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!

Clean Up: Make a Difference in Your Community

By: Nalee Vang, Communications Intern

This spring, do something worth your while – something that your whole community will thank you for. In an effort to make a difference in our community, we’ve taken the national Great America Cleanup and turned it into a month-long event known as Clean Up Akron Month.


For 34 years, Keep Akron Beautiful has been planning and implementing this citywide litter prevention and collection public awareness campaign. Clean Up Akron Month, happening APRIL 2015, helps us serve the needs of the neighbors in our community who utilizes community centers, parks, etc. Be a part of that TODAY.



Instead of ONLY being able to clean up the city during a week in April, you will now be able to choose ANY DAY of the entire month to do your spring cleaning! KAB will still provide all of the supplies and trash pickup and will still host our annual Super Saturday Event at the Akron Zoological Park, which will take place on Saturday, April 25, 2015.


for this amazing event, or call us at 330.375.2116! We look forward to seeing you and your group out there helping to #KeepAkronBeautiful!

NOTE: If you register online, you still must turn in safety waivers to KAB upon picking up supplies.

Spring Gardening Seminars Are in the Air

By: Nalee Vang, Communications Intern
With springtime approaching (finally!), many of our local garden retailers are hosting gardening clinics, programs and seminars. Want to spruce up your spring gardens or learn a few more tips? Attending any of these events will help give you some more ideas and prepare you for spring!

Courtesy of

The Master Gardeners of Summit County presents the Portage Lakes Garden Series. Taking place on the last Tuesday of each month, garden experts will teach you how to get your gardens in the best shape ever! Programs begin at 6 p.m. in the Portage Lakes Branch Library, 4261 Manchester Road, 330.644.7050. Please register in advance for each session. Light refreshments will be served.
March 31 – Seed Starting by Lee Paulson
April 28 – Converting Glass to Garden by Vince Matlocki
May 26 – vegetable Gardening by Sarah Vandenburg

Donzell’s Flower and Garden Center (one of our Dreamscape Vendor Partners) is hosting FREE garden seminars every Saturday at 11 a.m. All of the seminars are located at their Garden Center (937 E. Waterloo Road in Akron). You MUST register for the seminars by calling 330.724.0550, ext. 110.

March 14 – Speaker: Dale Cochoy, Akron Canton Bonsai Society. Dale has grown bonsai for many years and his experience is invaluable. He brings examples of plant varieties, demonstrates potting & shaping techniques, and care tips.
March 21 – Speaker: Jim Voytis, Espoma representative. Since 1929 The Espoma Company has been the pioneer in natural gardening solutions. Gives you insight into what makes Espoma products so special.
March 28 – Speaker: Lee Paulson, Master Gardener Lee covers the basics for those who want to enjoy their own delicious fresh-picked vegetables. You don’t have to plant acres to reap the rewards of homegrown flavor- let Lee show you how!

Dayton Nurseries (also a Dreamscape Vendor Partner) located at 3459 Cleveland-Massillon Road, will present the following seminars beginning at 11 a.m. and usually last about two hours. The cost is $10, or $6 for garden club members. Dayton will provide coffee, tea and a light lunch at no additional cost. Seating is limited to 70. To signup, call 330.825.3320 or email

March 7 – Are You Out of Your Gourd?
March 14 – Welcome Back Warblers
March 21 – What’s New for Spring?

Graf Growers Garden Center (also a Dreamscape Vendor Partner) located at 1015 White Pond Drive, will present the following workshops/events. To register or for more information, call 330.836.2727 or visit the website.

March 21 – Celebrate the opening of our Terrarium Bar with a Terrarium Workshop at 10AM and Fairy Garden Workshop at 2PM. Be the first to see our new miniature shop full of tiny plants, unique containers, tropical air plants, accessories & more! Both workshops will be hands-on. Bring a container from home or purchase one here. The workshops are free with potting soil provided. Participants pay for plants and accessories used. You can choose to attend both workshops or just one. Call to save yourself and a friend a seat. All ages are welcome to attend.
March 28  – Decorate your front door and porch for Easter and spring! Join us to plant cold tolerant container gardens using early spring favorites such as pansies, tulips, daffodils and more! Breakfast will be served at 9:30AM, followed by a short talk about early spring containers with Lisa Graf. Then the hands-on planting will begin! Bring your containers from home or purchase ones here. All ages are welcome to attend. Registration is required. Call or email to sign up!

Crown Point Ecology Center Now Accepting Applications for 2015 CSA Shares

By: Nalee Vang, Communications Intern

Crown Point Ecology Center is now accepting applications for full or half-shares for its 2015 Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) season. Crown Point offers more than 50 different certified organic vegetables in its 20 to 22-week season.


Courtesy of

Here is a list of current available full or half-shares:

  • Standard Shares: $595 for 22 weeks, requiring one three-hour work shift.
  • Working Shares: $595 for 22 weeks, requiring eight three-hour work shifts.
  • Biweekly Shares/Half-shares: $300, picked up every other week between early June and late October for a total of 11 distributions of produce, with one three-hour work shift required.

Crown Point also offers a variety of optional shares that can be added on to a standard share. This includes organic egg shares, spring vegetable shares, winter vegetable shares, pie shares, a variety of cheese shares and jam shares.

All shares are available on a first come, first serve basis. Membership to Crown Point Ecology Center and half payment of a share is due with submission of an application. Share pickup is Wednesdays or Fridays beginning in early June through late October. All shareholders must work a minimum of one three-hour work shifts through the season unless they choose to buy out the work shift for $100.

To register for a share, visit For more information, email or call 330.688.8992.