Recognizing Our Local Outstanding Environmental Leader, Chris Castro, As A Green Difference Maker
Dear Friends & Neighbors,
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During our transition toward the clean and renewable energy future, it is crucial to have, to recognize, and to encourage our community leader(s) who is/are able to recognize the importance of this transition, to understand and bridge the workings of government and private sectors, and to have a great deal of positive and enthusiastic drive to help accomplish various goals. Here in Central Florida, we are fortunate to have among us, Chris Castro.
In the eleven years since graduating with a B.S. in Environmental Science & Policy, Energy & Sustainability, Chris Castro did not waste any time in reaching out, educating, engaging and recruiting the next generation of energy innovators into the U.S. Department of Energy and at University of Central Florida. Then he helped to facilitate the YGIN (Yellow Green Renewable Initiative) World, a community-based social networking platform for the sustainability movement helping to bring together individuals with ideas, businesses, government, non-profits and charities looking to make a positive difference in the world. His experience as a campaign organizer with 350.org, being a Solar Energy Consultant (with Dioko Energy), Green Education Coordinator & LEED Community Assistant, and as USA Delegate at the 2012 World Youth Congress, brought him to Orange County to work as an Energy Specialist, to help incorporate energy efficiency throughout Orange County in 2011. In addition to advising on multiple Board of Directors, he also co-founded IDEAS For Us (organization advancing sustainability solutions and environmental awareness through campus and community action around the world) and Fleet Farming (based on the mantra, ‘Grow Food, Not Lawns’, to convert underutilized land and homeowner lawns into 100% edible, organic landscapes, to redefine how we produce and distribute food by creating hyper-local, community-based, low carbon urban farming programs in cities around the world. In 2016, Chris Castro arrived at the position of Director of Sustainability & Resilience, and Co-chair of Future-Ready Initiative for City of Orlando. In 2020, he also became the Founding Director of Climate First Bank (I/O), Florida’s first B-corp certified, valued-based community bank that focuses on providing capital for communities, companies, organizations, and families in pursuit of a better world. To see much of what Chris Castro has accomplished and much accolades, please click HERE.
Earlier in 2021, Mr. Castro joined the Project Green Schools as the Advisory Board member of the project. As he shared his journey, during his keynote speech, from his years as a student sustainability leader to his entrepreneurial ventures and various other activities in advancing the greening of the City of Orlando and beyond, the State Representative Jay Barrows from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts House of Representatives was so moved by the story that Representative Barrows sent Mr. Castro a “Certificate of Recognition” of “being the ‘Outstanding Environmental Leadership as a Green Difference Maker” over his 15 years of service in the Clean & Renewable Energy Movement.
To view some of Chris Castro’s views and efforts in greening the City of Orlando, in various videos below:
Chris Castro is a member of our club, the Director of Sustainability & Resilience for the City of Orlando, and Senior Advisor to Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. Chris is an award-winning sustainability professional, clean energy enthusiast, and eco-entrepreneur with a passion for advancing smart, resilient, and sustainable cities in balance with nature. In this comprehensive Virtual Meetup with members of Florida Tesla Enthusiasts, he discusses Orlando’s sustainability efforts and transportation initiatives, including electric mobility and EV readiness plans, in the video published on July 16, 2021, “Virtual Meetup with Chris Castro, Director of Sustainability for the City of Orlando July 13, 2021“, below:
On July 15, 2020, Chris Castro, Orlando’s Director of Sustainablity and Resilience, and Tony Pipa, Senior Fellow at Brookings, discuss how Orlando sees its COVID-19 response efforts as fundamentally tied to sustainability and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Listen as Chris discusses how Orlando’s ongoing efforts to address underlying environmental injustice and the climate crisis align with both the response to the COVID crisis and Orlando’s Voluntary Local Review (VLR) of its progress against the SDGs. From Chris’ perspective, public health, environmental health, and economic health are inherently linked and must be pursued together, in the video published on July 31, 2020, “Conversations @BrookingsGlobal: Chris Castro, Sustainability Director for the City of Orlando“, below:
This video features Chris Castro, Senior Advisor to Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Director of Sustainability & Resilience, and Co-chair of Smart Cities for the City of Orlando. Chris develops policies & programs to advance the City’s sustainability, clean energy, & climate action goals. As a thought leader, Chris has spoken at more than 150+ conferences and events, including the United Nations Summits, Smart Cities Week DC, NASA Innovation Expo, Sustainatopia, TEDx Orlando, and more. Chris’s talk focuses on Orlando’s Clean Energy Strategy and the many programs the community can get involved in, in the video published on Oct 13, 2019, “Chris Castro: Orlando’s Clean Energy Strategy“, below:
This is a video recording of the presentation by Chris Castro (co-founder of IDEAS for US & Fleet Farming, and Director of Sustainability of City of Orlando) on the future of agriculture during Orlando Tech Revize 2018 event at Dr. Phillips Center in Orlando, Florida, on Oct. 19, 2018. It is video recorded and uploaded by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker and rendered by Michael Nunamaker, in the video published on Oct 22, 2018, “Chris Castro on Future of Agriculture at Orlando Tech-Revize2018“, below:
Clean Energy Florida works to catalyze clean energy growth, adoption, and investment across the state of Florida. The state is well positioned to become a leading and innovative clean and renewable energy hub, and businesses in particular can drive the transition towards a strong and prosperous energy future. Learn more about the Clean Energy Florida initiative here: www.cleanenergyfl.org , in the video published on Oct 18, 2018, “Chris Castro, Director of Sustainability & Resilience at the City of Orlando“, below:
Chris Castro welcomes attendees and talks about the sustainability initiatives that the City of Orlando has implemented, in the video published on Jan 23, 2017, “Sustainability Symposium 2017: Chris Castro, Sustainability Director, City of Orlando“, below:
In the video published on May 6, 2016, “ONE Central Florida Short: Fleet Farming“, below:
In the video published on May 31, 2016, “SciTech Central Short: Interview with Chris Castro“, below:
To solve global challenges, we must strategically mobilize and transform communities through effective action and substantive change. This talk explores how organizations can take inspiration from biological concepts found in nature and evolve to become living organisms that have the ability to replicate, thrive, and catalyze positive change around the world. Chris Castro is a change agent, entrepreneur and steward of the environment. As a student at the University of Central Florida, he co-founded IDEAS (Intellectual Decisions on Environmental Awareness Solutions). Through the nonprofit organization IDEAS For Us, he continues to work with youth leaders and green professionals, across the nation and globally, to facilitate positive environmental change and sustainability. He is a Youth Delegate for the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and the Clinton Global Initiative; was awarded the prestigious Champions of Change honorable mention from the White House and Obama Administration; and recently attended the United Nations World Youth Congress in Brazil for the Rio+20 Summit. In addition, Chris is currently working as an energy consultant through Citizen Energy (CE), a start-up firm helping to develop the clean energy workforce and transform the market for energy efficiency and renewable energy adoption throughout Florida, in the video published on Nov 4, 2012, “IDEAS For Biomimicry: Chris Castro at TEDxOrlando“, below:
Gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker
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