Sustainability at Home, Work, and School Affects Our Environment

by Cindy Pantea

This is the second year for The Summit of Sustainabilty Awards (SOSA), and this time we are honoring five winners for their business sustainability efforts.

These winners’ sustainability best practices will be shown in 3-minute videos by Steve Felix at The Summit of Sustainability Awards breakfast on Thursday, October 24, at The University of Akron Quaker Station. This is a public event. Although online registration is closed, you may contact for admission availability.

Why You Should Not Miss This Event?

The SOSA Committee has been working diligently to improve the SOSA program so that it will really drive home the fact that all humans in every aspect of everyday life are responsible for saving the planet.

One change was to increase the number of winners from three to five, which allowed organizations with fewer employees and less revenue to compete and share their sustainability best practices, which are based on their limited resources. It also allowed public entities (government and schools) to compete and share their best practices.

Robert Buchanan speaking at The Summit of Sustainability AwardsThen the SOSA Committee intended to grab the attention of the entire public by getting speaker Robert Buchanan, Founder and former President & CEO of Polar Bear’s International, whose passion now is to get everyone involved in saving the planet. Go to for more info.

Because Mr. Buchanan will offer a Founder’s Award at this speaking engagement, the SOSA Committee then had the task of finding a unique group of individuals to suggest as a possible recipient. The Committee suggested the Summit Food Policy Coalition, who has brought attention to the benefits that locally grown foods have in reducing food miles and landfill waste.

By the way, this is going to be a local foods event. And, zero waste, same as last year, of course.

Then, Mr. Buchanan asked the SOSA Committee to suggest personal guests to invite to this event, and the Committee suggested students from Kent State University and The University of Akron.

Sustainability is the future and whether we work to save the planet from home or on our jobs or at school…it is vital. This event will help you come up with ideas so you can be a part of this necessary movement.

Why does Keep Akron Beautiful do The Summit of Sustainability Awards?

As it is Keep Akron Beautiful’s mission: Improving Akron’s quality of life through beautification and responsible environmental management, Keep Akron Beautiful President & CEO, Paula Davis, has been charged to help facilitate the Mayor’s Greenprint for Akron plan as Director.

As such, the Greenprint for Akron’s Green Ribbon Panel has been meeting since 2009 and working to satisfy the City’s sustainability goals.

As Akron has been doing a good job reaching their goals, the desire came to go beyond the City to engage the community in being a part of Mayor Plusquellic’s Greenprint for Akron plan.

As such, The Summit of Sustainability was the inspiration of past Greenprint for Akron’s Green Ribbon Panel member, Paul Feezel, and Paula Davis, President & CEO of Keep Akron Beautiful/Director, Greenprint for Akron.

Remember, we are all in this together after all. It’s our planet.

Renewed Focus on Sustainability Drives Name Change for SASWMA

by Cindy Pantea

SASWMA Now ReWorks Lead, Teach, Act - Target Zero

The Summit /Akron Solid Waste Management Authority (SASWMA) has changed their name to ReWorks, with the tagline: Lead, Teach, Act — Target Zero. In their press release (shared below), ReWorks explains how the new name best fits their mission, which has expanded from reducing landfill use to reducing waste period.

For those who may not know, ReWorks is a long time friend of Keep Akron Beautiful. We work on projects together, such as The Summit of Sustainability Awards (SOSA), a project which they, too, are a founder. And often, when we receive calls from Akron residents asking where they should get rid of old tires, plastic grocery bags, packing peanuts, etc. We are able to share this information because of ReWorks. See .pdf version of Local Recycling Solutions from ReWorks:

Thank you ReWorks!

ReWorks Press Release

Read a copy of the press release below regarding the name change from SASWMA to ReWorks:

ReWorks: Lead, Teach, Act-Target Zero

Annually, thousands of Summit County residents visit our Household Hazardous Waste Recycling Center in Stow, take part in our free document shredding events, and participate in a community curbside recycling program that utilizes our grant funding. Dozens of schools invite us to share with their students the importance of environmental stewardship, while providing them with the tools to take part in school-based recycling efforts. Hundreds of local businesses take part in our free recycling programs, waste audits, and waste reduction consultations. Results- millions of pound of hazardous chemicals are recycled and not landfilled, identity theft is reduced, jobs are created, businesses reduce their trash by 80% while saving money on trash bills, millions of trees and natural resources are saved and still very few people know who we are.

In an effort to better deliver on our mission while building awareness of our vision, Summit/Akron Solid Waste Management Authority (SASWMA) has changed its name to ReWorks. “ReWorks clearly reflects our mission, “states Yolanda Walker, ReWorks Executive Director. “Our mission has expanded from reducing reliance on landfills to reducing waste period. ReWorks will provide leadership, education, and engagement for Summit to be a Zero Waste county,” states Mrs. Walker.

ReWorks’ renewed focus on being a catalyst for sustainability provides the citizens of Summit County with the programs, resources and knowledge they need to be responsible stewards of the environment. As a result, our communities will make a significant contribution to our environment and our economy.

For more information on ReWorks programs call 330.374.0383 or visit .