How to Black Friday Holiday Shop While Being Eco-Friendly

By Jacqui Flaherty, Program Manager

gogreenholidayHopefully everyone had a great holiday and is well-fed at this point. For those of you who’ll be braving the shopping scene tomorrow, the biggest shopping day of the year, we’ve a put together a few suggestions on how to reduce your Black Friday footprint. Right now, we are sure you are knee-deep into the Black Friday ad’s, but take a look at some of our suggestions to make better decisions tomorrow.

1. Transportation – Traffic will be heavy on all the major routes today. You can help reduce air pollution and green house gas emissions (and save money!) by choosing an alternative to getting in your car. Where do you want to shop? Is it within biking distance? Is it on a bus line? If you have to get in your car, can you find an alternate route to take? Can you carpool? If you have friends going to the same place, you could give them a lift and collectively save on gas.

2. Shopping bags – Help reduce packaging waste by remembering to bring your re-usable shopping bags! They’re more durable than paper or plastic ones, so your items won’t fall out of the bottom of a paper or plastic bag!

3. Lunch – If it’s going to be a long trip, pack up some leftovers from the fridge in some re-usable containers. If you don’t have to eat out, you won’t generate any food packaging waste (and this will save you more money!) Chances are that you have something healthier and tastier at home than what you would find in a mall food court.

4. Water bottle –  Bring a re-usable water bottle with you — this will keep you from having to buy disposable ones while you’re out.

5. Shop local – Depending on your quest, you may be able to find some of your treasures at local shops or markets. Products made locally have less distance to travel and therefore save on transportation fuel and packaging.

6. Shop online – Avoid using any gas, the crowds, the lines, and the whole hassle and shop from the comfort of your couch. In your pajamas! And slippers! Online shopping is 15 times more eco-friendly than shopping in the store!

Best of luck with your holiday shopping! Be safe and be eco-friendly!

4th Annual Mixed Paper Drive in Akron Public/Private Schools was a SUCCESS!

By Jacqui Flaherty, Program Manager

recylce bowl

It’s that time of the year again! Keep Akron Beautiful is proud to announce the winners of our 4th annual mixed paper drive competition, in which the  Akron Public Schools (APS) and selected private schools in the Akron area participated in.  St. Mary School, Innes CLC and Kenmore High School were declared the winners of the month-long competition by recycling the most paper per pound, per student. St. Mary School recycled 21.1 pounds per student or 1.99 tons total of paper to win a school-wide pizza party and $250 cash prize courtesy of the River Valley Paper Company. Innes CLC came out strong, in the middle school division, and recycled 4.26 pounds per student which is equal to 1,730 pounds total. Kenmore High School recycled 3.848 pounds per student or 1.35 tons total to each win a $500 cash prize courtesy of the River Valley Paper Company and a field trip tour of the River Valley Paper Company plant for 50 students and faculty.

For the first year since the birth of the paper drive, two new categories were added. With the most pounds of paper recycled overall, North High School was our Overall winner, with 2.12 tons of paper. Case Elementary School was the winner in our Most Improved Category, recycling 1,900 pounds more in 2013 than in 2012! Overall, we are proud to announce that 25.62 tons or 51,250 pounds of paper was recycled citywide.

To help celebrate America Recycles Day on November 15, 2013, Keep Akron Beautiful (KAB) in conjunction with the River Valley Paper Company sponsored the 4th annual mixed paper drive competition in 19 Akron public schools and 8 private schools in the Akron area. From October 21 to November 15, community residents and local businesses helped participating Akron schools attempt to win this competition by taking their magazines, phone books, paperboard, catalogs, junk mail, office paper, newspaper and cardboard to a school parking lot bin. Currently, bins are located at the following Akron Public School Locations: Helen Arnold CLC, Betty Jane CLC, Case Elementary School, Firestone Park Elementary School, Forest Hill CLC, Glover CLC, Seiberling Elementary School, David Hill CLC, Leggett CLC, Judith Resnick CLC, McEbright CLC, Sam Salem CLC, Voris CLC, Findley CLC,  East 7-8 CLC, Miller South School of the Visual & Performing Arts, Hyre CLC, Innes CLC, Mason CLC, Litchfield Middle School, Kenmore High School, North High School, Ellet High School, and Buchtel High School. The following private school locations are also included in our competition: Chapel Hill Christian School, Discovery Montessori School, Hoban High School, Imagine School, Old Trail School, Our Lady of the Elms, Saint Mary School and The Edge Academy.

For the second year, Keep Akron Beautiful sponsored a poster contest. Over 100 students submitted art for the poster contest. The winner was Montana Cheek, a student from Ms. Jodi Apple’s class at Innes CLC. Montana received a $50 American Express gift card, and Ms. Apple received a $50 American Express gift card as well. Montana will be the featured artist for our 2014 America Recycles Day campaign. All of the posters were hung for residents to see at Earth Fare, Fairlawn, from November 1-15, 2013, courtesy of Earth Fare Community Relations Manager, Helen Dauka.

This paper drive was designed to prove that Akron’s school staff and students, parents, community members and local businesses can help save trees, which purge the atmosphere of greenhouse gases just by giving our trash a second life. The receptacles are still in place and are accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Filling up the collection bins helps the schools raise money for clubs, their recycling efforts or team uniforms.

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Akron Recycling Is Frustrating! I Can’t Find Bags!

by Cindy Pantea

Keep Akron Beautiful has received comments and questions from residents wondering where they can find clear or blue recycling bags for their smart cart recycling.

Here is the answer to that, straight from Robert L. Harris, Jr., City of Akron Sanitation and Recycling Superintendent, and it’s a good one:

“You do not need to bag recyclables anymore as you will be able to throw all accepted recyclables together in the recycle cart LOOSE. Make sure all food/drink contents are rinsed beforehand. We made this decision a few weeks ago.”

Here is a link to the new flyer: http://www.akronohio.gov/cms/resource_library/files/7e608dcad40aa057/let_s_recycle_website_rev_10_2013.pdf

Thank you to all those recyclers out there who emailed Keep Akron Beautiful regarding this conundrum. If you have additional questions, please contact the City of Akron 3-1-1 Call Center.

Keep up-to-date on information with our Newsletter. Sign up today on the middle left of the Keep Akron Beautiful home page. All we need is your name and email address so we can email the newsletter to you. You can be assured that KAB does not and will not sell our email lists to anyone.