Keys residents and organizations honored for green efforts

GLEE gives out second annual awards on Feb. 21

Keyswide nonprofit Green Living & Energy Education honored individuals and organizations for their efforts to lighten the load on the environment during the second annual Green Living Awards on Feb. 21.

Awards were given in four categories. One group of winners was selected by GLEE’s board of directors and another was selected by popular vote on the group’s Web site,

The GLEE board’s selections:

  • Fran and Mali Wagner, individual category, for their work convincing the State Department of Health not only to approve the conversion of septic tanks to cisterns, but to make that conversion less cumbersome and less costly;
  • Deer Run Bed & Breakfast on Big Pine Key, business category, for its emphasis on conservation and energy efficiency, as well as modeling both organic and vegan lifestyles. Deer Run is a Department of Environmental Protection’s Green Lodging
  • Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority, agency category, for its plans to build a LEED-certified building in Marathon. The center will feature solar panels, a vegetative roof and demonstrate the benefits of solar and wind energy.
  • Village of Islamorada, government category, for its work in adopting sustainable policies and initiating programs that establish a strong leadership position for green living. The popular vote selections:
  • Carole and Bill DeHart, individual category, a Ramrod Key couple who practice the reduce, reuse, recycle and rote (compost) in every aspect of their lives;
  • The Hammocks in Marathon, business category, which was the Middle Keys’ first green lodging as designated by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
  • Key West High School Alternative Energy Center, which has a student biodiesel program, and Florida Keys Electric Cooperative, which just installed a solar installation that can power up to 600 homes, tied in the agency category.
  • City of Layton, government category, which follows the tenets of the Mayors Climate Action Plan.
  • The awards were presented after GLEE’s annual meeting at the Key West Botanical Garden & Tropical Forest in Stock Island. Anyone was able to nominate an individual or organization, but the nominees had to make a case for why they should win. About 10,000 votes were cast in the online balloting.

    If you’re interested in learning more about the winners and the nominees, check out their applications at You might get some ideas about changes you can make at home or at work.