Posts filed under ‘green’

Green strides on a blue and gold campus

It’s one of those days that I’m proud to be a Kent Stater. This past week, I’ve conducted a couple interviews about green initiatives on campus. I first dove into it as an assignment for Flash Communications, the Jim Zentmeyercampus student-run public relations agency. But I’m so ecstatic about all the changes and efforts, I had to blog about it too.

Last week, I spoke to Jim Zentmeyer, associate director of administrative operations and facilities, about green strides in the Residence Services department. This guy really knows his stuff. He was tossing statistics and quotes all over the place, a writer’s dream. Here’s a quick summary of some adjustments they’ve made to be kinder to mother earth:

  1. Replaced 1,300 incandescent light bulbs in two resident halls this past summer to compact fluorescent bulbs. With the switch, Jim said they were able to “increase performance and decrease consumption.”
  2. Switched cleaning products to natural ones. “Ninety-nine percent of our cleaning products have no negative impact on the environment.”
  3. Swapped 190 top-loader washing machines this past summer for front-loader machines. Jim told me that front-loaders are more efficient because “the water goes through the clothes instead of the clothes sitting in water; it reduces water by 60 percent. And the spinning strength is stronger so there’s less drying time required.”

But here’s the best part. Residence Services is making changes, communicating the changes and engaging it’s target audience through participation.
Music to my ears. (more…)


October 15, 2008 at 5:14 pm 10 comments

Community Relations in Tree City

In my last post, I discussed ethanol fuel and its impact on a global level. This time, I’m taking public relations environmentalism down to the local angle.

Weekend in the Kent parks
Sunday, I accidentally stumbled upon the highlight of my weekend – Franklin Mills Riveredge Park. It’s tucked under the Main Street bridge in the middle of downtown Kent with the Cuyahoga River running beside it . While walking around, I started reading the informational signs. When my eyes scanned the words “Clean Water Act” and “water pollution,” I became intrigued. As it turns out, Kent’s park is a little bit of a green public relations success story.

Cuyahoga River helped spur ’70s environmental movement
June 22, 1969, an oil slick and debris caught fire on the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland. The Ohio History Central site says that shortly after the fire, TIME reported:

“Some river!  Chocolate-brown, oily, bubbling with subsurface gases, it oozes rather than flows. . . The Federal Water Pollution Control Administration dryly notes: ‘The lower Cuyahoga has no visible signs of life, not even low forms such as leeches and sludge worms that usually thrive on wastes.’ It is also — literally — a fire hazard.”

The Cuyahoga fire helped boost concern for pollution and ultimately played a part in passing the Clean Water Act in 1972. But in 1998, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency proposed a dam restoration project for the Kent Dam to further improve the still under-par water quality. City Council could’ve said “sure, start bulldozing tomorrow.” But they didn’t. And it paid off. (more…)

October 8, 2008 at 4:51 pm 2 comments

Strategic thinking: a problem for me and our quick-fix culture

As a PR professional hopeful, I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve still got oodles to learn. One of the things I struggle with sometimes when writing up a situation analysis is strategy and strategic thinking. I find myself going back to fill in the strategies after the objectives are defined. My professors are cringing. But when you’re in the moment it’s difficult to see the bigger picture especially in our quick-fix society.

Lucky for me, I’m not the only one who battles with this skill.

Washington pressed for cleaner fuel
Politicians are really feeling the heat to support and mandate cleaner fuels, to take a stand on the energy crisis. As eco-friendlies, we know the clean fuel buzzword is ethanol. Yeah, it’s all gorgeously green in theory because it’s natural. Keyword being theory.

Amazon being cut for fieldsBoth ethanol and soy are marketed as a green solution, but it’s down the path of causing more harm than good. David Swain, author of Clean PR highlights the TIME article “The Clean Energy Scam.”  The article uncovers the damage to the Amazon to make room for more soy and corn fields. One step forward and two steps back. Bummer.

I couldn’t agree more when Swain said:

“With any ‘green’ progress will be tradeoffs and articles like this bring them to light. When progress starts looking like the opposite, it gets scary.” (more…)

October 1, 2008 at 5:06 pm 5 comments

Blog Mastermind

I'm Brittany Thoma, PR pro-in-training. Living greener is my mission. I want to learn, inform and discuss topics cropping up in the green movement and how it relates to public relations.

Email me