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What I Heard During the Second Day (August 13) of Cleveland’s Sustainability Summit

Utilizing a high degree of brainstorming and group activities, the Cleveland Sustainability Summit yielded a very wide array of ideas, some of which seem counter-intuitive, but it’s amazing what the mind can accomplish (some would say rationalize) if it is allowed to be wide open:

Brainstorming session idea: To save energy, reduce city street lighting. The safety implications are scary, but, if everything is up for discussion, why not “dark cities”?

Brainstorming session idea: Printed materials should use paper that is biodegradable and embedded with seats for planting. And the seeds work; I’ve seen it happen with greeting cards.

Continental Airlines Senior Vice President Holden Shannon: Continental ran a short test flight over Houston that was partially fueled by biofuel that contained juice from algae plants.

Continental Airlines Senior Vice President Holden Shannon: Airline fuel consumption could be reduced by 12 percent if the air traffic control system were upgraded. Right now, planes that are waiting to land are stuck on the “runways in the sky,” he said.

Continental Airlines Senior Vice President Holden Shannon: “Airlines are not historically known for being green. Continental was green by accident; now we have rallied around it.” Probably not a good idea to use the word “accident,” but you have to admire his candor.

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