Recycle This Valentine’s Day!

By Jacqui Flaherty, Program Manager

DID YOU KNOW? Each year, Americans will send over a billion greeting cards? Take a guess at what day is the single biggest card-giving holiday? That’s right– it’s TODAY…Valentine’s Day!  Remember that greeting cards & their envelopes can be recycled–as well as foil candy wrappers, cardboard candy boxes & paper gift bags. But, there are also some greener options out there, too:

  • Valentine’s E-Cards: Save trees in the name of love! If you really want to give your loved one a card, you can make sure it is printed on recycled paper… or make it yourself!
  • Flowers: How about you plant a tree instead of giving your loved one flowers? If flowers are non-negotiable, look for organic flowers that were grown without pesticides or purchase your flowers from a grocer or retailer that composts its pre-consumer food waste, including floral items.
  • Home-cooked meals: Show your loved ones you care by cooking with fresh, local, organic ingredients.

Whatever you do, in the name of LOVE, just make sure to do it the greenest way possible! Happy Valentine’s Day to our Keep Akron Beautiful friends!


Summit Soil & Water Conservation District Offers a Seedling and Wildflower Packet Program and Rainbarrels

By Jacqui Flaherty, Program Manager

The Summit Soil & Water Conservation District is now accepting orders for the tree and shrub seedlings, as a part of an annual program that the District has been offering for more than 50 years. As in the past, bulk evergreen seedlings including Colorado Blue Spruce, Scotch Pine, Douglas Fir, and white pine will be offered. In addition, bulk deciduous trees including Persimmon and Pawpaw and a variety of hardwood tree and shrub packets, consisting of native or naturalized plants suited to northeast Ohio’s soil and climate conditions will be available. For specific information and to place your order refer to the order form.


Click on picture to see a brochure on rainbarrels.

Two types of wildflower packets will also be offered including the Northeast Annual and Perennial Wildflower Mix and the Bird and Butterfly Seed Mix. Both are 1 oz. packets that will cover approximately 250 square feet.

Also available from the Summit SWCD are the 55 gallon rain barrels. Each barrel will come ready to install with a spigot and overflow pipe. All you need to provide is your own downspout diverter. The cost for the rainbarrel is $80.00. A linking barrel for extra storage is available for $50.00.

To order your plant materials and/or rainbarrel, please see the order form, fill it out and return to the Summit SWCD Office along with your payment.

Keep America Beautiful National Conference Reflections

By Jacqui Flaherty, Program Manager

As we return from the 60th Anniversary Conference and Celebration of Keep America Beautiful, I can’t help but reflect upon Keep America Beautiful’s President and CEO Matt McKenna’s message during his opening address on Tuesday January 29, at the Omni Shorham Hotel in Washington, D.C. His keynote speech discussed the importance of creating and sustaining communities that are socially connected, environmentally healthy and economically sound. The overlying theme of his message was “storytelling,” and sharing our story as an affiliate, right here in Akron. As we learned of many different success stories, events and programs that are taking place throughout the country and right here in our backyard, the staff of Keep Akron Beautiful was able to reflect on how we are proud to be included in the Keep America Beautiful network of more than 1,200 affiliates across the country.

The conference offered programs and breakout sessions that covered topics such as community recycling, social media and marketing, strategic planning and a wonderful keynote by Ed Humes, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who discussed his recent book, Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash. During his keynote, he told us, “The average American produces about 7.1 pounds of trash per day, which is 102 tons per lifetime.” And, as a Keep America Beautiful affiliate, we hope to decrease this amount by educating and impacting residents throughout the City of Akron!

If I could elaborate on everything I learned at the 2013 conference this blog post would take me two hours to write. I am excited and energized for our programming in 2013 and ready for the best year yet. I hope you will be able to see everything I learned throughout the programs Keep Akron Beautiful runs in 2013. Oh–and the best part of the conference? Paula Davis, President and CEO of Keep Akron Beautiful won the Sue Smith Leadership Award for all her accomplishments right here in Akron on Tuesday evening–we are so proud of her! See Cindy’s blog post and the Press Release from the Mayor’s Office for more information.

Matt McKenna, President and CEO of Keep America Beautiful and Paula Davis, President and CEO of Keep Akron Beautiful, upon accepting her “Sue Smith Professional Leadership Award” at the KAB Conference in Washington, D.C.

Interested in who Keep America Beautiful is and what they do? Check out their website at! Keep America Beautiful is the nation’s leading nonprofit that builds vibrant communities. They bring people together to unlock every community’s potential. Keep Akron Beautiful is sure lucky to be a part of all that they do. Thanks for a wonderful conference, Keep America Beautiful! We will see you next year with lots of new stories to tell.

Capt. Danny Zampelli (KAB Board Member), Paula Davis (KAB President and CEO) and Jacqui Flaherty (KAB Program Manager) at the end of the 2013 Keep America Beautiful Conference.

The Keep Akron Beautiful attendees signed the “Vibrant Communities Pledge” at the closing of the 2013 conference. We are proud to be part of the organization that brings people together to unlock every community’s potential.


The SOSA Luncheon Recycling Numbers Are In!

by Cindy Pantea

Thank you to Summit/Akron Solid Waste Management Authority and The University of Akron for helping with recycling the waste from the October 25, 2012 SOSA luncheon. Here are the numbers:

Recycling Numbers from SOSA Luncheon

How does your company handle recycling? Do you have numbers that you want to share? Do you want bragging rights? Learn more about the Summit of Sustainability Awards and new categories for 2013 by visiting here.

Also, don’t forget to watch videos of the 2012 sustainable champions, winners and more at the SOSA YouTube site.

The Summmit of Sustainability Awards is a part of Greenprint for Akron, a program facilitated by Keep Akron Beautiful.