CSCC eyes our planet
Sep 12, 2012 | 518 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Understanding what can be done to improve our lives, our homes — and yes, even our planet — and how we can do it, are topics being sounded more and more in communities across America.

Our Cleveland and Bradley County hometown certainly is no exception.

We point to an ongoing exercise at Cleveland State Community College as part of our reasoning. It is called “Get Efficient,” and this thought-provoking, mindset-changing initiative was launched earlier this month.

What is it?

Simply put, it’s a series of workshops and seminars open to the public aimed at helping local residents “... to turn various shades of green as they save electricity, soil, water and the planet.” That’s how a CSCC news release explains the initiative.

And it’s spot on.

According to the same promotional material, this is a movement by the local community college — an invaluable resource for relevant information in Cleveland, Bradley County, all of southeast Tennessee and neighboring states — to join the earth-first drive to take better care of our planet and its resources.

It is a wise idea because ... well, frankly, this is the only planet we have. Colonization of Earth’s moon or Mars or even closer to the sun on Venus or Mercury seems highly unlikely. And beyond Mars? Just as Mercury would be a hot topic, thoughts of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Nepture or poor little Pluto leave us shivering.

For these reasons, and so many more, it’s a far more practical concept to look to our globe first, and to preserve and protect all that has been given to us. Besides, Earth is not just some blue and green sphere in the sky to be tossed about like a baseball or discarded toy.

It is our home. It is our life. If we kill Earth, we kill ourselves. Viewers of the Hollywood film “Avatar,” will understand this view.

To some, it might seem overly dramatic. But more and more communities are moving to projects that protect the environment — recycling, reforestation, replenishing and replacing that which is lost by economic development and jobs-creating construction, and others.

This is what Cleveland State Community College is doing with “Get Efficient.”

The timely program already is under way. It continues today with a series of workshops targeting the home such as programs on home-energy ratings, house values, home foundation quality, energy solutions, solar power and even the development of better fuel efficiency in cars.

Regrettably, those reading today’s editorial have missed out on today’s campus activities. But more opportunities are coming as “Get Efficient” progresses ... such as tomorrow.

On Thursday from 10 a.m. to noon, a panel discussion will focus on ways to better care for our Earth. The discussion will be led by Southeast Tennessee Resource Conservation and Development Council’s Dan Huser and Cheryl Dunson, representing Santek Waste Management, the latter of which is the contractor whose innovative and responsible stewardship is extending the longevity of the Bradley County Landfill to well beyond its original expectations.

On Friday, Sept. 21, national energy consultant Doug Rye will present eye-opening material on energy conservation. Also, Rye will broadcast his live national radio show, “Home Remedies,” from the CSCC campus on Saturday, Sept. 22, from 9 to 10 a.m. on NewsTalk 1320.

The big event concludes Tuesday, Sept. 25, with an all-day seminar on building energy-efficient homes in Cleveland and Bradley County. Facilitators will be Mike Barcik, director of technical services at Southface Energy Institute, and instructor Kenny Watson.

All seminars take place in the George R. Johnson Cultural Heritage Center on the CSCC campus. All are free to the public.

For more information, or to register, go to or call 423-473-2341.

These workshops are supported by the Appalachian Regional Commission’s Alternative Energy Program grant.

Each seminar is a unique opportunity to learn today what we can do to help save our planet for plenty of additional tomorrows. We encourage our community’s participation, and we thank Cleveland State for this humanitarian opportunity.