Have you taken on new sustainability habits this year? Or maybe you began your journey with research before deciding what steps you'll take next? Either way, we salute you for your curiosity and ambition to take the first steps to living a little more greener. To help inspire your journey, we'd like to share a story from our team member Patti as she navigates her own sustainability journey and tests new waters (and products).
One of the goals of our Cleveland Climate Action Plan includes reaching 100% of electricity demand from clean, renewable energy by 2050. In the environmental world, this is sweetly shortened to 100RE. To help us achieve this goal, we released Cleveland’s Clean and Equitable Energy Future report a few weeks ago, which is an action-oriented roadmap the City can follow for successful implementation of the 100% clean energy transition by 2050.Read more
On September 20, 2018, the City of Cleveland became the first city in the state of Ohio to commit to powering itself with 100% clean energy. Building off our Cleveland Climate Action Plan (CAP), Mayor Frank G. Jackson announced his commitment to combat climate change by transitioning Cleveland to 100% clean and renewable energy sources by 2050. At the heart of this goal is the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80% over a 2010 baseline by 2050.
To help us achieve this critical goal, we assembled a core team and developed Cleveland’s Clean and Equitable Energy Future report, an action-oriented roadmap the City can follow for successful implementation of the 100% clean energy transition by 2050.
The report includes a deep analysis of current and projected future energy use by the City of Cleveland and the Cleveland community, including modeled scenarios which demonstrate various Clean Energy Pathways the City can take to reach its 100% renewable electricity demand target, spanning across energy efficiency, solar, wind, energy storage, purchasing Renewable Energy Credits (RECs), Electric Vehicle (EV) adoption, and transit sectors. These pathways enable the City to achieve its goal of 100% clean energy, while also generating millions of dollars of public benefits, including utility bill savings and reducing energy burden for residents, the creation of green jobs, and public health benefits for Clevelanders.
In our latest presentation, we gave a broad overview of this report and the various pathways the City could pursue to achieve its goal of 100% clean energy. If you missed it or would like to re-watch it, you can find the video below.
If you have any questions about Cleveland’s Clean and Equitable Energy Future, feel free to contact us at [email protected].
Our current economy is based on a take-make-waste model. In this linear model, raw materials are collected, transformed into products and ultimately discarded as waste, mainly ending up in a landfill once they have been used by the consumer.
According to the EPA, in 2018, about 146.2 million tons of municipal
solid waste was sent to the landfill. Food was the largest component of this waste at about 24 percent. Plastics accounted for over 18 percent, paper and paperboard made up about 12 percent, and rubber, leather and textiles comprised over 11 percent. Other materials accounted for less than 10 percent each.
During the holiday season, food and gifts contribute to a high increase in household waste. According to the Ohio EPA, Americans throw out 25% more trash and 33% more food than any other time of the year. That amounts to 25 million extra tons of garbage that goes into landfills, creating more greenhouse gases such as methane, which is ultimately released into the atmosphere.
While this year’s holiday season may look a little different and perhaps include only your immediate household members, we encourage you to keep holiday waste to a minimum, to create a sustainable habit for years to come. Here are some tips to reduce waste over the holidays by making a few changes to our annual routines:
Traditionally, November is the month that we give thanks. But this year, Thanksgiving will not be very traditional. This year we have all faced some difficult challenges. Some related to our homes, work, schools, and some challenges related to our physical and mental health.
Some of us and some of our friends and neighbors have also struggled this year with food insecurity, which makes this an especially tough time of year. Being food insecure means that there is limited or uncertain access to nutritional and safe foods.
There are several organizations in Northeast Ohio helping our friends, colleagues and neighbors with food-related resources and services. While you may be familiar with some of those organizations, we wanted to highlight additional organizations that are doing equally important work in this area.Read more
Across the globe, cities have been pushing for commitment and action towards climate change for decades. In recent years, many mayors across the United States have committed to transitioning to 100% Clean and Renewable Energy (100RE) by their respective target year. A commitment of this nature is good for the environment, local economy, and overall health of a city.
To date, there are 160+ cities and towns across the US and over 100 million people now living in a place that has committed to 100RE targets. If you live in Cleveland, you are one among those 100 million, as Mayor Frank G. Jackson has committed to adopting the goal of 100RE for all by 2050. On September 20th, 2018, Cleveland became the first city in the state of Ohio to commit to powering itself with 100RE.
Currently, the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability is working on a plan that will arm Cleveland residents, stakeholders, and decision-makers with the information they need to transition to 100RE by 2050 in a beneficial, achievable, and equitable manner. Sustainable Cleveland is working with Greenlink Analytics that uses an AI-driven modeling platform called ATHENIA to produce an accurate simulation of the energy grid. This Equitable Clean Energy Implementation Plan would be available to be shared with city residents by spring 2021.
