Arts & Culture Podcasts

ECO SPEAKS CLE is where the eco-curious explore Northeast Ohio's unique and thriving environmental community. Each episode delivers thoughtful and informative interviews with local sustainability leaders and offers tips to help listeners connect, learn and live with our community and planet in mind. ECO SPEAKS CLE is hosted by Diane Bickett and produced by Greg Rotuno. Diane is the retired Executive Director of the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste Management District and draws on her experiences and relationships to showcase the impactful work shaping Cleveland's environmental future. Greg is an eco-curious local multi-media specialist (and Diane's son-in-law). Together, they have created a podcast that speaks to sustainability newcomers and masters alike.


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ECO SPEAKS CLE is where the eco-curious explore Northeast Ohio's unique and thriving environmental community. Each episode delivers thoughtful and informative interviews with local sustainability leaders and offers tips to help listeners connect, learn and live with our community and planet in mind. ECO SPEAKS CLE is hosted by Diane Bickett and produced by Greg Rotuno. Diane is the retired Executive Director of the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste Management District and draws on her experiences and relationships to showcase the impactful work shaping Cleveland's environmental future. Greg is an eco-curious local multi-media specialist (and Diane's son-in-law). Together, they have created a podcast that speaks to sustainability newcomers and masters alike.




Saving the Birds with Lights Out Cleveland and LENSC

What if there was a way to save thousands of innocent birds from lethal collisions with our urban glass structures each year? In this episode of EcoSpeak CLE, we head to Lake Erie Nature and Science Center to speak with wildlife rehabilitation specialist Tim Jasinski, one of the founders of Lights Out Cleveland. Tim shares the challenges migratory birds face in navigating the dangerous cityscape of Cleveland and how we all help make our community more feather-friendly. Tim takes us behind the scenes of Lights Out Cleveland and The Lake Erie Nature and Science Center, revealing the dedication and commitment of the volunteers who roam downtown streets in the early morning hours during spring and fall migrations to rescue and rehabilitate injured birds. In our Tip Time, Tim shares what to do if you find an injured bird or animal and some of his favorite spots around town to bird watch. Lights Out Cleveland needs more volunteers. You can make a difference by becoming a Bird Collision Monitoring Crew member. Monitoring and collection volunteers are responsible for monitoring specific areas throughout Downtown Cleveland, collecting/transporting both living and dead birds, and recording data. Monitoring happens between 5:00 am – 8:30 am, March 15 – ~June 1 and August 15 – mid-November. Opportunities are available seven days per week. To become a volunteer, you will need to join the Cleveland Metroparks volunteer system. Guest: Tim Jasinski, Wildlife Rehabilitation Specialist with Lake Erie Nature and Science Center and Founder of Lights Out Cleveland Resources: Lights out Cleveland Lake Erie Nature and Science Center Become a Lights Out Cleveland volunteer Feather Friendly window film Ohio Bird Conservation Initiative Make your house more bird-friendly. Follow us: Contact us:


Organic Connects and the Power of the Outdoors

Whitnye Long Jones is a nature enthusiast, community engagement specialist, and environmental justice advocate. She channels these passions and skills into the non-profit she founded in 2017 called Organic Connects. Whitnye runs Organic Connects with her husband, Jefferson Jones, a lifelong outdoor educator, and outdoorsman. Together, they provide environmental education, outdoor recreation, and nature-based opportunities primarily for urban youth and families with limited access to nature. In this episode, we speak with Whitnye and Jefferson in Jimmy's Treehouse, the outdoor learning classroom at the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes. We talk about the power of nature to teach, restore, transform, heal, inspire, connect, and prepare our future environmental leaders. Whether it be kayaking, camping in Allegheny National Forest, or building a campfire, the practical skills one acquires outdoors benefit each of us throughout our lives, and as Jefferson puts it, "everybody, whether they're white or black or brown, needs more of the outdoors." Join us to hear how these two black environmental leaders provide these experiences and connect people organically to the outdoors, each other, and the community. It's a reminder of how these organic connections can create ripple effects, fostering an environment where everyone, regardless of their background, can connect with nature in a meaningful way. Guests: Whitnye Long-Jones, Founder and Executive Director, Organic Connects email: Jefferson Jones, Senior Director of Operations, Organic Connects email: Resources: Environmental education and outdoor recreation programs Organic Connects Events Partners and Funders Cleveland Metroparks Youth Outdoors Conveniently Vegan restaurant Camp Journey Follow us: Contact us:


