Great Tips For A Green Graduation

By Helen Dauka, Communications and Volunteer Project Manager

Green Graduation

‘Tis the season for graduations! No matter what milestone you are reaching, it’s a time for celebration as you reflect on all you have accomplished and all that is yet to come. But this year, before you get swept up in all the excitement read up on these easy ways to make your graduation a green affair.

1. The Gown
Graduation gowns are typically made of polyester, a material that is not recycled and is destined for a landfill (or the back of your closet). Gowns can make a great keepsake or helpful hand-me-down (if you’re lucky enough to find someone your same height!). GreenerGrads is a great solution to this problem. They will recover, reuse, repurpose and recyle your gown 10-12 times. What’s really cool is that you can track the journey of your gown!

2. How You Feed Your Party 
Make small steps to make your party zero waste—cloth napkins & tablecloths, reusable flatware & silverware. If you’re feeding a large crowd, it could be more feasible to opt for finger foods which remove the need for silverware!

3. Set Yourself Up for Success!
Keep Akron Beautiful has a great Receptacle program. You can rent recycling & litter receptacles from our offices for free!

4. Going Green from the Start
Opt to send announcements & invitations via email! Why waste the paper & postage? Save yourself some money while being kind to the environment!

5. Better Safe Than Sorry…
While this might not be a green tip, it could still be a life saver when it comes time for your party.
You can register your graduation party with police departments in Bath, Copley, Fairlawn and Richfield. By registering your get-together, police will step up patrols in your neighborhood to ensure the safety of younger graduates, parking hazards and other safety concerns. To register a party:

    • in Bath, go and follow the link to the Bath Police Department page;
    • in Copley, call the police department’s administrative office at 330-666-4218 during normal business hours;
    • in Fairlawn, call 330-670-4300 or 330-666-8871; and
    • in Richfield, email

What are your tips for a successful celebration?


Keeping it Green While Traveling

By: Nalee Vang, Communications Intern

As many of my peers are going off on their spring break adventures, I will be sitting all cozy at home on my couch (most likely binge-watching shows on Netflix). Although I wish I could be enjoying my spring break elsewhere, I am quite alright with the fact that I can stay home and relax. More relaxing leads to less driving, which also leads to less greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. So, to my peers, I thought I’d give a few tips on how to be eco-friendly, even while traveling.

Before Your Trip: Packing & Leaving Your Home

Pack light. The more weight trains, planes, and automobiles have to carry, the more fuel they use, and the more greenhouse gases are emitted into the atmosphere (which is why it’s nice for me to stay home, as mentioned earlier).

Sign trip. Illustration of a group of suitcases and a plane tickBring a reusable water bottle and shopping bags. Toss the bag in the suitcase and keep the water bottle handy for water fountain fill-ups — using both items will help cut down on wasteful packaging during travel.

Recycle before you go. If you purchased new products before the trip (an iPhone charger, a new tube of toothpaste), recycle the cardboard wrappers before leaving home. That way, you won’t have to worry about your recyclables sitting at home or trying to find room for more when you get back.

Turn off — and unplug! — lights and electronics. Unless your roommate is staying put for spring break, nobody’s going to use that couch-side lamp while you’re gone. Turning off electronics saves on the electricity bill and cuts down on energy usage. To make an even bigger dent, unplug all electronics, since they can “leach” power even when they’re not turned on.

Turn down the thermostat. Same reasoning as above: An empty room doesn’t need to be heated, and keeping it warm unnecessarily uses up energy. If you have your own water heater, go ahead and turn that down, too.

Getting There: Choosing How to Travel763504_65221852

For shorter trips: Take the train or bus instead of flying. Doing so emits three to seven times less gas than air travel.

Renting a car: Choose the smallest vehicle possible and rent a hybrid if one’s available.

Traveling by air: Use the most direct route possible. Did you know that take offs and landings use the most fuel? If you can book a non-stop flight, that’d be great! You can also try to choose an energy-efficient plane. This one can be tough, because the information isn’t always available. Some airlines, like Southwest, have started retrofitting their planes to make them more energy efficient, and some newer plane models are being designed to burn up to 20 percent less fuel. If you’ve got the time and inclination, call up the airline and ask them about their environmental practices.

