Hands On Sustainability 2025!

Hands-On Sustainability 2025: Towards Zero Waste is the beginning step in a multi-year journey towards a more sustainable Akron. Building upon the tirless work that has been done by many over the last 30 years, we are ready to walk together to the next stage of our community's identity - a truly Sustainable City! 

Hands On Sustainability is a collaborative effort involving the Big Love Network, the City of Akron, Bridgestone, Summit ReWorks, GAINS, (and many more!) to bring together people, corprations, government, non-profits, and small businesses to work on solutions to our common issues.   

"Toward Zero Waste" is the first installment of this annual confernence. The event is Saturday, October 14 at Bridgestone Americas Technical Center, 10 E. Firestone Blvd., Akron, OH 44317. It is free and open-to-all with goals to educate and inspire the public on sustainable methods in regards to solid waste management and zero waste practices.

The conference will consist of workshops, hands-on activities, panel discussion, and information booths on the proper collection and disposal of solid waste with a focus on how we can reuse, recycle, and/or reduce what we consume. Both the workshops and panel discussions will focus on information that describe the implementation of zero waste practices at home, in neighborhoods, in businesses and organizations, and at the City level while encouraging collaboration and partnerships to address and realize these ideas. The evening will highlight local music and local, farm-to-table food for purchase. Vendors & information booths will be included that highlight businesses and organizations in the Greater Akron area that implore environmental stewardship in their business model.

Solving waste management hurdles has been something that many in the City, County, both non-and-for-profit businesses and organizations, social groups and citizens have been seeking. Collaboration and cooperation in efforts and information-sharing are vitally important in this process. Coming together to learn and discuss and find out, not only best practices, but also current practices and where to plug in is a major impetus for this conference.    

Hands-On Akron 2025: Towards Zero Waste is part of an eight-year initiative in which a yearly conference, and other efforts, will be enacted by a collaboration of groups including the Big Love Network,  the City of Akron, Bridgestone, GAINS, ReWorks and more, in regards to sustainability, focused on a specific topic each year. Other topics include Water Waste Management, Energy, Air, Urban Design, Transportation, Permaculture, Green Space, and Local Food. The idea of the conference was inspired by the incredible efforts that have taken place in Cleveland through their successful project Sustainable Cleveland 2019. The conference is named in honor of the year 2025 being the 25th anniversary of the Cuyahoga Valley National Parks’ (CVNP) official recognition as a national park. We see the CNVP as an incredible natural resource, inspiration, and driving force behind our initiatives. We hope to actualize biomimicry, mimicking the natural world, of the National Park System into the facilitation of our programs and system designs that surround sustainability in the City of Akron and Summit County.

Sustainability allows for humans and the environment to co-exist in a way that is beneficial for all. When we allow ourselves to work with nature, while taking our human needs into account, we are able to live in an environment that has healthier air, less disease-causing agents and lifestyle diseases, a thriving local economy, transportation for work and play, cleaner water, cleaner streets, and more active and engaged community members.


Zach Freidhof
Akron, OH
Global Ties Akron (formerly AIF)
Registered nonprofit
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