Living Sustainably: Framework guides sustainability efforts

By Aaron Thelenwood and Ken Freestone, City of Holland
The City of Holland is putting its Sustainability Framework to work by looking at ways to reduce waste in all its facilities – repurposing used items, reselling outdated equipment and working with local nonprofits to recycle and recover scrap materials.
For example, the city recently ordered new office chairs. When city staff learned most of the old chairs were destined for the landfill, the staff looked for ways to repurpose any usable items and capture recyclable materials.
The results: 110 old chairs were removed with approximately 90 percent of materials diverted from the landfill. Subsequently the Holland Board of Public Works coordinated with city employees to process an additional 35 office chairs for recycling. And within 30 days, another city department diverted another
65 very old, metal folding chairs.
In total, material from 200 chairs was kept out of the landfill.
City employees are now building on this success and applying the city’s Sustainability Framework to identify opportunities to reduce waste, leverage resources, and reduce the city’s waste-to-landfill stream.
By thinking creatively, using community resources, and taking time to analyze the types and amounts of waste, staff are better equipped to establish policies to minimize the amount of materials sent to the landfill.

The City’s Sustainability Framework identifies seven guiding principles:
 Community Knowledge – encouraging others to support sustainability;
 Smart Energy – making wise, energy efficient choices;
 Environmental Awareness/ Action – thinking about the impact of every project during planning stages;
 Community and Neighborhood – fostering vibrant, sustainable neighborhoods;
 Transportation – finding better ways to transport people, move goods and deliver services;
 Economic Development – becoming the preferred location for business;
 Quality of Life – ensuring access to healthcare, affordable housing, parks, recreational opportunities, cultural events, educational excellence and more.
Anyone, not just city government, can think of waste reduction in the context of those categories. For more details on Holland’s sustainability efforts, go to www.cityofholland.com/sustainability. Go to www.greenmichigan.org for tips on implementing the principles.
Decisions we make sometimes may have consequences that are unintended. By making decisions in the context of the Sustainability Framework, we are more likely to have quality results that improve our lives, minimize negative results and result in quality consequences.
Another set of questions, related to what’s known as the triple bottom line, can also guide decisions:
 Social Issues: How will today’s decisions impact the people in our community, both today and tomorrow?
 Environmental Issues: How will today’s decisions impact the environment? Remembering that environmental issues may not immediately apparent, you may need to think generationally.
 Economic Issues: What impact will our decisions have on businesses, employment, incomes and values of goods and services, both today and tomorrow?
Sustainability is not a one-time thought, a one-issue decision or about one person. It is the framework for all decisions, long-term, and for all people and creatures.

 Ken Freestone is Holland’s residential energy advisor, focusing on home energy retrofits for city residents and is also co-founder of GreenMichigan.org, a nonprofit focused on sustainability. Aaron Thelenwood is solid waste and recycling education coordinator for Holland.

This Week’s Sustainability Framework Theme
Community & Neighborhood: The places we live and the individuals we interact with support the development of our personalities and perspectives on life. Encouraging vital and effective communities is essential.

ABOUT THIS SERIES
Living Sustainably is a collection of community voices sharing updates about local sustainability initiatives. It is presented by the Holland-Hope College Sustainability Institute, a joint project of Hope College, the City of Holland and Holland Board of Public Works. Go to www.hope.edu/sustainability-institute for more information.

