Cleveland, Ohio has taken great strides to help turn this lakefront town into one of the nation’s greenest cities, from the environmentally friendly hotels to a number of restaurants who exclusively cook with locally-grown food. To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Cuyohoga River fire, Positively Cleveland has compiled a list of the 75 “green” things we love about Cleveland Plus:
1. We set an important precedent. The infamous burning Cuyahoga River led to the creation of the Clean Water Act of 1972, still the most “influential water improvement measure on the books.” “The water quality of the Cuyahoga River has improved dramatically since the late 1960s,” says Tinka Hyde, U.S. EPA Regional Water Division director. “More than 40 species of fish were found in the river in 2008, including steelhead trout, northern pike, and others. This shows how powerful a tool the Clean Water Act can be when the public, government, and industry are committed to restoring an important waterway.” Today the Cuyahoga River is one of 14 American Heritage Rivers in the United States and the centerpiece of Ohio’s only national park (the Cuyahoga Valley). It runs through beautiful rural burgs like Cuyahoga Falls and Kent, provides water access for rowing clubs, boaters and commerce.
2. It must be true if it’s on the internet. MSN.com recently featured Cleveland as one of “12 unexpected urban areas that are doing good green stuff,” noting it as home to a surprisingly forward-looking sustainability subculture.
3. We made it to the sweet sixteen. Cleveland ranked #16 in the SustainLane’s 2008 US City Rankings of the 50 most-populous cities, the nation’s most complete report card on urban sustainability. SustainLane called out the 225 community gardens and 25 for-profit farms within the city limits and the city’s participation in an effort to start an offshore wind farm on Lake Erie.
4. Our hotels are certified. Several downtown Cleveland hotels graduated from the Entrepreneurs for Sustainability (E4S) program, a voluntary year-long process to implement multiple sustainable practices. All hotels made a commitment to implement these practices, including recycling and using energy-efficient equipment, into their daily operations. Green Lodging News recently profiled these efforts.
5. Green uniforms and white gloves. The staff at the Wyndham at PlayhouseSquare wears uniforms made from recycled polyester fibers spun from plastic beverage bottles.
Want to read the remaining 70 reasons? Click here.