NE Ohio Sierra Club Newsletter May/June

Lights Out initiative seeing some success

Lights Out Cleveland initiative is a group of local organizations working together to create awareness of the effects brightly lit buildings have on nocturnally migrating birds. A recent review of published studies suggests that between 365 and 988 million birds are killed annually by striking buildings in the U.S.According to a recent article in Crain’s Cleveland Business, the efforts are seeing some success with downtown Cleveland building owners. Read the article here.

More on plastic bags

Our thanks to Shellie Sedlak and all the Cuyahoga County residents who responded to the call to action and asked their county council representative to support the proposed ban on plastic bags. Thanks also to Rick Hamilton and his research into the problems associated with our use of plastic bags:

“Plastic bags and other plastic materials continue to enter our inland rivers and lakes. The bags can be found county-wide – caught in tree limbs, loose on the streets, and ultimately headed to landfills.

Center for Biological Diversity Facts About Single-use Plastic Bags:

Americans use 100 billion plastic bags a year, which require 12 million barrels of oil to manufacture.

Manufacturing 14 plastic bags requires the equivalent of the gas needed to drive one mile.

Plastic bags are used for an average of 12 minutes.

The average American family takes home almost 1,500 plastic shopping bags a year.

According to Waste Management, only 1 percent of plastic bags are returned for recycling . That means that the average family only recycles 15 bags a year; the rest end up in landfills or as litter.When Ms. Simon’s and Mr. Miller’s legislation first appeared I contacted all of the local grocery chain headquarters to inquire about their recycling of plastic bags. Only one chain regularly recycles the bags. However, the production of plastics produces both ethylene and methane which are powerful greenhouse gases.

It takes 500 (or more) years for a plastic bag to degrade in a landfill. Unfortunately the bags don’t breakdown completely but instead photo-degrade, becoming micro plastics that absorb toxins and continue to pollute the environment.”

Rick Hamilton, Cleveland city resident

It’s not too late to add your voice in support of the plastic bag ban. Sierra Club endorsed council woman Sunny Simon, the sponsor of the bag bill. Call her at 216-698-2035 and the bill’s co-sponsor, Dale Miller, at 216-698-2011. Or contact your representative. A map of council districts can be found here.Click on your district to find contact information for your representative.


Upcoming Events

NEO Sierra Club X-Com and Conservation meeting – Monday, May 6, 2019, 7:00pm at the Brooklyn branch of the Cuyahoga County Library, 4480 Ridge Rd, Cleveland, OH 44144.

Green New Deal Town Hall – May 9, 2018, 6 pm – 8 pm, Lakewood Main Library, 15425 Detroit Ave,Lakewood. The first hour will be a presentation from the Sunrise Movement. The second hour will begin with speakers followed by open discussion. Sponsored by Sunrise, West Shore FACT, and Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus. Information at

Conservation Conversions: Linda Butler’s Photographs, “Lake Erie on the Edge” – Thursday,May 16, 2019, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm, West Wood Nature Center, 9465 Kinsman Road, Novelty 44072. Noted photographer, Linda Butler will present and discuss her work on Lake Erie’s beauty and challenges. Free and open to the public. Light Refreshments. Sponsored by Protect Geauga Parks .

Tree Hugging 101: Better Tree Planting – Saturday, May 18, 2019, 9:30 am – Noon, TriC, Eastern Campus, Cleveland 44122. Learn how to plant a tree correctly. Free native trees given to participants.

Rain Garden Workshop – Tuesday, May 28, 2019, 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM, Parma-Snow Branch of Cuyahoga County Public Library, 2121 Snow Rd, Parma 44134. Sponsored by West Creek Conservancy