Living Sustainably: Summer is time to spur kids’ natural curiosity

By Susan Ipri Brown, Hope College – Center for Exploratory Learning
“Nature is our kindest friend,” said the famous British scientist Michael Faraday.
Place-based environmental learning is a powerful tool for improving students’ knowledge of the world around them and sustaining their natural curiosity. Summer is the perfect time to put this natural curiosity into play as families and students explore and visit new places.
Help your student grow this summer by making a place of wonder of each place you visit to hike, bike, camp, or swim.
Foster that learning in students by just asking questions. “How does that work?” and “Where does that come from?” can start the mind running, and the students’ imagination will take off.
While you can look up many resources online ahead of time, often the best questions and most fun come from not knowing the answer and not programming every minute of the adventure. Ask the simple question and then guide the student to use online resources to answer them and delve further into the material.
In another way to foster summer learning, the Hope College Summer Science Camp program (hope.edu/explore) is developing a hands-on, nature-based camp – Exploring Ecosystems – to enrich students’ understanding of the ecology of their local area.
Two camps will be developed based on appropriate Michigan Science Standards for grades 3-5 as well as grades 6-8. The camps are being developed with funding from the Environmental Education Division of ASME, International.
Through observation, data collection and analysis, students will gain an understanding of how organisms interact with other organisms and the abiotic environment to form an ecosystem. Students will gain hands-on experience with watershed monitoring. Additionally, they will incorporate environmental
engineering topics such as water filtering and green roofs.
A biology educator is writing the program and will be mentoring college education majors as they staff the camp. Involvement of our Hope College science and education majors is a critical component of the program.
Through learning to develop and deliver environmental education programs, the student-teachers will be inspired to embrace such activities in their future career. Education majors report that camp staff positions give them confidence to take on their own classrooms and provide them the opportunity to explore new ways to teach and create inquiry-based lessons. Science majors will gain valuable experience communicating about science and participating in impactful outreach programs.
Exploring Ecosystems provides a more in-depth experience for interested students. Many science-themed camps provide students that opportunity to see the spark of wonder that nature provides. Students
are naturally curious about the environment and the interactions within nature.
But while camps are one option, casual family activities are a perfect place for learning, too.  Whether it’s a camp, a camping trip, or a long walk on a beautiful summer evening, make your outdoor adventure the spark of learning and science exploration.
 Susan Ipri Brown is director of the ExploreHope program and instructor of engineering at Hope College.

The Holland area offers a long list of opportunities for summer exploration. Here are a few ideas:
Holland State Park
Ottawa County Parks
DeGraaf Nature Center
Outdoor Discovery Center
Hope College Summer Science Camps
Windmill Island Gardens
Riley Street Trails
Window on the Waterfront
Wolters Woods
Holland Farmer’s Market
Saugatuck Dunes State Park
City of Holland Parks
Hudsonville Nature Center

This Week’s Sustainability Framework Theme
Environmental Awareness/Action: Environmental education and integrating environmental practices into our planning will change negative outcomes of the past and improve our future.

ABOUT THIS SERIES
Living Sustainably is a collection of community voices sharing updates about local sustainability initiatives. It is presented by the Holland-Hope College Sustainability Institute, a joint project of Hope College, the City of Holland and Holland Board of Public Works. Go to www.hope.edu/sustainability-institute for more information.

May 2018 Sustainability News

May 2018 Sustainability News

May 31, 2018 – Avoiding meat and dairy is ‘single biggest way’ to reduce your impact on Earth

May 31, 2018 – Group challenges Nestle’s water permit from Michigan

May 30, 2018 – Exhibit provides a look at ‘Industrial Nature’

May 30, 2018 – Lower temps at a lower price: How to improve the energy-efficiency of your home today

May 29, 2018 – Consumers Energy tags three peregrine chicks

May 29, 2018 – Hope, GVSU students named Beckman Scholars

May 28, 2018 – Living Sustainably:  New summer program will boost school readiness

May 28, 2018 – Europe plans ban on plastic cutlery, straws and more

May 28, 2018 – Easy and breezy: 6 tips for controlling summer cooling costs

May 26, 2018 – Ohio farmers reap frustration over multistate NEXUS pipeline construction

May 25, 2018 – Holland Town Center continues local growth

May 25, 2018 – Letter: Vote ‘yes’ on Saugatuck library millage

May 24, 2018 – Why are Dutch-Americans so different from the Dutch?

May 23, 2018 – A healthy diet isn’t always possible for low-income Americans, even when they get SNAP benefits

May 23, 2018 – Eating right and staying healthy in retirement

May 22, 2018 – Zeeland hospital achieves Healthgrades award

May 21, 2018 – Living Sustainably:  Bus ride to Farmers Market pays off in MAX Market Bucks

May 21, 2018 – 6 ways Walmart is helping change the world

May 20, 2018 – More West Michigan schools starting before Labor Day

May 18, 2018 – What Chinese import policies mean for all 50 states

May 18, 2018 – By ignoring sustainability reporting, the government is out of step with investors and corporations

May 17, 2018 – Two candidates remain in contention for MACC executive director position

May 17, 2018 – Separate food waste ‘offers massive CO2 saving’

May 16, 2018 – 13th Annual Ride of Silence in Holland

May 14, 2018 – Living Sustainably:  Green Commute Expo marks special week

May 14, 2018 – Preparing for a successful career in Michigan’s skilled trades

May 13, 2018 – Food for thought: Why aren’t there more food trucks in Holland?

May 7, 2018 – “Rethink, Reuse and Recycle” with Holland BPW during Tulip Time

May 5, 2018 – Tulip Time volunteers honor Holland’s history

May 5, 2018 – Holland police under fire after recorded felony traffic stop

May 4, 2018 – Former state senator, longtime environmental advocate Birkholz dies

May 4, 2018 – Fourth EPA Official Departs Pruitt’s Administration

May 4, 2018 – Dozens of wild horses found dead amid Southwest drought

May 4, 2018 – Fiesta returns to celebrate Latino culture

May 3, 2018 – How To Teach Kids To Love Nature In A Tech-Obsessed World

May 3, 2018 – Holland SmartZone brings in over $85,000 in 2017

May 2, 2018 – Holland council to approve city budget Wednesday

May 2, 2018 – Holland Harbor to be dredged in early May

May 2, 2018 – Palisades Power Plant to host community open house

May 2, 2018 – 18 states sue the Trump administration to defend clean car rules

May 1, 2018 – Robert Redford: The biggest Scott Pruitt scandal is the one right in front of us

May 1, 2018 – Tick and Mosquito Infections Spreading Rapidly, C.D.C. Finds

Living Sustainably: Bus ride to Farmers Market pays off in MAX Market Bucks

By Shelby Pedersen, Macatawa Area Express

A new program will offer $10 of MAX Market Bucks for riding the MAX bus to the Holland Farmers Market.

Holland Farmers Market shoppers will be able to double up their savings simply by riding the MAX bus to the market in June.

A new program will launch June 1 in which people who ride the bus to the market can earn MAX Market Bucks to redeem at market vendors. The program will run through June 30.

Many community members go to the Farmers Market every Wednesday and Saturday throughout the summer. Often, however, they experience busy traffic and limited parking because of how popular the Farmers Market is.

The popular Holland Farmers Market attracts crowds – and traffic congestion – on some of its busiest days.

An alternative is this new program that encourages everyone to use a green way to commute to the market and purchase farm fresh produce. Not only will this ease the troubles of parking and traffic, but riders will earn up to 10 Market Bucks and reduce their CO 2 emissions.

To join in the program, hop on the Route 3 MAX bus to get to the Farmers Market and receive a punch card. To get to the market, riders will get off at Eighth Street west of Maple. Buses stop there at three minutes after every hour.

Riders who get off at this stop will get their card punched by the MAX driver. Then, on the market grounds at the Market Office trailer, riders can get another punch and a reusable MAX bag.

After two trips on the MAX to the Farmers Market, riders will have earned 10 MAX Market Bucks!

Macatawa Area TransitThe MAX Market Bucks are redeemable through the Holland Farmers Market and are accepted by most vendors at the market.
MAX is excited to kick off this challenge to encourage local residents to participate in a greener transportation option. For any more information, reach out to MAX at (616)355-1010 and watch social media for more updates.

 Shelby Pedersen is the marketing assistant and ADA coordinator at the Macatawa Area Express. Go to www.catchamax.org/ for more information on routes and riding the bus.

This Week’s Sustainability Framework Theme
Transportation: The movement of people, goods, and services within the area is an evolving system that links us to our regional, national and global networks.

ABOUT THIS SERIES
Living Sustainably is a collection of community voices sharing updates about local sustainability initiatives. It is presented by the Holland-Hope College Sustainability Institute, a joint project of Hope College, the City of Holland and Holland Board of Public Works. Go to www.hope.edu/sustainability-institute for more information.

Living Sustainably: Green Commute Expo marks special week

By Michelle Gibbs, Holland-Hope College Sustainability Institute
The Macatawa Area Coordinating Council’s 11th Annual Green Commute Week kicks off today, Sunday, May 13, and runs through Saturday, May 19.
As part of the annual challenge to practice alternative ways of commuting, a Green Commute Expo is set for Friday, May 18. The Expo, focused on the sustainability framework category of transportation, is the last event of the 2017-18 series hosted by the Living Sustainably Along the Lakeshore team.

Electric vehicles increasingly are a good option for people interested in green commuting.

Set for 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the parking lot at City Hall on a Friday evening, the Expo will be at a special day, time, and location compared to typical events in the series. The Expo is designed to be a family-friendly event highlighting green transportation options for members of the greater Holland area community.
The Expo will include a short presentation about different types of green commute options and the role transportation plays in Holland’s 40-year Community Energy Plan, along with fun hands-on activities for the whole family, hosted by local partners.

Practicing how to load a bike on a MAX bus will be among activities at the Green Commute Expo set for Friday, May 13.

Bike owners are encouraged to bring their bikes. Three local bike shops – Cross Country Cycles, Velo City Cycles, and West Michigan Bike and Fitness – will host stations with safety items, safety checks, a flat tire repair demo, E-bikes, and more.  A MAX bus also will be on-site so riders can practice putting their bikes on the bus rack in a no-pressure situation. (If it is raining the event will move indoors and personal bicycles will not be allowed inside.)

We are encouraging members of the community to commute “green” at least twice this week. So, try walking, biking, riding the bus, or carpooling! New this year, the organizers have added telecommuting and driving a fully electric car as qualifying activities.  Please register your efforts at www.the-macc.org/green-commute/green- commute-week- registration/.
The Expo will be a fun community event celebrating all the ways each of us can have an impact on our personal and community carbon footprint, helping to clean our air, and creating a healthier and more sustainable Holland. We look forward to seeing you at our final Living Sustainably Along the Lakeshore
event in this year’s series.
And, happy green commuting!

What: Fun family events at Green Commute Expo
When: 6 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 18
Who: Free to everyone in the greater Holland area
Where: Holland City Hall

 Michelle Gibbs, is the director of the Holland-Hope College Sustainability Institute. Its mission is to foster collaborative efforts to infuse sustainability into the minds and practices of the greater Holland community.

This Week’s Sustainability Framework Theme
Transportation: The movement of people, goods, and services within the area links us to our regional, national and global networks.

ABOUT THIS SERIES
Living Sustainably is a collection of community voices sharing updates about local sustainability initiatives. It is presented by the Holland-Hope College Sustainability Institute, a joint project of Hope College, the City of Holland and Holland Board of Public Works. Go to www.hope.edu/sustainability-institute for more information.

Living Sustainably:  Rethink, Reuse, Recycle with Holland BPW during Tulip Time

By Morgan Kelley, Holland Board of Public Works
As part of its ongoing commitment to encourage conservation and sustainability, the Holland Board of Public Works is the Tulip Time Conservation Partner, working to promote and encourage festival goers to apply sustainable practices during the festival.
Among the activities it is offering, the HBPW will be at the Family Rest Area on Eighth Street from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, May 10, Kinderparade day, with games and great prizes for all ages. The public is invited to stop by for fun and chances to win!
And while you’re enjoying Tulip Time all week, remember to “Rethink, Reuse and Recycle.”
A big question is always how to get around and experience all that Tulip Time has to offer? Rethink your transportation choice by taking the MAX Tulip Time shuttle. The shuttle not only offers optimal convenience for getting around the festival, but it’s also better for the environment. By using public transportation, you’ll save time by avoiding traffic and parking lines and also reduce your carbon emissions. Check out the interactive map for details and routes so you can plan your Tulip Time activities now. Go to www.tuliptime.com/visit/transportation for the map and other information.
You can also reuse as you explore the Tulip Time Festival by bringing a refillable water bottle to use the free water bottle filling stations – two on Eighth Street and at Centennial and Riverview parks. Save money and support sustainability; there’s no need to buy wasteful, plastic bottles when you can conveniently refill for free!
And be ready to recycle acceptable materials during Tulip Time. You will find recycling bins around the festival events, promoting stewardship of our resources. Already on Saturday, May 5, staff and students from the Holland-Hope College Sustainability Institute and Careerline Tech Center planned to host recycling and waste reduction stations during the Tulip Time Run.
Finally, mark your calendars for the week after Tulip Time for Holland BPW’s annual drive-through, drop-off Recycle Rewards event. Recycle Rewards will take place 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May 19 at the HBPW Service Center parking lot at 625 Hastings Ave.
The HBPW will accept and give its customers rebates for working refrigerators, freezers, window air conditioners, and dehumidifiers. It will also accept old holiday lights, anything 50 percent metal or more, and electronics. TVs and computer monitors will not be accepted. For a complete item list, visit padnos.com/recycling-centers.
Remember to “Rethink, Reuse, Recycle!” See you at Tulip Time!
 Morgan Kelley is the conservation programs specialist at the Holland Board of Public Works where she tracks and administers residential energy efficiency programs and represents HBPW at community events.

This Week’s Sustainability Framework Theme
Smart Energy: We need to use both conservation and efficiency measures to manage our resources to provide access to reliable and cost-effective energy.

ABOUT THIS SERIES
Living Sustainably is a collection of community voices sharing updates about local sustainability initiatives. It is presented by the Holland-Hope College Sustainability Institute, a joint project of Hope College, the City of Holland and Holland Board of Public Works. Go to www.hope.edu/sustainability-institute for more information.

April 2018 Sustainability News

April 2018 Sustainability News

April 30, 2018 – Sustainability at the 2018 Tulip Time Festival

April 30, 2018 – Living Sustainably:  Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance’s Summit on Race and Inclusion

April 30, 2018 – Department of Energy Announces $19 Million for Advanced Battery and Electrification Research to Enable Extreme Fast Charging

April 30, 2018 – 2018 Michigan Fishing Guide

April 30, 2018 – Sign-Up for Green Commute Week (May 13-19)

April 30, 3018 – Classroom Spotlight: Brad Smit teaches relevant, hands-on science at Saugatuck

April 29, 2018 – Things to know about Holland’s proposed 2018 budget

April 29, 2018 – What to know about Zeeland’s proposed 2019 budget

April 29, 2018 – Green Investment: Volunteers give and get benefits in Ottawa Parks

April 27, 2018 – World’s Biggest Retail Brands Back Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative

April 27, 2018 – Plans for new Holland growhouse moving forward

April 26, 2018 – Climate change communication and activism

April 26, 2018 – Letter: We must fend for Earth, since Pruitt won’t

April 26, 2018 – How art is elevating voices from the front lines of climate change

April 26, 2018 – Adopt-A-Highway cleanup days in full swing

April 25, 2018 – 3 communities thriving thanks to unconventional partnerships

April 25, 2018 – UK To Ban All Plastic Straws, Q-Tips, And Single-Use Plastics

April 25, 2018 – Council to install formal process for accepting art donations

April 25, 2018 – What other cities can learn from Portland’s fossil-fuel ban

April 24, 2018 – Because of climate change, some birds are nesting earlier

April 24, 2018 – Greenhouse plans to be discussed by Holland council

April 24, 2018 – How your lawn equipment is harming the environment

April 23, 2018 – Living Sustainably:  Green Commute plans for any weather options

April 22, 2018 – How to get a more sustainable yard this spring with battery-powered products

April 22, 2018 – Hope College student awarded prestigious science fellowship

April 22, 2018 – DNR urges ORV enthusiasts to be ready to ride

April 20, 2018 – Too early to tell if cold April will impact summer Great Lake temperatures

April 20, 2018 – Free boat checks offered to Ottawa County residents

April 19, 2018 – Expert panel reflects on sustained power and impact of Earth Day–as we laud Year 48

April 19, 2018 – U.S. Department of Energy and Geological Survey Release Online Public Dataset and Viewer of U.S. Wind Turbine Locations and Characteristics

April 19, 2018 – Plastic straw and cotton bud ban proposed in England

April 18, 2018 – Senate drops measure to exempt ship ballasts from Clean Water Act