Dreams Blossom at Frayed Knot Farm

Emily Pek is a flower farmer and the owner of Frayed Knot Farm, a small flower farm in Newbury, Ohio, where she produces beautiful, diverse cut flowers and herbs that share stories, bring joy and support equitable and regenerative farming. In this episode, we visit Emily on her farm and discover her journey to becoming a flower farmer, the family roots and community behind her farm, the flowers behind the Saison beer at Great Lakes Brewing Company, and her grandpa's punny joke that inspired the name Frayed Knot Farm. If Emily were a flower, she says she would be Foxglove. It's delicate but tough with "tough" being the operative word behind being a farmer. Starting with just a grass field in 2018, Emily now grows over 100 varieties of annual and perennial flowers and foliage on less than an acre using hand-scale farming practices. She demonstrates how hard work and a "why not?" attitude can turn dreams into reality. Join us on this episode to discover the heart and hard work behind Frayed Knot Farm and Emily's passion for a more sustainable and healthy environment. Her journey will inspire you to pursue your dreams, no matter how big or small. Resources: Frayed Knot Farm Follow Frayed Knot Farm on Instagram Event Florals Flower Shares through Ohio City farm Wholesale - The Collab Community Partners - Rustbelt Fibershed The Flax Project The joke - a string walks into a bar.... Follow us: Contact us:


The Future of PET Recycling with Evergreen Recycling

Evergreen Recycling, based in Clyde, Ohio, is one of North America's largest recyclers of plastic PET bottles and its mission is to make single-use plastic a thing of the past. With four facilities across North America, Evergreen leads the industry in bottle-to-bottle recycling. In our conversation with Michael Sandoval, Evergreen's corporate purchasing manager, we talked about bottle recycling, the circular economy, and what the future holds. Join us as we explore the world of bottle-to-bottle PET recycling and hear about the complex and fascinating process of converting used plastic bottles back into food-grade quality flake and pellets used to make new plastic pop, water, and soda bottles. We tackle the economics of R-PET and the sustainability goals driving the shift towards increasing recycled content in consumer brands. From the efforts of giant corporations like Coca-Cola to legislative changes, we uncover the factors shaping the landscape of recycling. Resources: Evergreen's Sustainability Solutions About food grade quality RPET Evergreen Plastics, Clyde, Ohio facility About PET Recycling from NAPCOR Follow us: Contact us:


Be a Beekeeper with the Greater Cleveland Beekeepers

In this episode, we explore the world of beekeeping with Denzil and Sheila St. Clair. Sheila and Denzil have been happily married and very busy for 52 years, keeping bees, raising children, operating their bee business, and founding the Greater Cleveland Beekeepers Association (GCBA). Greg and I caught up with them on a Wednesday evening at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds, where they were demonstrating how to do an "alcohol wash" on a hive to determine if it contained harmful mites. This preceded the beekeepers association's annual July picnic. The GCBA supports hundreds of backyard beekeepers from all walks of life. They come together to learn, support each other, socialize, and help spread the word about the essential need for honeybees and beekeeping. Housed at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds, the GCBA educates aspiring and existing beekeepers and the public. There are several active bee hives, a bee barn, a pollinator garden, and an observation hive. Join us as we dip into this topic just enough to pique your interest in becoming a beekeeper, spark an appreciation for bees, and inspire you to take a beginner beekeeping course through GCBA. Guests: Denzil St. Clair and Sheila St. Clair - Greater Cleveland Beekeepers Association and owners of Queen Right Colonies, a beekeeping supply house. Resources: Greater Cleveland Beekeepers Association Beekeeping classes Beekeeping Supplies from Queen Right Colonies Cuyahoga County Fair Follow us: Contact us:


