Clean & Green

Sustainability: the Keystone of Community

Since 2015, the Loveland Sustainability Council has led the way for awareness of recycling, waste reduction and sustainability initiatives within this community and throughout our region.

“We don’t have all the answers or all the solutions,” says Amy Van Strien, Loveland Sustainability Council President. “But we do have a group of people who are willing and interested in making a difference. We believe that everyone can do something—collectively even small changes can make a huge difference.”

It began with just a handful of volunteers—five, in fact—but the collective soon grew to include a number of community members and business leaders alike.

Amy herself describes the Council as “a network of people with an interest in protecting our environment,” coming together to “organize and implement events and practices that encourage recycling, reduce waste and promote sustainability for the future of Loveland.”

Working together is key to achieving this goal.

“Individually, we see waste and harmful practices that negatively impact our environment. Together, we can do something about it.”

Community and civic organizations also get involved; recent partners include Loveland City Hall, Little Miami River Chamber Alliance, Loveland Farmers’ Market, Loveland High School, and Granny’s Garden School.

“People think living more sustainably involves a major lifestyle change,” Amy says. “When even small, easy-to-adopt changes can make a huge difference.”

The Council’s mission is clear: To identify obstacles to recycling and create solutions that increase sustainability options for schools, residents and businesses. But they’re aware that, beyond the curb, many in the Loveland community might be lost as to best options for recycling (or safely disposing) waste. To that point, the Council is committed to maintaining a database of all the options available for those in our region—in addition to hosting routine events for collecting hazardous and dangerous materials.

Amy points out how the City of Loveland and Symmes Township have been especially valuable partners. “They support our One Stop Drop collections with signage and publicity … they also engage with us to write grants and address local issues.”

That One Stop Drop event may very well be the Council’s most significant of the year—Amy stresses that it’s saved “literally tons of items” from the landfill or improper disposal.

Events like this make a difference by arranging convenient collection of items that are difficult to safely get rid of. “Many aren’t sure how to dispose of batteries, latex paint and tires,” she says, offering a few of the most-common examples they see. “This event gives residents an easy, efficient way to dispose of items they don’t want or need.”

Long-term initiatives flourish when young volunteers get involved in events like One Stop Drop—the Council has welcomed student engagement from the very start. And it doesn’t stop there: students from both Loveland Middle and High schools volunteer throughout the year.

There’s more on the way: the Loveland Sustainability Council is hosting an upcoming Electronics Drive on April 18, from 1–4 p.m. at Loveland Public Works on Loveland Madeira Road—giving residents a place to dispose of electronic equipment they don’t want going to the landfill.

Ready to pitch in? The Loveland Sustainability Council is a 501(c)(3) tax-deductible organization always looking for new, active volunteers—and this is the perfect season to get involved and join the effort. Contact the Council at lovelandsustainabilitycouncil@gmail.com.


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