During Your Trip: Stay Green

At the hotel. Follow some simple practices to minimize energy use: Keep showers short, and shut off the water while brushing your teeth. Turn off the TV, lights, and heat or air-conditioning whenever you leave the room. If staying for multiple nights, reuse sheets & towels instead of having them washed and changed every day.

s-BUYING-GUIDE-largeOr just scrap the hotel. Instead, stay with family or friends.

Getting around: Use public transportation, bike, or walk whenever possible. If driving, follow these tips for green driving: Avoid fast starts and stops, avoid idling, keep the tires properly inflated, combine trips, keep cargo light, and stick to the speed limit.

Shopping: Purchase meals, foods, and other products from local vendors (and use that reusable bag to carry your stuff!).

Eating: The basic principles of eating green apply pretty much anywhere. Challenge yourself to include one local or organic ingredient in every dish on the family table (just make sure to suggest it in a friendly way to the chefs). Also, you can visit Dine Green and search for certified green restaurants in the area!

Not only is it possible (and pretty easy) to keep the environment in mind while traveling, but in a lot of cases green travel practices can save everyone some (green) money as well! Whether you’re traveling for spring break or going on vacation just because, remember to keep it green! Safe travels!

Eco-Friendly Resolutions for 2015!

By Jacqui Ricchiuti

Let’s start thinking of some green new years resolutions… the champagne hasn’t been popped just yet!

Resolving to change your environmental habits could have a huge impact on both yourself and the rest of the world… so instead of thinking about just changing your eating habits or resolving to exercise more (I know that is my resolution too…) but I am also looking at some ways to “Go Green” in 2015!

The new year is a great time to learn more about environmental issues and why they are important. Check out these 10 facts about recycling. You can also find out how to be both environmentally conscious and fiscally responsible with these money-saving home improvement tips and cheap, eco-friendly upgrades for your home.

Do you have any other ideas for a greener year? Let us know your resolutions by tweeting us using the hashtag #KABGreenResolution. Look out 2015, here comes a greener Akron!New Year 2015

More Composting Tips

by Cindy Pantea

Awhile ago I wrote a post about my Grandma, who was a recycler and composter. Her way of composting, though, was to keep her food scraps in the coffee can underneath her sink and then add them to her garden when the can was full.

As Polly, our Flowerscape Director, and composting experts will tell you, however, it is not a good idea to put food scraps directly into your garden due to the acidity of the decaying materials.

Actually, it is best to mix already composted materials with the natural soil on your property/in your garden, and it will help keep the soil moist for your plants.

Normally people do not even get that far because just the idea of a compost pile scares them. They think it smells.

But I am here to tell you again that compost piles do not smell if done correctly. And it is simple. Basically equal parts of green material and dirt or other brown materials are going to keep the compost from smelling at all.

To prove this, allow me and our President & CEO, Paula Davis, share something that Paula took from her HGTV Magazine this month. It is written by Daryl Beyers who gives us specific suggestions for green and brown materials that make for the best compost.

Green materials being: fruit ends and peels, fruit cores, corn cobs, vegetable ends and peels, grass clippings, egg shells, coffee grouds and tea bags.

Brown materials being: peanut shells, twigs, leaves, toilet paper rolls, shredded paper towels and paper, cooked pasta (without butter or oils), and plain popcorn (without butter or oils).

DO NOT COMPOST: Meat, milk cheese butter, yogurt, oils, salad dressing or dog poop.

Here are the directions from Beyers:

  1. Put ingredients in an outdoor compost bin or a pile in your yard that will get four to six hours of sun a day. (Note: Compost housed in a bin can be ready in 30 days while it may take a few months for a pile of compost to be ready.)
  2. Add a shovelful of garden soil then mix every week or two by turning the materials with your shovel or pitch fork. (Note: The more you mix, the faster it will be ready.)
  3. Add water if the compost seems dry.

The compost is done when it looks dark, rich and fluffy with no recognizable materials, except for maybe a piece of a leaf or twig.

The picture article is shown below. Click on the picture and zoom in for better viewing capabilities.

composting tips for a no smell compost