JSS: As concerned citizens and building professionals, we all collect a short list of places we can get concise information on current green affairs. What are some resources you might recommend for folks interested in getting deeper into green building and sustainability?
MK: Naturally, I would recommend my chapter's website to connect with the regional green building community. For generalgreen building information, some well-informed sites are www.usgbc.org, www.gbci.org, www.epa.gov/greenbuilding, www.greenhomeguide.com, and www.greenshcoolbuildings.org.
A little quick research will help you home in on programs and organizations in your neighborhood. We are excited that for 2011 there is a local Akron/Canton extension of the NEO Chapter. This will allow more direct action and involvement for those communities away from our Cleveland headquarters. To connect with regional sustainability initiatives, the list is long and varied, depending on which issues you are focusing on.
To get started I would recommend the GreenCityBlueLake Institute's site. It moderates and publishes the ongoing sustainability conversation in Northeast Ohio. This site also contains the Sustainable Cleveland 2019 initiatives, which arose from Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson's Sustainable Cleveland 2019 Summits in 2009 and 2010. Also check out groups like EcoWatch, Environmental Health Watch/Affordable Green Housing Center and Green Energy Ohio, which present a wide-ranging platform of information on sustainable initiatives in the region. [Pictured: A rendering of MOCA's future home in University Circle.]
JSS: I often tell folks visiting Cleveland that we are in the midst of a unique time in Ohio history. Sort of a ground-floor opportunity for green business in so many different fields like local food, green design, green energy and industry. What are some resources for those of us who are interested in making careers in professions that deal with green building and sustainability?
MK: There is a great deal of potential all over the region. Individual people and organizations are creating these new opportunities almost daily. The Evergreen Cooperatives are a good example. [View a video about the Evergreen Cooperatives on the next page.]