Pens Made from Recycled Water Bottles

by Cindy Pantea

Know that you are doing something good when you recycle!

Many companies are finding ways to recycle, reuse and repurpose. Those are the three Rs that we love to hear, say and read about. And, they are coming out with environmentally friendly or green product lines for consumers.

Keep Akron Beautiful is an affiliate of Keep American Beautiful, Inc.One green product that Keep Akron Beautiful discovered is a line of ink pens from Pilot, and yes, if you look closely on the scan below, you will see a logo you recognize. It was in a 2008 press release, Pilot BeGreen announced they were an official sponsor of Keep America Beautiful, our affiliate.

Having tried this green product (thanks for sharing with us, Jacqui), we thought we would share with you what we like about them — we like that they:

  1. Are made from recycled plastic bottles.
  2. Are refillable.
  3. Cost the same as Pilot’s non-recycled pens.
  4. Write fabulously with gel ink.
  5. Fit nicely in your hand as you use them.
  6. Are cute…they look like plastic bottles!

Kudos, Pilot BeGreen.

And, of course, thank YOU for recycling your plastic bottles!

Need to borrow a plastic water bottle receptable for an event? Contact Keep Akron Beautiful at 330-375-2116.

Recycled from plastic bottles, these pens are also refillable.

Akron-Summit County Waste and Recycling Programs

by Cindy Pantea

This post has been updated with current links and info as of 4/15/2015.

Keep Akron Beautiful works in conjunction with the City of Akron on litter cleanup and illegal dumping, and we also promote recycling programs for the city.

As residents, our options are only good for us if we are: (a) aware of what programs exists, and (b) use the programs in the most efficient way. So, here is some useful and interesting information…

Akron Curbservice Program

Unlike many other cities, we get recycling with our city trash collection service as well as special pickup and bulk pickup — all curbside. To get the most of this waste and recycling service, follow the guidelines for what can be recycled, how to prepare your recycling, how many special pickups are offered and how to schedule one, and how to prepare bulk items for pickup. Click on the following updated link for 2014-2015 guidelines (last updated 2014): 2014_trash_service_brochure. Know that you can always find the most updated curbservice brochure at the City of Akron website here.

One common question about the Akron Curbservice Program is: Can you dispose of sharps (needles, syringes or lancets) in your garbage? The answer is yes. However, you must do it properly. That goes for other home health care waste, too, like soiled bandages, gauze, disposable sheets, tubings and used medical gloves. For safe disposal of your home health care waste in your homestead trash, click on the following link: Safe Disposal Tips for Home Health Care Waste.

Note: You should be aware that even if you dispose of your sharps as suggested on the Safe Disposal Tips, it does not mean that sharps do not end up in landfills nor does it ensure that someone won’t get poked by the contents. This is why Summit County has a…

Sharps Disposal Program

Summit County offers this program to ensure the safe collection and disposal of used sharps. Through this program, sharps containers are properly cleaned and the contents are incinerated. Only the ashes end up in the landfills.

For dropoffs, residents can go to the Summit County Public Health Department at the Stow (Graham Road) or Barberton location. Cost is $5 to receive a 5-qt sharps container and $5 for disposal. To learn more about this program, follow this link:

Summit County has a Disposal of Unused Medications Properly Program - D.U.M.P.Dispose of Unused Medications Properly (D.U.M.P.) Program

Don’t trash or flush medications! Summit County provides a free, safe and easy option for disposal. This includes liquids, pills and capsules. It is a great program that helps keep the environment and neighborhoods safe. Fourteen D.U.M.P. locations exist. Get info and find a location nearest you by following this link:

We hope this post helps spread the word about your waste and recycling options. For more about Akron’s Curbservice Program, visit here. For additional recycling information visit the Recycling Division here.

Litter, Dumping and Keep Akron Beautiful

Remember, our litter crews continue to help keep Akron beautiful. For assistance on:

  • A NEIGHBORHOOD LITTER SWEEP: Call Keep Akron Beautiful at 330-375-2116.   
  • A DUMPING IN PROGRESS: Call Akron Police at 330-375-2181.
  • DUMPING ON PRIVATE PROPERTY: Call 3-1-1 from a city landline phone, which is 330-375-2311 from any phone.
  • REPORTING A DUMPSITE: Call Keep Akron Beautiful at 330-375-2116 OR 3-1-1 (330-375-2311).