Oftentimes, people who are impacted the most by energy burden (energy bills that amount to a major financial burden) are disconnected from the conversation. We want to bridge that gap and would like to hear from our community members. The first step in our engagement efforts is to hear the voice of the community through a survey we have created called the 100% Renewable Energy Survey. Please complete the survey and express if you would like to continue to be informed and be a part of our future engagement efforts on the topic of 100RE.
If you or someone you know is struggling to pay their utility bills, we have many resources available about energy and utility assistance programs, including contact information here. To learn more about adopting energy efficiency into your daily habits, please see our blog on energy efficiency tips.
For more information on the Equitable Clean Energy Implementation Plan or if you have any questions about the survey, please contact our Sustainability Manager Deepa Vedavyas at [email protected].
We were excited to see so many of you join us for our first virtual Quarterly Meeting of 2020. Our Chief of Sustainability, Jason Wood, started us off with an overview of where Sustainable Cleveland is heading beyond 2019 to build off the momentum generated in the first 10 years of the initiative and continue progress towards becoming a green city on a blue lake. You can learn what we've been up to so far here.
Our Sustainability Director, Kristin Hall, also provided an update on the City's recycling program and efforts underway to reduce waste in Cleveland, while supporting a local circular economy. As the City of Cleveland works to evaluate and update our recycling program, it is important for us to keep residents informed and engaged throughout the process. Please complete the brief contact form here so we can keep you updated with program changes and opportunities to provide your input. If you have specific questions, feel free to contact the Mayor's Office of Sustainability at [email protected].
We had a lot of great questions posed to us at the meeting. Questions asked and answered during the meeting may be found here. Questions asked in the Chat Box and answered may be found here.
Check out additional resources that were mentioned in the meeting:
View the recorded meeting here and save the date for Mayor Jackson's 2020 Sustainable Cleveland (virtual) Summit on October 14th & 15th, 2020. Also, stay tuned as we bring you future conversations in the form of virtual Monthly Series that will focus on a different, important topic each month.
Every year leading up to 2019, Cleveland has focused on one of the key areas fundamental to a sustainable city. The Sustainable Cleveland Celebration Years are designed to be accessible to all members of the community — households, neighborhoods, businesses, and institutions can all participate, either in collaboration or independently. In 2019, we are celebrating the Year of People!
At its core, SC2019 is built on engaging citizens to reshape our city’s future. SC2019’s motto, “Together, we’re building a thriving green city on a blue lake,” emphasizes empowerment, cooperation, action, quality of life, and abundance. People, not programs, are the answer to true and lasting climate action and sustainability in Cleveland. This means that a whole system, citizen-centered approach will be needed to align climate action with the assets, capacity and priorities of Cleveland residents and business owners.
The Sustainable Cleveland "system" includes residents from every Cleveland neighborhood, business owners, and stakeholders from many organizations and corporations. In order for Cleveland residents to care about and to act upon climate change and other sustainability topics, they must connect to their everyday lives; they need to recognize climate change and climate action in their own backyards. By building upon what most people care about—safety, health, youth, education, jobs—there is potential to engage Cleveland’s residents and to be led in more creative directions as we become a Green City on a Blue Lake.
Progress Dashboard: Check out our progress dashboard to keep up with the strides we have taken on many sustainability indicators since 2009! We are extremely grateful to the people of Cleveland who have helped us get this far and we continue to look for people to engage in the future!
Climate Action: The City of Cleveland has partnered with Cleveland Neighborhood Progress and ioby (in our back yards) to update the Cleveland Climate Action Plan, with a focus on equity and engagement. Residents may use our Neighborhood Climate Action Toolkit to engage their community in sustainability.
Report from the Community: The Sustainable Cleveland Report from the Community will be released this summer and will serve as a high-level summary for the SC2019 initiative- capturing highlights and success stories since SC2019’s launch in 2009.
Get involved in the Year of People at home, at work and in your community!
Enter the photo contest! SHARE a photo of yourself or others doing a sustainable activity in Cleveland!
Year of People Kickoff: Join us as we kickoff the Year of People at City Hall Rotunda in January! We will be celebrating the individuals who make up many of our sustainability partners.
Potluck in the Park: Get to know your neighbors by attending Vital Neighborhood Working Group’s annual Potluck in the Park event at Dunham Tavern during summer 2019! This community-wide potluck moves to a different location each year to bring growers, producers, cooks and eaters together over a healthy meal to celebrate local food.
ioby: ioby (in our back yard) gives leaders the ability to organize all kinds of capital—cash, social networks, in-kind donations, volunteers, advocacy— to build real, lasting change from the ground up. Learn about what the leaders in your community are doing to make your neighborhood a more vital place to live and learn what you can do to help.
Common Ground: Common Ground creates a network of community conversations where residents can meet, share a meal, connect and discuss the 2019 theme:
My environment was…My environment is…My environment will be…
Check out the Sustainable Cleveland events calendar for an updated list of Year of People events.
If you are interested in volunteering at these or other Sustainable Cleveland events, please contact Cathi Lehn at [email protected].