t burn out.

Don’t buy unnecessary items, eg: don’t get caught up in senseless internet shopping.

Use renewable energy, like natural light!

If you bought something that you are no longer using, sell it or give it to someone who could use it. (Graduation decorations, wedding decorations etc.)

Repurpose furniture from events or from what people throw out.

Reuse or repurpose campaign signs. 

Participate in beach clean ups, conservation work, scuba diving. 

Use reusable bags! Put them in your car so that they are never forgotten. 

Grow your herbs at home.

Don’t put plastic bags in the recycling bin! They get stuck in the machines. 

These are the only items that can be recycled in some counties: CLEAN newspaper, glass, plastic bottles, jugs, cardboard, aluminum, and steel cans. 

Finding H2O on the Fly

Did you know there are water fountains in every Fort Lauderdale - Hollywood International Airport terminal for airport travelers to quench their thirst on the run? Additionally, some fountains offer water bottle refilling stations where passengers with reusable drinking containers can load up on water to keep hydrated before and after their flight. On your next trip to FLL, look for the fountains and refill stations outside the nearest restroom.  

"As American as Apple Pie

in the Trash"

When Sam Berens returned from his European sustainability study abroad program the University of Florida, he was required to write an Op-Ed on his studies and have it published.  The Gainesville Sun picked it up and published it on August 7th, 2022. Here it is...

"In America today, the road to abundance is paved with rotting fruit. At least, that is a cringeworthy example of some of the most frivolous excesses of our waste-based lifestyle. This will not come as a shock to anyone who has ever stepped foot in a Ruby Tuesday “salad” buffet, but Americans waste an average of 30-40 percent of our food supply every year, or roughly 80 billion pounds. 43% of that waste comes from private households. At the same time, roughly 35-50 million Americans, including at least ten million children, are estimated to be food insecure, lacking a reliable meal source."  More...

He recently graduated with a major in Political Science and International Studies, and a Minor in Urban and Regional Planning

Sam Berens recently graduated with a major in Political Science and International Studies, and a Minor in Urban and Regional Planning

An Eco-Friendly Way to

Repurpose Exhibit Foliage

Convene magazine - August 2022 Issue

The automobile industry has been focusing on making more eco-friendly vehicles. And at this year’s New York International Auto Show, held April 15–24 at the Javits Center in Manhattan, the event itself followed the industry’s lead by making New York City a bit more leafy. The show worked with one organization, GrowNYC, to spread the thousand plants that filled Subaru’s exhibit and dotted the show’s sprawling electric vehicle test track around New York City’s five boroughs once the convention wrapped up.  More...

Congress Moving Forward to improve liability protections for organizations that provide food to the needy

It’s been more than a quarter century since Congress passed the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, which provides liability protection for organizations that donate surplus food—including meeting and convention groups.

While the 1996 bill has made inroads with efforts to reduce waste and feed those in need, some organizations are unaware of the protections while others remain wary of the possibility of liability. Although the law has not been challenged in court, corporations, nonprofits, and food-rescue advocates have called on Congress to clarify and strengthen some of the Good Samaritan terms, and a bill introduced late last year aims to do just that.

The Food Donation Improvement Act of 2021 clarifies the terms and conditions of the original bill and broadens protections to include more types of food donations, including items sold at low cost and donations offered from food businesses directly to end recipients.

The bill, which has 45 bipartisan co-sponsors, was introduced to the House of Representatives by James McGovern (D.-Mass.) and has been referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor. You can provide your representative with feedback on this bill via