Trash Fishing with Eddie Olschanski

Eddie Olschanski is on a mission. Five days a week, year-round, Eddie can be seen fishing for trash in his kayak on the Cuyahoga River in the Flats. Outfitted with just a life jacket, a trash grabber, and garbage bags, Eddie and his volunteers have plucked over 50,000 lbs of trash from the shipping canal, the last place the trash can be removed before it drains into Lake Erie. Eddie founded Trash Fish CLE in 2017 to keep our lake clean, educate people about plastic pollution, and encourage people to get out and enjoy the water. For this episode, we joined Eddie on the river, along with two recruitments, Laura and Cheri. Join us as we hear what drives Eddie to do this dirty work, how he feels about "nurdles," and what Cleveland needs to do to rid our river of trash. Resources: Get Involved with Trash Fish CLE Trash Fish and the Today Show Support Eddie Follow Eddie on Instagram Follow us: Contact us:


How it Works - Cleveland Water

Curious about how the water you use every day gets to your tap? If you live in Northeast Ohio, chances are you get some or all of your water from the Cleveland Division of Water and the process of getting it from Lake Erie to you is fascinating. Today is water appreciation day on Eco Speaks CLE and speaking with us is Alex Margevicius, the Commissioner of Water for Cleveland Water. Alex oversees the 10th largest water system in the US and the largest in Ohio. Join us as he explains how Cleveland Water treats and delivers over 200 million gallons of water to customers in 80 communities daily! Hear about the infrastructure involved, the water treatment process that ensures our water is safe, and how we can protect our greatest natural asset and water source, Lake Erie. What do you think about when you turn on the tap this morning? Resources: Cleveland's Water Treatment Process History of Cleveland Water - Interactive Timeline Education and Outreach Services 2023 Water Quality Report Lead Awareness Follow us: Contact us:


Eco Meet CLE - Our Community Stage

In this episode, we hear from a number of Cleveland's sustainability community in this recording from May's Eco Meet CLE event at Great Lakes Brewing Company. The evening featured a community stage where we heard from local environmental organizations about their work and the many ways we can connect and get involved. A lot is happening around town, and we are proud of all the people doing this important work. Listen to their stories here and find what speaks to you. Eco Meet CLE events are presented by Eco Speaks CLE and Venture Forward Strategies and hosted by Great Lakes Brewing Company. Follow us: Contact us:


Helping People Use Bikes - Ohio City Bicycle Co-op

The Ohio City Bicycle Co-Op has been helping people use bikes for over 20 years by imparting skills that encourage riding for fun, fitness, and transportation. Guided by the principles of respect, resourcefulness, and reciprocity, the OCBC's small professional staff and its many skilled volunteers refurbish donated bicycles, teach bike maintenance and repair classes, operate a bicycle thrift store, and lead community programs such as fixathons all out of their 12,000 sq ft shop in the Flats. Our guest, Jim Sheehan, is one of the founders and the director of OCBC. Join us as Jim speaks about how the spirit of cooperative work keeps wheels on the road. Hear about the Earn A Bike and Pay What You Can programs, the Idaho Stop, how to recycle a water bottle into a fender, essential bike maintenance tips, upcoming events, and much more. May is National Bike Month, and OCBC has you covered. Guest: Jim Sheehan, Director, Ohio City Bicycle Co-Op Resources: About Ohio City Bicycle Co-Op OCBC Learn to Ride and Bike Maintenance classes OCBC Community Programs Donate a Bike Become a Volunteer Bike Collectives Network Slow Roll Cleveland Follow us: Contact us:


