County Commissioner Rollings surprised IDEAS with an environmental excellence award from the Orange Soil & Water Conservation district.

Wednesday February 1st marked the 4 year anniversary of The Hive. You heard me correctly, The Hive is 4 years old! This community based environmental think tank gathers on the first Wednesday of every month at East End Market. The idea behind the Hive is to present different environmental challenges and have the audience members put their brains together and generate solutions that can be implemented right here in the Orlando community. One terrific idea that stemmed from The Hive was Fleet Farming. For more information on Fleet Farming, click here:


We kicked off the night with IDEAS Executive Director/CEO, Clayton Louis Ferrara. Clay spoke on behalf of IDEAS, talked about their accomplishments the past four years, and introduced Eric Rollings (pictured below), Chair of Orange County Soil and Water Conservation District. Clay announced that the Hive would be focusing on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in 2017. Each month one of the goals would be the topic of the night. Last Wednesday, we focused on creating a Zero Hunger world or goal number two.


County Commissioner Rollings surprised IDEAS with an environmental excellence award from the Orange Soil & Water Conservation district.  What better a night than the 4 year anniversary.


This was followed by guest speaker, Dave Green, CEO of Feeding Children Everywhere. His organization is determined to provide 27 millions meals to hungry people this year. All of his meals are as locally sourced, non-GMO and vegan. Green discussed climate change, choices of food production and conflict within countries. According to Green, these three factors are the biggest threats to food security in the world.


Green asked us to pick one of the three main threats to food security and brainstorm ideas for a feasible solution. Each group, whiteboard in hand, weeded through possible solutions in search of the most plausible option. Chris Castro, (far right) founder of IDEAS even voiced his own ideas during the breakout session.


Every table had the opportunity to share what they had come up with to tackle the food security issue. Some of the ideas, as seen above, included installing food tower gardens in public places and building gardens or farms at schools and churches. Other ideas included dumpster diving, bringing “dumpster food” to the poor and elderly and planting more edible plants and trees in public areas.


Activist, environmentalist and master dumpster diver, Rob Greenfield spoke briefly at the Hive about his dumpster dive adventures. He opened up the audiences eyes about how much perfectly good food gets thrown away. He has found food with expiration dates a month away and  food that was made that same day while “diving”. Greenfield travels the country as a food waste activist encouraging others to go dumpster diving and change the way we go about wasting perfectly good food.


To wrap our night up, leaders of IDEAS for US announced that the next Hive would be a “Hive Tank”. Similar to the popular show, Shark Tank, community members would have the opportunity to submit their ideas on how they want to implement change and if selected would receive funding for their idea. The applications are located online at ______________. The top 5 ideas will share their idea at the Hive Tank and the audience will vote on the winner.

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