Thank you for helping to keep Akron beautiful.






KAB Asks: What is Your Green Resolution?

by Cindy Pantea

Happy New Year’s Eve Day! Are you making any green New Year’s Resolutions?


Well, I purchased a Sodastream soda maker on sale and also received a rebate. Even though I do not drink soda, I love seltzer water and was happy to learn that the Sodastream even has an exchange program for the CO2 containers. This little gem is really cutting down on my plastic bottle recycling. I have also made the sodas for guests, and they really enjoy the taste.

My other plan is to put my a few paper or reusable grocery bags in the seat pocket of the car. I noticed that many times I stop at the grocery store on the way home from work for just a few items. With making an effort to have the bags always in the seat pocket, I won’t need to worry about recycling so much.

Other Green Resolutions

Since I was thinking about green resolutions, I decided to check out what others are planning for a green New Year. Here are some good ideas:

  1. Avoid hygiene products with triclosan. According to an article in the New York Times, this chemical, found in many antibacterial soaps, may be harmful to humans. Side note: Purell handwash from Akron, Ohio’s GOJO Industries contains no triclosan.
  2. Meatless Mondays. Being a little vegetarian on Mondays is healthy, animal friendly and environmentally friendly.
  3. Gardening. Whether you decide to grow an herb indoors – like, perhaps a medicinal calendula or start a tomato plant from seed or plan a whole garden for the spring, it is a really good feeling when you successfully grow something yourself – also a great family project.
  4. Save energy. Plug electronics into a power strip and turn off the power strip at night or when you leave the house.

What other good ideas can you come up with? Share by posting a comment. Simply click on the bubble in the upper right corner of the post or click the Leave a Reply link below.

Have a Safe and Happy New Year from all of us at Keep Akron Beautiful.

Great KAB Holiday Party and our Favorite Natural and Eco-Friendly Gifts

by Cindy Pantea

The Keep Akron Beautiful – KAB staff had a lovely holiday lunch party. For Paula, Elaine, Jacqui, Bill, Tim and me, it was great to see Polly and William, Chuck, and Tim from our seasonal staff, our Educational Specialist, Pam, and Pat, our retired Administrative Assistant. It was fun to share a lunch and talk about our holiday traditions…and then…PRESENTS.

While some of us handed out the made-with-love cookies and candies and other crafty, practical gifts like a homemade microwave baked potato bag, others gave beautifully scented talcs and candles and still others gave delightful keepsake ornaments. However, we could not stop talking about the great gift ideas that were natural and/or eco-friendly – calendula salve, homemade vanilla, and Skoy cloths.

Calendula Salve

Calendula salve was a favorite gift of KAB staffPolly Kaczmarek, Keep Akron Beautiful Flowerscape Director, gave homemade calendula salve, which is wonderful on minor scrapes, dry skin, diaper rash and more. After researching online, I found that there are several recipes that are all similar, and it is fun to make as a family. Below are a couple of sites that have nice instructions to follow. Notice that they add lavendar essential oils – I also found that you can substitute rosemary oil, peppermint oil, and other essential oils, too:

Homemade Vanilla

Jacqui, Keep Akron Beautiful Program Director, made homemade vanilla, which is 5 whole split vanilla beans soaked in 8 oz. of 35%+ alcohol for 8 weeks. Vodka, is most commonly use, but rum, brandy or bourbon can be substituted. Unlike store bought vanilla extract, there are no imitation flavors or chemicals, and, as Jacqui put it, it is the gift that keeps on giving, because you can keep replacing with more alcohol as you use the vanilla. Here is a good site to keep for your homemade gift giving file:

Skoy Cloths

Skoy cloths were another favorite gift at KABWe all had to rave about Elaine, Keep Akron Beautiful CFO, though, who gave this practical and eco-friendly present as part of her gift. She gave the 100% biodegradable and natural Skoy cloths. One of these cloths saves 15 rolls of paper towels, they are reusable and machine washable and each can absorb 15 times its own weight.

I don’t know about you, but I am stealing some of these ideas for gifts throughout the year. Meanwhile, I still may have a couple days to find some Skoy cloths for an added Christmas present and/or for stocking stuffers.

Have a joyous holiday from the KAB staff.