2016 Earth Day Environmental Award Winners

Click 'here' to find the 2016 award winners.

2015 Earth Day Environmental Award Winners

Government - Cincinnati Public Schools -

The move toward green buildings began as CPS entered the final phase of its Facilities Master Plan (FMP), a 10-year, $1-billion rebuilding program that ended in 2014. About two dozen buildings were built to LEED Silver, or higher, standards. This LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) creates buildings that make excellent use of daylight; have high indoor-air quality; and conserve energy and water for lower operating costs.

CPS Adopted Ten Initiatives for Sustainable Design

Storm-Water Management — reducing impact of runoff with permeable surfaces, vegetative green roofs
High-Performance Gyms — saving energy with heat-reducing roofs, ample daylight, ceiling fans
Geothermal Energy — reducing energy costs using earth’s thermal properties
Indoor Air Quality — reducing levels of environmental toxins such as mold
Transportation — reducing the impact on the environment from district transportation
Native Wood — recycling harvested timber from local parks for such things as case work, cabinetry
Renewable Energy — using wind and solar power to generate electrical power
Water Efficiency — reducing water usage, including reusing storm water
Daylight — saving energy demand with more natural light and fewer light fixtures
Zero-Waste Schools — maximizing reduction and reuse of waste, and recycling and composting

CPS sought LEED Silver certification, the second of four levels and the level that the Ohio School Facilities Commission agreed to help fund, for about two dozen buildings — far more than most districts, said Ron Kull, CPS’ Project Manager for the $1-billion Facilities Master Plan. The new building for Pleasant Ridge Montessori School, which opened August 2008, was CPS’ first LEED Silver-certificated school and was the first public school in Ohio to seek it.

Student - Emily Cigolle - University of Cincinnati

-Work/volunteer  for the Sierra Club

-Achieved environmental literacy certificate

-Founder of the undergraduate geology club

-Part of the Net Zero Waste Campaign at UC

-Vice President of LEAP (Leaders of Environmental Awareness and Protection)

-Planning committee for the Sustainability Summit

-Burnett woods cleanup planning committee

-Member of the Mountaineering club

-Sustainability Advocate at UC

Teacher - Jay Kissinger

Biomedical engineering at Cedarville University

Jay combines his passion for engineering and bicycles by creating wooden bicycles that are the equal to any plastic design.


Man-made Fiber Reinforced Polymers (FRPs, example: carbon fiber) is the latest craze in bicycle frame material. Wood is the original, God-made FRP. My bicycle frames are hollow and incredibly lightweight. Additional benefits of a wooden frame are that they are “green”, tough, smooth to ride, and beautiful. My walnut bicycles have won top honors in the Artistry in Wood show.http://daytoncarvers.com/competition12.htmlhttp://daytoncarvers.com/competition11.html                

Wooden bicycles combine many of my passions: woodworking, cycling and engineering. I am a lifetime cyclist. My first job was working in a bicycle shop when I was fourteen-years old. I started building fillet-brazed and lugged, steel frames in the late 1970’s. With a Master’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering and specialty in lower extremity prosthetics, I developed expertise in the use of composites and materials testing. My day job is teaching topics in mechanical and biomedical engineering at Cedarville University http://www.cedarville.edu/. I have access to state-of-the-art testing equipment which I employ to test my frames and frame components. My students are engaged in analyzing, building and testing wooden bicycle frames as their cap-stone senior design experience. I have four years of personal field-testing on my frames including a cross-country, self-supported tour on a wooden tandem with my son. My goal is to share the joy of building and riding wooden framed bicycles.

Business -  Newcomer Funeral Himes

When people are traditionally buried: "We bury enough embalming fluid to fill eight Olympic-size swimming pools, enough metal to build the Golden Gate Bridge, and so much reinforced concrete in burial vaults that we could build a two-lane highway from New York to Detroit," Sehee said.(Sehee is the executive director of the Green Burial Council.)

Newcomer allows the unembalmed body to be placed in a biodegradable casket and use nontoxic chemicals. Or one can choose a biodegradable urn for ground or water burial. They also offer families help in finding natural burial preserves. Green burials are also lighter on the wallet. Traditional funerals and burials can cost up to $10,000, whereas a pine casket can be bought for $420, and cardboard casket is just $50. It also allows nature to take back the natural resources our bodies give off once we pass away. "circle of life"

Volunteer - Standish Fortin

Has been a part of the Greater Cincinnati earth Coalition for 15 years as a volunteer. His dedication, selfless service, and hard work has benefited the Tri-State area. During the 15 years, he has held many board positions (Chair, Treasurer). He is always in attendance for every event, brings great ideas to the table, and works tirelessly at all events. Standish is also a part of other volunteer organizations. 

All winners will receive a plaque at the Earth Day festivities on April 16th around 1:10pm. Come say help and congrats!    

Winners will be notified by March 30th, 2017. Winners will be honored with an award on the main stage at the

Cincinnati Earth Day Celebration, which will be held on Saturday, April 22nd, 2017 at Summit Park in Blue Ash.

The DEADLINE for the 2017 award is March 18, 2017

Do you know anyone whose efforts on behalf of the environment have made the Greater Cincinnati a better place to live?

       Well, the Greater Cincinnati Earth Coalition (GCEC) is looking for nominations in the following categories:

  • Volunteer - Nominee must be nominated for work done as a citizen/volunteer, not paid by a Business or Agency.
  • Business/Organization - Nominee work must be for a business as an employee or consultant.
  • Student - Nominee must be enrolled in K-12th grade or college. Work must be performed as student; clubs are acceptable.
  • Government - Nominee must work for a government agency.
  • Teacher- Nominee must be a teacher for K-12th grade, college, or day care. Home School is allowed.

2017 Annual Earth Day Awards  - Sponsored by