Cleveland Tree Coalition - Reforesting the Forest City

In honor of Arbor Day, we discuss local efforts to reforest the Forest City with the Cleveland Tree Coalition and the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission. Cleveland was once known as the Forest City, but it's not so forested anymore, with less than 18% of tree canopy remaining in the urban core. This tree canopy loss negatively impacts the city and its residents. Two women working to understand those impacts and rebuild our urban forest are Samira alone with the Cleveland Tree Coalition and Alison Ball with the County Planning Commission. Join us for a conversation about the power of trees for community quality of life and how strategic urban planning, planting, and tree stewardship are restoring our taking root in our region for this and future generations. Guests: Samira Malone: Inaugural Director, Cleveland Tree Coalition Alison Ball, Planning Initiatives Specialist, Cuyahoga County Planning Commission Resources: Healthy Urban Tree Canopy Grant Program and Cleveland Tree Coalition Grant Program Cuyahoga County Tree Canopy Viewer Cuyahoga County Tree Canopy Assessment Follow us: Contact us:


You and Me and Earth Day

April is a busy month in the CLE, so we bring you this short Earth Day episode where Diane goes solo and speaks about the first Earth Fest at the Zoo in 1990, what having a sustainability community means, ways to get involved, and what's in store for Eco Speaks CLE. Ways to Connect: Join the Eco Meet CLE 4 Miles 4 Water team Register for Eco Meet CLE on May 16 Eco Meet CLE on Linked in Low Power Happy Hour by Conservancy for CVNP Trash Fish with Eddie Olshanski NEO Sustainability Ladies (connect through Follow us: Contact us:


Sprout, Grow, Bloom with Tilth Soil

Spring has arrived, and here at Eco Speaks CLE, we are thinking about SOIL. It is fundamental to all life on earth, so it deserves our attention. In this episode, we speak with Nathan Rutz, the Director of Soil for Tilth Soil. Tilth is an outgrowth of Rust Belt Riders, transforming food waste into a family of soil products that nourish plants, people, and the planet. Join us as we ponder the importance of healthy soil, which Wendel Berry, the American poet, essayist, and environmentalist, calls the "great connector of lives." Guest: Nathan Rutz, Director of Soil, Tilth Soil Resources: Tilth Soil About Tilth Community Compost Coalition One Straw Revolution by Masanobu Fukuoka The Gift of Good Land by Wendell Berry Follow us: Contact us:


BRITE Energy Innovators - Unleashing the Energy Revolution

In this episode, we learn how BRITE Energy Innovators is helping power the future of energy across Ohio by speaking with Jing Lyon, BRITE's Entrepreneur Programs Director, and Joe Rohan, BRITE's Accelerator Program Manager. BRITE Energy Innovators empowers founders to launch energy technology solutions and operates Ohio's only energy technology incubator in Warren, located in Ohio's "Voltage Valley." Over the past decade, BRITE has helped nearly 600 new energy tech startups and created more than 1,100 jobs. Join us to get to know Joe and Jing as we talk about rock n roll, entrepreneurship, advanced energy solutions for EVs, energy storage, and mobility. In Ohio, our future is BRITE! Guests: Jing Lyon, Entrepreneur Programs Director, BRITE Energy Innovators Joe Rohan, Accelerator Program Manager, BRITE Energy Innovators Resources: About BRITE Energy Innovators About BRITE's Founder, Rick Stockbridge About BRITE's Startups About BRITE's Energy Tech Incubator Follow us: Contact us:


