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Small acts of healing urban spaces

Marc Lefkowitz  |  09/28/10 @ 3:00pm  |  Posted in Reuse

Who says Clevelanders cannot turn another man's junk into a treasure?

Small acts of healing started on a handful of once-occupied spaces in Cleveland. Earthday Coalition joined other small scale land restoration efforts with its Naturehood project-in 2008 a group of volunteers turned out on a cool October day and lasagna mulched a vacant lot in Tremont that has flourished into a garden. This summer, the vacancy-to-garden effort converted an empty lot into a nursery in the Stockyards neighborhood, and this month planted an eastside spot (picture) in Mt. Pleasant.

  • "I now equate rubble with revival. It is a sign of change and progress," blogs Susie Kaeser, who's taking photos of the "ReImagining" pilot projects. "When I first surveyed a half dozen Reimagining sites this spring the rubble stood out; stark evidence of abandonment, decline, defeat. Since then as each of the three Reimagining projects I have followed makes progress, there is more rubble. Now rubble is evidence of growth, ownership, progress."
  • Zero Waste was a big theme at this year's Sustainable Cleveland 2019 summit. We heard from a number of businesses who are interested in setting zero waste goals. Ford Motor Company's Sustainability Manager John Viera said their Portland, Oregon plant has reached zero waste! And the Herman Miller plant in Holland, Michigan takes out one bag of trash per week, said Talon Products president Pete Accorti, who set a zero waste goal for his Cleveland company.
  • The 2019 Zero Waste group is led by Entrepreneurs for Sustainability. Their network site zerowasteneo.org has a bunch of conversations including how to start a food waste composting or recycling program (to get started, email Beau Daane at Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District bdaane@cuyahogacounty.us
  • Turning ordinary plastic trash into a race boat inspired new designs at the second annual Lake Erie junk boat float which shoved off from Edgewater on September 11. Winning high marks were the Sea Scouts whose 'hamster run' boat showed off some nice out of the box thinking.
  • Is donating used clothes in "clothing donation" containers like Planet Aid killing the local textile economies in Africa? (Would it be better to "keep it local" donating to a place like the West Side Catholic Center?). Link and Link.

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NorTech will once again recognize and honor "breakthrough innovations" that have either demonstrated dramatic impact on a specific industry or market sector or have the clear potential to do so. Nominate a business for the 2011 Innovation Awards by October 25 (there's a category for Advanced Energy, Power and Propulsion).

* * *

The Cleveland EcoVillage introduced the area to green building with 20 'green' townhomes built in 2004 (and the Cleveland Environmental Center in 2003). This week it will be the site of another first-the Green Cottage is the only affordable home in Northeast Ohio to receive a Platinum rating in the LEED for Homes category. It is one of eight affordable LEED for Homes projects certified in Ohio. See the Cottage during an open house this Wednesday, Sept. 29.

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