9 Ways Cleveland-based organizations are making it easier for citizens and businesses to become sustainable
Okay, so you want to live more sustainably, cut down on daily waste generated, make healthier decisions, or help your business become more efficient. But where do you start? Living and working sustainably is sometimes easier than it sounds. Part II of the blog series Sustainable Business in Cleveland, highlights a variety of organizations in Greater Cleveland that make it easier for you to take action.
1. Eat Local: Sign-up for a community supported agriculture (CSA) share this spring to eat local, organic, healthy foods grown by your neighbors in Northeast Ohio. CSAs such as Fresh Fork Market, City Fresh, Central Roots, and Grace Brothers Nursery are guaranteed to help you eat a climate-friendly diet, save money on fresh produce, and lower your carbon footprint.
2. Weatherize Your Home: In 2015, the City of Cleveland teamed up with Empower to deliver low cost, high impact energy efficiency services to residents through the Cleveland Energy$aver program. Empower’s "Turnkey Energy Efficiency" concept allows residents and business owners to get a free assessment on their way to saving $300 or more per year on energy bills. Similarly, Cleveland Housing Network provides free energy conservation and weatherization assistance to eligible low-income families, which can ultimately help them save 50% on their utility bills.
3. Save Money through Energy Efficiency: Whether you’re a small business, commercial building owner, or manufacturer, there’s a number of resources to help you become more energy efficient. The Cleveland 2030 District is now helping more than 180 buildings become sustainability leaders. The Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE) is making it easier for landlords and tenants to become more efficiency through green leasing. And WIRE-Net targets the manufacturing industry with a variety of programs.
4. Go Solar: OH SUN (Ohio Solar United Neighborhoods), in partnership with the Cuyahoga County Department of Sustainability and Community Power Network, are helping you go solar by joining a co-op. There are many certified solar installers to choose from in Northeast Ohio.
5. Drive Clean: If you or your company are interested in driving cleaner, more efficient vehicles, contact the Northeast Ohio Clean Cities Coalition, led by Earth Day Coalition. Whether it’s conversion to electric, propane, hybrids, or compressed natural gas (CNG), they can connect you with great local companies. Ace Taxi is one example of a leading company, with more than 65% of its vehicle fleet comprised of hybrids, CNG, and propane fueled vehicles.
6. Move Sustainably: UHBikes bike share system, makes it easier than ever for residents, employees, and visitors to cycle. Plus, studies show that a bike share station nearby is good for business! Hesitant to cycle? Bike Cleveland, Ohio City Bike Co-op, Slow Roll Cleveland, and ciCLEvia all host events and workshops to strengthen cycling knowledge to enhance your safety. You can also bring your bike on the RTA. Try “rack ‘n rolling” to your next destination, or utilize their new VanShare program.
7. Reduce Your Waste: Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District (CCSWD) makes it easier than ever to reduce, reuse, and recycle. ZeroWasteNEO’s recently updated Zero and Reduced Waste Planning Event Guide features several local vendors that can help make an event zero waste, including Vegware, Quench Buggy, and several recycling and waste hauling companies servicing Northeast Ohio. Along with material sponsorship, decoration rental, raffle prizes, and custom awards, Upcycle Parts Shop provides adult and youth programming for a fun interactive way to learn about reducing waste and upcycling.
8. Keep Food Out of Landfills: Although receiving more attention in recent years, food waste is a global problem, and Cleveland is no exception. The USDA estimates food waste at 30 to 40 percent of the food supply. Knowing that Americans can keep 140 pounds of waste per person out of the landfill each year, Rust Belt Riders, Full Cycle Organics, Barnes Landscape Materials & Organics Recycling, and Groundz Recycling are bringing commercial composting back to Northeast Ohio for businesses, schools, and institutions. Learn how to backyard compost with CCSWD. Other key players in keeping food out of landfills include food recovery organization Stone Soup CLE and the Greater Cleveland Food Bank's Harvest for Hunger program.
9. Share with Others: The Fowler Center as an Agent of World Benefit at Case Western Reserve University and Flourishing Leadership Institute strive to help institutions and businesses prosper while nourishing human and environmental systems. They facilitate the Sustainable Cleveland Summits, which this year is on September 27th and 28th. Additionally, join Cleveland State University’s Corporate Sustainability Network to learn about best practices and innovation in corporate and community sustainability.
These organizations are doing well by doing good, while also helping Cleveland become a sustainable economy. Like our Product Innovators blog, this list is by no means exhaustive. If you know of another businesses and organizations making it easier for the rest of us to take action in sustainability, share it here or in the comments section below.
*The City of Cleveland does not endorse or recommend any commercial products or services offered by the businesses featured in this blog post. Therefore, mention of commercial products or services on the Sustainable Cleveland website, sustainablecleveland.org, cannot be construed as an endorsement or recommendation. These businesses were featured as examples of Cleveland’s growing sustainable economy.