Eco Meet CLE - Local Climate Strategies

Meet members of our local sustainability community and hear from local climate leaders in this episode recorded during our second Eco Meet CLE event in February at Great Lakes Brewing Company. First, meet some of the people in the room and then hear from our climate panelists, featuring County Executive Chris Ronayne, Stephen Love with the Cleveland Foundation, and city and county sustainability directors Sarah O'Keefe and Mike Foley, respectively. Chris and Stephen were part of a prominent Cleveland delegation that attended the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Egypt last fall - COP 27. Hear them relate their experience and critical takeaways, and then hear Sarah and Mike tell us how the City and the County are working to address climate change and create an equitable, clean energy future. So what does the future look like in our region? Executive Ronayne's vision is for us to be the "Freshwater Capital of the Future." Listen and learn about all the work underway to help get us there. Panelists: Chris Ronayne: Cuyahoga County Executive Stephen Love: Manager of Environmental Initiatives at the Cleveland Foundation Sarah O'Keefe: City of Cleveland Director of Sustainability and Climate Justice Mike Foley: Cuyahoga County Director of Sustainability Resources: The Climate Registry recording from COP27 featuring the Cleveland leadership delegation: Cleveland Climate Action Plan Cuyahoga County Climate Change Action Plan Power a Clean Future Ohio Go Green Energy Fund Follow us: Contact us:


Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park - Inspiring Use, Preservation and Support

In this episode, we celebrate the national park in our backyard by speaking with Deb Yandala, President and CEO of the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and Donté Gibbs, VP of Community Partnerships. The Conservancy is the non-profit partner of Cuyahoga Valley National Park and its biggest supporter. Its 85 staff work to protect and promote the Park while managing its three stores, volunteers, cultural events, educational programs, and the Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center. Deb and Donté talk about the park's origins and what it means to be one of the few cities in the country with a national park in its backyard. How can we not only enjoy the park but also support it, grow it and help make it accessible to everyone in the region? With its 32, 570 acres, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park offers countless opportunities for residents of Cleveland and Akron to enjoy and learn from nature. Come with us and explore. Guests: Deb Yandala is the President and CEO of the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park. In her role, Deb oversees the many ways the Conservancy helps connect the community with the park, including managing the park’s education, volunteer, and cultural arts programs; operating three stores; managing events in the park, and raising money for park projects. Deb is also involved with the National Park Foundation and is a violist with the Cleveland Philharmonic and other local orchestras. Previously, Deb was the director of the Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center. Donté Gibbs is the VP of Community Partnerships for the Conservancy. He works across departments, implementing community initiatives, building partnerships, and developing internal and external engagement strategies. Through this role, Donté helped create Skylight Park at Tower City and launch the Rhythm on the River summer concert series in Howe Meadow. Donté brings deep community connections to his work and has been instrumental in leading Conservancy to be more deeply embedded in the community and a national leader in park equity. Resources: Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park Meet Lisa Petit, CVNP Park Superintendent Become a member of the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park Volunteer for CVNP Upcoming Events at CVNP Skylight Park at Tower City Teddy Roosevelt and other Presidents that shaped our public lands Follow us: Contact us:


Introducing Global Shapers Cleveland

Elena Stachew and Moses Ngong are two young professionals demonstrating the power of youth in action. They lead the Cleveland Hub of Global Shapers. Global Shapers is a diverse community of young people working together to address local, regional, and global challenges through 522 city-based hubs located in 154 countries. In this episode, we get to know Moses and Elena and hear about the Cleveland Hub's work on climate change, youth empowerment and activism, and racial and environmental justice. There are 40+ Cleveland Shapers and alumni working to shape a healthy, diverse and inclusive future in Cleveland through projects like Culture CLE, the Youth Climate Action Fund, and the Shaping the Future series. While Global Shapers range in age from 18-30, alumni and other partners like the Black Environmental Leaders make this an intergenerational model for change using youth-led solutions. Guests: Elena Stachew: Curator, Global Shapers - Cleveland Hub Moses Ngong: Impact Officer, Global Shapers - Cleveland Hub Resources: Global Shapers - Cleveland Hub Meet the Cleveland Global Shapers Apply to become a Global Shaper Freshwater Cleveland Series on Shaping the Future An open source, free, downloadable research paper on Elena's work in biomimicry Global Shapers Linktree Shaping the Future Series Follow us: Contact us:


Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and REPAIR with Cuyahoga Recycles

In our first episode of 2023, we help you with all your recycling questions and give you options for cleaning out the clutter so you can start your new year off right. Joining us are Beth Biggins-Ramer, the Executive Director of Cuyahoga Recycles, and Matt Walters, the Recycling Programs Coordinator with Cuyahoga Recycles. Hear Beth tell us what’s new with recycling, what happens to your recyclables once they leave the curb, and how to find the recycling rules in your city. Also, they have a fourth "R" for you - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and REPAIR. Matt tells us about the Fix-It Clinics offered at Cuyahoga Recycles to help you repair instead of replace your broken items, plus the growing list of things you can recycle at the District. Stay with us to have all your "What Do I Do With...?" questions answered. Guests: Beth Biggins-Ramer, Executive Director, Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District (aka Cuyahoga Recycles) Matthew Walters, Recycling Programs Coordinator, Cuyahoga Recycles Resources: Second Saturdays- special waste collections Fix-It Repair Workshops Think Box makers space at CASE What Do I Do With search engine Follow us: Contact us:


Creating a Bioregional Textile Community with Rust Belt Fibershed

In this episode, we speak with Jess Boeke. Jess and her twin sister Sarah Pottle, are the co-founders of Rust Belt Fibershed and are growing a bioregional textile community within a 250-mile radius of Cleveland. Imagine sourcing your clothing from a regional fibershed where local fiber farmers, workers, and artisans produce natural clothing that originates from the soil and can return to the soil. This is the vision of Rust Belt Fibershed. Jess and Sarah are helping connect us with our clothing the way farmers' markets connect us with our food. It starts with systems thinking and education, then the community magic follows. Listen and hear about alpacas, hemp, flax, natural dyes, microplastics, and what's needed to bring natural textile production into our fibershed and the many ways to engage with this regenerative community. Guest Jess Boeke, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Rust Belt Fibershed Resources Rust Belt Fibershed website Community Forum - get plugged into the Rust Belt Fibershed community Drift Lab Dye Studio - natural and botanical dyeing project Regenerative Ed - regenerative thinking for our educational system Reading: Fibershed: Growing a Movement of Farmers, Fashion Activists, and Makers for a New Textile Economy Follow us: Contact us:


Designing a Circular Fashion Brand with Faan

In this episode, we pull back the curtain on fast fashion with Aaron Jacobson, the creator of faan, a Cleveland-based clothing company. Aaron designs and creates low-waste, locally-made, unisex clothing that supports the philosophy of true circular fashion. Circular fashion is the opposite of fast fashion, which accounts for 10% of global CO2 emissions and exploits workers and the environment worldwide. Hear how fast fashion works as we travel around the world in Diane and Greg's closets and talk about becoming more conscientious consumers. This is the first of several episodes we devote to this topic as we hear from people in our community that help us rethink how we clothe ourselves. Guest: Aaron Jacobson, Designer | Director FAAN Clothing Resources: Ellen MacArthur Foundation -Fashion and the Circular Economy A History of Cleveland's Garment Industry - Belt Magazine Good on You - Sustainable and Ethical Fashion Ratings Reading Recommendation: Consumed by Aja Barber Follow us: Contact us:


Become a Food Rescue Hero with The Hunger Network

Chelsea Csuhran is the Food Rescue Program Director with the Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland. In this episode, we speak with Chelsea about food rescue and how her organization keeps usable food out of landfills while reducing hunger in our community. This happens with hundreds of volunteers she calls food rescue heroes. Hear how you can become a food rescue hero using the Hunger Network's Food Rescue app. This nifty app navigates volunteers as they pick up surplus food from places like grocery stores and bakeries and then deliver it to the nonprofit partners that get the food directly to those who need it most. While an estimated 1 in 5 people living in Cleveland faces hunger, the Hunger Network is working to reduce that by ensuring that surplus food goes to people in need instead of landfills. Follow us: Contact us: