Thursday, December 9, 2010

Season's Greening!

Did you know that between Thanksgiving and New Year's, Americans throw away one million extra tons of garbage every week?
Here’s some Green Tips (and facts) that even Santa would cheer...
Real vs. artificial Christmas tree - real trees can be recycled which is an easy way to return a renewable and natural source back to the environment. By recycling into mulch, trees can be used in landscaping and gardening or chipped and used for playground material, hiking trails, paths and walkways. An even better option is to purchase a living, potted tree this Christmas and then plant it after the holidays. Some asthma sufferers may not be able to handle a live tree. Artificial trees can be cost efficient, convenient and reused for years but on the down (and not green side) they are typically manufactured with metal and polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a non-biodegradable, petroleum-derived plastic plus they are typically manufactured in China—ouch! If you want to go with an artificial tree, your best bet is to buy a used one.
When purchasing Christmas lights LED are your best choice because they use 90% less energy than conventional lights.
While shopping for presents be sure to buy locally and support our Cleveland economy. From art to candy and even resale shops our town is booming with many cool and unique stores that offer a variety of “green” gifts for the holidays. Also, consider Fair Trade marked items which are good for the environment as well as people, since viable work depends on reliable supplies of resources. Plus a Fair-Trade gift gives twice—to the recipient and the craftsperson. While shopping online make sure to either reuse that cardboard box it’s delivered in or break it down and take it to the Bay Village Service Center Drop Off for recycling. If you put it out on your tree lawn for trash pick up it will go to the landfill—reuse, recycle!
Instead of buying Christmas wrapping paper why not use the comics or an outdated map or if you want to get creative try stamping (with vegetable based ink of course) on some plain newsprint or use the inside of a paper bag. Don't forget to reuse all those gift bags you received last year’s gifts in.
When entertaining let your guests know that you are having a “green” event, and ask them to help by using recycle containers if bringing anything and reusable containers for leftovers. Buy local food items at the grocery store or farmer’s market. Set up a recycle container to collect plastics, bottles and cans. Recycle your cardboard boxes (such as cracker boxes) at the Bay Village Service Center Recycle Drop Off. Buy re-usable dinner ware, silver ware and cloth napkins. Set up a compost bin in your backyard to collect organic food scraps such as fruit and vegetable scraps. Also, remember to take a reusable cloth bag or box to the store as an alternative to plastic bags when bringing home your purchases.
The Bay Village Green Team wishes everyone a wonderful and very GREEN Holiday Season!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

So you think it's hard to be GREEN?

From time to time the BVGT receives emails from residents talking and asking about GREEN. Below is one such letter whose sustainable methods and green practices are so impressive that we wanted to share with all.

Hello - My husband and I were happy to see the information about recycling in the October issue of the Bay Village News. We have been residents here since December 1998 and have been doing most of the items mentioned since we moved in.

Initially we started out with a compost pile - 6 ft square, if not larger. We composted all kitchen and yard waste in addition to some shredded newspaper and small branches. We converted our compost pile to a garden so now we do vermi-composting (red wiggler composting worms). It does not handle all grass clippings. But, we use the grass clippings and mulched leaves as "mulch", which then decomposes. It works wonders for the raspberry patch, small garden and flower beds around the yard.

We recycle all paper and cardboard. We do the plastic and glass recycling. We separate the pop cans and take them to the fire station for recycling - they donate the money to the burn units.

In the last few years we have also started to collect rain water. We have a simple collection system that irrigates water to the flower beds around the perimeter of the yard. We also have a rain barrel that collects water from the garage roof and we use that to water our small garden. It is hooked up to a sprinkler, which we control from the collection barrel. Not to mention, any water collected by the dehumidifier in the basement - that is used to water potted plants. It does not go down the drain!

We love to pass on our experiences to others who are interested in GREEN. Once you are in the habit of doing these things it is really not a big deal. Some of the local communities are actually going to be monitoring the "recyclables" that residents set out for recycling. We think that is a great idea. It might force people to take those few extra steps and start thinking about some of these issues.

Kudos to you for passing on the information to all of Bay's residents; if we all did our part we could really reduce what goes to the landfill.

Thank you - Suzanne & Jeffrey

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Gardens Under Glass--A Whole Lot More Than Gardens!

Its not easy being green, but Gardens Under Glass located under the glass atrium of the Galleria in downtown Cleveland hopes to make going green easy to achieve.

Last year after reading an article in Urban Land, Vicky Poole came up with the idea to utilize the empty space in the Galleria to support the local Food movement. “As we run out of land, why not utilize empty buildings and especially the Galleria as it lends itself perfectly.” The Civic Innovation Lab must have thought the idea would bear fruit, as she was awarded a start up grant of $30,000.00. Poole demonstrates different growing methods with the use of hydroponics, which uses water and nutrients instead of soil, aquaponics and conventional growing methods. Vertical growing is also an important demonstration, as urban agriculture is gaining popularity. So far she has had success growing vegetables such as lettuce, herbs, cucumbers, and currently has a nice crop of peppers on the way.

The ultimate vision for the initiative is to provide a neighborhood functional retail and business "ReSource Center" (opened in September), providing information about local food production, environmental sustainability, and green products and services to promote lifestyles that leave a much lighter footprint on the earth!

Vicky Poole will be the guest speaker at the BVGT meeting Tuesday, November 9th at City Hall beginning at 6:30 pm. Come and hear all about this innovative and exciting project!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

October Meeting Updates

Highlights from our recent 10/12 meeting began in the waste management area with an update of the automated trash pick up (ATPU) for BV from city council member Dwight Clark. Noted was the promotion of uniformity and increased curbside recycling--typically increasing community recycling by 30% or more due to the increased curbside options and would include cardboard and mixed paper. In addition, the yard waste in brown bags would go to a compost facility in Avon (currently, it goes to the landfill). Adoption of ATPU has not yet been approved and is still under review with council. However, a possible target date for adoption is 4/1/11. There will be a town hall meeting on Wednesday, October 27th, 7:30 PM at the Police Station community room on ATPU and GT members are encouraged to attend to support this important initiative.
Next on the agenda was an update by Bob Shields on the community garden. The harvest for the summer season was excellent and far beyond expectations. Current gardeners have until Oct 25th to renew for next year; after Nov 1, open enrollment will be on a first come first serve basis. At this time, current garden plots also need to be prepared for winter. The compost area is under development (as an Eagle Scout project), projected to be complete by the end of October. The main priority is the deer fence. The deer have breached the fence in the last month on a regular basis. The group is looking at various fencing options, and will need to meet with the city regarding the fence ordinances. One idea is to have a fence that is 6 ft tall, with a single wire around the top, extending the height to around 8 ft.

As we continue to look for ways to fund the community garden, a grant discussion by Ellie Bricmont and Brenda O’Reilly followed. Information and ideas were given for consideration
in obtaining grants and Ellie suggested that we put together a Fact Sheet and a Wish List with all of our funding needs. Both of these can be placed in front of potential donators. Likely our donations will not come from foundations, which are currently more focused on providing funding for projects that benefit those in need, but private donors or merchants may be very interested in funding “Green” Initiatives. Anyone interested in making a donation can contact the BVGT at the below email address or the Mayor’s office at 440-899-3416.
The communications update included the Composting 101 postcard (being mailed to all BV residents the week of Oct. 25th); a laser print copy of the postcard that circulated and 3 sample layouts of the recycling sticker on display. The GT also had a message in the latest Mayors Quarterly Newsletter, the Green Scene, about recycling, composting and the Habitat for Humanity collection that took place Oct. 16th.

To request a complete word doc copy of our current or past minutes, email us at:

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Harvest Time

It’s finally the time to reap the benefits of all our hard work and effort. It is harvest time. But the anticipation has been worth the wait! The beautiful towering sunflowers welcome us and invite us to come inside. The height and strength of those golden beauties is always an amazement considering the seeds from which they came. They have provided dazzle and inspiration. Along with the sunflowers, the gardens have come alive with rich, luscious vegetables that tempt our appetites. We need only to take a leisurely walk down the garden paths and no matter which way we turn, our eyes can feast on various colors of the rainbow, from the oh so subtle pale of a yellow pepper to the deep purple of a perfect eggplant. What a delicious sight to see. Smiles are abundant too from the gardeners who tilled the soil, planted the seeds with a gentle hand and watered faithfully, all done with quiet anticipation of this time. Soon the late fall crops will begin a show of their own , but for now let us enjoy the many colors and mouth watering delights that await our picking. Ah, the sweet satisfaction of a job well done.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Semi Annual Review of the BVGT

This month’s Bay Village Green Team meeting was the semi annual review of GT activities to Mayor Sutherland. Beginning with the Waste Management Update, Brenda O’Reilly gave a report on Recycling in Public Places and the 24 recycling bins the team received, in the form of a grant from the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District. Acknowledgment and thanks was given to the City’s Service Center since each bin needed to be lettered with recycling instructions along with being placed in strategic locations around town and for special events. The Service Center also provided paper recycling bins in all city buildings, significantly reducing waste. Also covered was a follow-up to the SWD Compost Seminar held in July. Forty-five attended with 17 compost bins being sold resulting in more people composting and less waste going to our landfills—more organic waste being repurposed; way-to-go fellow composters!

With regard to further recycling discussion, Bay currently recycles 50% of its waste—this is due primarily to a very successful leaf and brush pick up program. The leaf and brush is picked up by the city and is delivered to the Westlake compost facility, made into mulch and humus. Excluding the leaf and brush, Bay recycles around 13%. There is an opportunity to increase recycling with Automated Trash Pick up, combined with education and public awareness. Automated Trash Pickup is currently under review with the city. Talks of holding a Town Hall meeting on this topic may begin in the Fall. Many communities are now converting to automated trash pick up—statistics show that it at least doubles recycling due to increased curbside pickup. In Bay, the curbside pick up could be expanded to include compostable yard waste, mixed paper, and cardboard.

Bob Shield’s gave an update on the Bay Community Garden beginning with the community’s interest and participation being way beyond all expectation for its first year. There are 82 plots, with 73 rented. The others are to churches and scouts for use in growing food to donate and for education. There is also a pumpkin patch for kids, sun flower garden along the north end of the fence, and butterfly garden at the corner of Wolf & Forestview. Currently the Community Garden Sub Committee is focused on maintaining the garden—watering the vegetable gardens and newly planted flowers, weeding, harvesting, cutting grass, filling barrels. We expect increased enrollment next year based on the interest that is being expressed.

Other discussion items that rounded out the meeting included: The Mayor being asked to consider a Zero Waste BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) for the city. Across Northeast Ohio, companies and organizations have signed up with a Zero Waste goal. Bay Village could be the first municipality to declare a zero waste goal and how cool would that be!!! Other topics discussed were: A budget to plan more trees; E4S Sustainability Implementation Training; Solar & Wind power; and Emerald Ash Bore infecting a number of trees in our city.

Remember, anyone is welcome to join us at our monthly meetings. Make a difference, get involved and come to our next BVGT September 14th meeting, 6:30 at City Hall.

If anyone is interested in receiving the official meeting minutes send an email request to with 8/10/10 Minutes copy request in subject line.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Compost Seminar - July 20

Learn how easy it is to COMPOST at this FREE seminar. Composting is highly beneficial--recycles rich, organic nutrients back into your soil. And, it preserves the environment for future generations by reducing the waste that goes to the land fill. According to the EPA, nearly 25% of all waste in land fills can be composted.

Join us on Tuesday, July 20 at
6:30 PM at the Bay Community House, 303 Cahoon Road to learn the do's and don'ts of successful back yard composting with Kathleen Rocco, Education Specialist, Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District. The seminar is FREE and two (2) different types of Composting Bins will be available for purchase at a discounted price of $50 each (Checks or cash accepted if you wish to purchase a compost bin—no credit cards, please)

This event is being arranged in partnership with the Bay Village Green Team. Advance registration is appreciated.

For more information contact: Warren Remein at
440-724-1578 or email

Bring the entire family for an evening of education & start composting this summer!

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Something happens when you plant a garden, something that makes you feel quietly happy and content.

The easy moving of the soil, watching the ground take different shapes and feeling it begin to soften in your hands. I imagine this is the reason children love to play in the dirt so much, it brings them comfort in some unknown way.

Before the planting begins you add much needed nutrients and the once dull, lifeless earth now becomes rich with promise. A neglected patch of land has been given new life. And, now because of you, and your steady efforts, growing will begin.

A place without purpose becomes alive with growth.

Seeds and plants you tenderly placed in the ground will now await the sun’s warm rays to nourish them to life. You see your creation and you smile with sweet satisfaction and quiet contentment.

A day well spent because growth has taken place in more ways than one.

Some thoughts shared by a Bay Community Gardener

Just a reminder that we will be having a Bay Community Garden meeting at the garden, this Tuesday, June 29th beginning at 6:30 - all are encouraged to attend.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Learn About Automated Trash Pick This Monday, 6/21

Automated Trash Pick-up will be discussed for the first time in a Public Meeting of the Bay Village Service, Utilities, and Equipment Committee Meeting scheduled for Monday, June 21st, 6:30 PM at City Hall.
Representatives from Republic/Allied & the Cuyahoga Solid Waste District will also be attending.
According to the Solid Waste District, Automated Trash Pick up generally doubles recycling when it is adopted. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the city's plans and to show your support for increased recycling within the community.
Please plan to attend the meeting--AND, spread the word--bring your family and friends!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

June Meeting Minutes

Waste Management Update (Brenda O’Reilly)

Automated Trash Pick up will be discussed for the first time in Service, Utilities, and Equipment Committee Meeting scheduled for Monday, June 21st, 6:30 PM at City Hall, open to the public. According to the Solid Waste District, automated trash pick up generally doubles recycling when it is adopted. Please plan to attend the meeting, ask questions, and show your support. The SWD District provided a grant to the City to purchase 24 indoor/outdoor recycle bins for public places. The Service Center has ordered the bins and expects them to be delivered by the end of June. They should be available to use for recycling at Bay Days. The group discussed the possibility of having a “zero waste” event in Bay Village. Barb Caskey will check to see if a LENSC would be interested in doing this at an event that they are hosting.

Communication/Environment Update (Lori Sprosty)

* Daniel Krieg gave a “Tree City” update to the group. Bay has the “Tree City USA” designation. Although there is no immediate risk of losing this honor, there is currently no budget to plant new trees. The city could lose a number of trees in the next few years due to Emerald Ash disease. Re-establishing a budget to plant new trees is an activity that the Green Team would be very interested in supporting. Dan is going to see if he can get more information to share.

* Bay High Project Earth hosted the 3rd annual waterway clean up on May 15—in addition to collecting debris, the group pulled 300 pounds of garlic mustard (awesome!)

* The Abitibi paper retrieval bin information has been updated on the Recycle pdf that is on the city website. The Green Team encourages residents to recycle ALL of their paper—at the Abitibi paper bins or at the City Service Center. Please spread the word.

* A Green Scene message will appear in the Mayor’s quarterly newsletter in early July.

* The Green Team has a grant from the SWD to print and mail postcards that promote recycling to all residents. The mailing and grant reimbursement application needs to occur by Thanksgiving. We will work with the city to create the most appropriate message based on where the City is with the review of Automated Trash Pickup.

Community Garden Update (Bob Shields)

The garden was opened on Memorial Weekend—61 plots are leased, 34 are planted. We have 2 churches interested in plots to grow produce for persons in need. This is a response from the community that is way beyond our expectations and we are extremely excited. The deer fence and water are installed thanks to the City Service Department. Bob Shields is planning to create demo beds (with 16 varieties of tomatoes). Many thanks to Lori Sprosty, who led the opening week for the Green Team, with support from Nancy Clark, Mackenzie Clark, and Laura Crabb. Articles about the Community Garden are in EcoWatch Journal and the Westlake/Bay Village Observer.

Events Update (Brenda O’Reilly)

* Warren Remein updated the group on a Compost Bin Seminar and Sale that he has been able to arrange with the Solid Waste District. The FREE event will be on July 21st at the Bay Community House (Cahoon Rd) at 6:30 PM. More information to follow.

* The Bay Day’s Booth is ready to go for Saturday, July 3rd. We will set up at 11 am, and open from Noon to around 6 PM. A volunteer sign up sheet will be circulated.




Brief Business Meeting at 6:30 PM

Bottlemania” Book Discussion led by Pam DeFino 7 PM

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Bay Community Garden Opens Memorial Weekend

Greetings Community Gardeners!

Preparations for the Bay Community Garden are well underway and garden plot assignments will be made as the community garden volunteers begin to stake-out the individual 4’ x 8’ plots this week. Square Foot Gardening will be the preferred method of planting with many great benefits including: efficient use of time with less work required, and increased harvest and water savings. The Bay Growing Guide is online and can be viewed on the city’s homepage at The first 5-pages of the Guide give an explanation of this method in more detail. The Growing Guide also gives many examples of vegetables, spacing and planting within a square foot area.

Currently the garden area has been tilled—twice! The city has also dropped-off leaf humus at the site available for use by all to further assist in the conditioning of the soil beds. Remember, only organic fertilizers and compost may be used in the community garden – NO chemical fertilizers. The water department has been working to install a water meter at the site but we cannot guarantee that water will be available for the first week or so. A couple rain barrels will be placed in the garden for water collection; however, some may want to bring their own water until a spigot is installed at the site. The deer fencing has been ordered and will be up within the next 2 weeks. Also, each gardener is responsible for bringing their own tools which would include a shovel or spade, a hand trowel and fork, an unsharpened pencil, a layout of what will be planted and of course seeds/plants. And, a large bucket is helpful for transporting the humus to your garden plot.

Many varieties of summer vegetables seeds, seedlings and organic fertilizers are available locally at Cahoon Nursery, Canterbury Gardens and Landmark. Our local True Value carries a full-line of garden tools and organic fertilizers.

The garden will be open for soil preparation and/or planting this Memorial Day weekend. If you provided an email address when registering, you will receive an email informing you of your garden plot number no later than Saturday, May 29. Community garden volunteers will be giving a demonstration on Saturday morning, May 29th at 10:30 a.m. on soil preparation and square foot planting. The grand opening will happen later this summer but for now… let’s start planting!

Thanks for making this a reality in Bay Village. We look forward to meeting you this summer at the Community Garden!

The Bay Village Green Team – Community Garden Committee

Friday, May 21, 2010

May 11 Meeting Minutes

The Community Garden is ready to launch—probably by the end of May if not sooner. Fifteen plots have been “purchased” including three churches. There was a second public meeting held yesterday at the LENSC—approximately 40 people attended, there was a great deal of interest and more applications for plots are expected. The Service center will do the first tilling this week, and the water meter will be installed. Maureen Nakonek from the Mayor’s office has volunteered to serve a secretary/treasurer—big thanks! There are many volunteer opportunities for people that want to get involved with the Community Garden, with a particular need for a volunteer(s) to set up and coordinate composting with local businesses.

The City has received approval from the SWD for a $927 grant to purchase indoor/outdoor recycle bins. The grant was written by the Green Team on behalf of the City. With the grant funds, the
Service Center will be purchasing 24 indoor/outdoor bins that are identical to the ones in the Huntington Reservation Metro Park. The City plans to use the recycle bins throughout the parks in strategic locations, and they can be used for recycling at events such as Bay Days. The other grant for indoor bins submitted by the Mayor did not get approved, so this is great news!
Events Update:

· The Green Team sponsored a table at the Bike to School Safety Fair (April 29 6-9 PM at BMS).

· There was a Habitat for Humanity collection on April 15-17 organized by Jerry Jarc. Another collection will be scheduled in Fall.

· A book discussion on “Bottlemania” is being organized by Pam Defino from the Bay Library. The Green Team will be participating in the discussion, planned for Tuesday, July 13. The books are ready for pick up at the Library.

· The Green Team will have a booth at Bay Days—Saturday, July 3rd --from 10 AM-6 PM (tentative hours). We plan to include a Compost Bin from the SWD to promote an upcoming Seminar on composting to be held in July. Warren Remein has volunteered to organize the compost seminar with the SWD. We are also looking for give-aways. Some ideas include t-shirts for kids to color with a Green message, pool passes, bike maps, and bike reflectors. We are looking for volunteers to set up and work the booth.

· Garlic Mustard Pulls were held on April 26 (Cahoon sled hill) and May 1 (Wischmeyer Creek @ Wolf and Glen Park)—150 pounds of Garlic Mustard was collected!

· The Mayor will be attending the June 8th Green Team meeting

· We publish in the "Green Scene” section of the Mayor’s Quarterly Newsletter

The next message is being created, and is due to Maureen around May 31st

· The Green Team received a grant for $3100 from SWD for brochure & labels—this was announced at an earlier meeting. We will be meeting with Dan Galli & Dwight Clark to coordinate on the messaging for the brochure.

· There was some discussion on whether there would be any value to becoming a tax exempt organization—it is required when the grant applications are submitted. No decision was made—the benefits and requirements would need further research.

Join us for our next meeting Tuesday, June 8th @ City Hall--2nd floor conference room. Make a difference, get involved!