April 18, 2018 – Holland council votes 5-4 to allow Airbnb pilot

April 18, 2018 – Hope College ’95 Stories’ students push for more welcoming campus

April 17, 2018 – Holland once again named best small city in America to start a business

April 17, 2018 – Michigan official: Tugboat damaged Great Lakes pipelines

April 17, 2018 – Advice for adult children of aging parents who need help at home

April 16, 2018 – Living Sustainably:  Fly fishing helps promote conservation

April 16, 2018 – SCIENCE, SUSTAINABILITY AND A BAHAMIAN TOWN DUMP

April 16, 2018 – BPW offering tours of Holland Energy Park visitor center

April 16, 2018 – Energy efficiency can help 32 states meet clean air rules by cutting pollution

April 16, 2018 – Starbucks to train workers on ‘unconscious bias,’ CEO says

April 15, 2018 – 3 ways to make your home more eco-friendly with smart home technology

April 15, 2018 – Stewardship volunteer opportunities available in area state parks

April 15, 2018 – 5 ways smart cities provide a healthier, safer, richer life for residents

April 15, 2018 – In age of #MeToo, can there be forgiveness, second chances?

April 13, 2018 – HOPE COLLEGE BLOG:  THE YOUTH ARE SCREAMING FOR CHANGE

April 13, 2018 – Local businesses to donate to Ready For School

April 13, 2018 – 13 ways to celebrate Earth Day and slash your home energy bills

April 10, 2018 – FROM THE PRESIDENT: REV. DENNIS N. VOSKUIL, PH.D.

April 10, 2018 – HOPE COLLEGE SUSTAINABILITY:  SERVING AND PROTECTING THE GARDEN THAT IS EARTH

April 10, 2018 – Grand Rapids’ Retail Shops That Focus on Sustainability

April 10, 2018 – Hard water proves hard on your wallet

April 9, 2018 – Living Sustainably:  Diverse business resources sustain a vital community

April 9, 2018 – HOPE COLLEGE SENIOR, EMMA NYHOF, OF HOLLAND, TO PRESENT ECONOMICS RESEARCH CONDUCTED AS A RECIPIENT OF A NATIONALLY COMPETITIVE SCHOLARSHIP

April 9, 2018 – A Grass-Roots Movement For Healthy Soil Spreads Among Farmers

April 9, 2018 – How to grow a garden you’ll love (and love to take care of)

April 9, 2018 – SpartanNash to Mark Earth Week in April

April 6, 2018 – Matthew T. Mangino: GAO finds racially disproportionate discipline in schools

April 6, 2018 – Tulip Time Downtown Holland Park & Ride Shuttle

April 6, 2018 – Good Sweet Earth provides organic lawn care resources

April 5, 2018 – EPA fails to do its homework on light-duty standards

April 4, 2018 – Businesses Say EPA Will Hurt Economy with Pull Back of Emissions Standards

April 4, 2018 – Here are the American Cities Using the Most Solar-Powered Energy

April 4, 2018 – 5 Plants and Animals Utterly Confused by Climate Change

April 4, 2018 – Leaked memo: Pruitt taking control of Clean Water Act determinations

April 4, 2018 – Anti-Pruitt Sentiments Soar: GOP Members Call for Resignation as Media Campaign Circulates Petition

April 4, 2018 – Western Michigan nature preserve more than doubles in size

April 3, 2018 – 1,000 feet of Lake Michigan beach, 17 acres of dunes added to preserve

April 3, 2018 – Faith leaders reflect on Martin Luther King Jr.’s religious legacy

April 3, 2018 – Researchers: Hurricane Irma created new island off Georgia coast

April 2, 2018 – Living Sustainably: Workshop targets positive community impacts by business

April 2, 2018 – EPA Moves To Weaken Landmark Fuel Efficiency Rules

April 2, 2018 – Schools celebrate the end of a successful Reading Month

April 2, 2018 – Firms probe Kent County on request for garbage-fueled innovations

April 1, 2018 – We’ve Given Up Buying ‘Stuff’ In Favor Of Experiences, And We’ve Never Been Happier

April 1, 2018 – Big in Sweden: Picking up trash + jogging = ‘plogging’