Living Sustainably: Award-winning series celebrates local sustainability

By Michelle Gibbs, Holland-Hope College Sustainability Institute

Back by popular demand, the Living Sustainably Along the Lakeshore series is offering another great line-up of educational events sharing how Holland is becoming a more sustainable community.
The annual series began in the fall of 2014, and the planning team’s mission is to educate and empower citizens to live more sustainably through these free educational events.

Each month, as part of our upcoming 2017-2018 series, we will share information about work being done as it relates to the city’s “Sustainability Framework.” The framework demonstrates the many ways in which sustainability awareness can improve our community’s future. It includes these seven themes:
 Smart Energy
 Economic Development
 Transportation
 Community & Neighborhood
 Quality of Life
 Community Knowledge
 Environmental Action & Awareness
The City of Holland Sustainability Committee created this seven-pillar framework to guide decisions about our future, ensuring Holland continues to be a world-class place to live, to do business, and to play.
We are using the framework to share information about our journey to become a more sustainable community.  Find the 2016 Sustainability Report at
In September 2016, Living Sustainably Along the Lakeshore received the “2016 Top Project Award” from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s Neighborhood Environmental Partners Program.
The advocacy group was recognized for its 2015 educational series and for collaborating with 50 local partners on behalf of sustainability education. The announcement was made at the First Annual Michigan Sustainability Conference, held in Grand Rapids.
The Living Sustainably series is sponsored by the following organizations, with additional endorsing partners that assist with individual events relevant to their respective missions:
 City of Holland, as part of the Sustainability Committee’s efforts,
 Herrick District Library, as part of the library’s adult programming series,
 Hope College, as part of the Sustainability Institute,
 League of Women Voters,
 Meijer Campus of Grand Valley State University, as part of the university’s commitment to sustainability, and
 West Michigan Environmental Action Council.
Plan now to attend the fall and winter events, shown in the list.
Flyers can be found under the “Events” section at or follow us on Facebook by searching for “Living Sustainably Along the Lakeshore.”
Details about the spring 2018 line-up will be available later this fall.  We look forward to having you join us!
 Michelle Gibbs is director of the Holland-Hope College Sustainability Institute. The vision for the Institute is a healthy and economically vibrant community that promotes environmental stewardship and mutual respect for people and the planet. Our mission is to foster collaborative efforts to infuse sustainability into the minds and practices of the greater Holland community.

Save the Dates: Living Sustainably Event Schedule
These Living Sustainably Along the Lakeshore programs all will be 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
“Quality of Life: The Macatawa Watershed,” Tuesday, Sept. 12, at Herrick District Library.
“Smart Energy: Holland Energy Park – Resource. Destination. Gateway.,” Tuesday, Oct. 10, at Holland Energy Park.  (RSVP required due to limited space).  RSVP:
“Community and Neighborhood:  Recycling, It’s not just 3R’s.  Hint: It’s 8R’s.,” Tuesday, Nov. 14, at Herrick District Library.
“Economic Development: Forecasting a Sustainable Government,” Tuesday, Jan. 9, at Herrick District Library.

Lake mac.jpg (Courtesy of the City of Holland) The Lake Macatawa watershed’s role in Holland’s quality of life is the focus of the first of the Living Sustainably Along the Lakeshore fall programs.

This Week’s Sustainability Framework Theme:
Community Knowledge: The collective knowledge of the community is an incredible resource, that knowledge and energy must be channeled to where it is needed.

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 for more information.

Living Sustainably Along the Lakeshore Upcoming Events

The series is led by the Holland-Hope College Sustainability-Institute as part of their community education programming. The series follows the City of Holland’s Sustainability Framework for creating a more sustainable community for all.

Holland Michigan Living Sustainably Along the Lakeshore

LSATL fall 2017 events (flyer)

We offer FREE educational events which aim to educate and empower Holland area residents to live more sustainably. The series is brought to you by the following sponsor organizations, with additional endorsing partners that assist with individual events relevant to their respective missions:

-City of Holland, as part of the Sustainability Committee’s efforts
-Herrick District Library, as part of the Library’s adult programming series
-Hope College, as part of the Sustainability Institute
-League of Women Voters, as part of the Natural Resource Committee’s efforts
-Meijer Campus of Grand Valley State University, as part of the University’s commitment to sustainability
-West Michigan Environmental Action Council

Bike Holland Series – Event # 5 (Final Event of the Summer)

Monday, August 21 at 7:00pm – FREE RIDE

Come celebrate the new bike lanes in Holland and show your support for alternative transportation at the Bike Holland ride series this summer. The ride will roll out from Centennial Park (250 Central Ave Holland) at 7PM and will last roughly 45 minutes at a very casual and social pace. All types of cyclists and bikes welcome. Helmets are required.
This final ride will be led by the Russcher family! If you spend much time downtown Holland, then you’ve probably seen this family out and about on their bikes! Andy commutes via bike daily and the family makes cycling a priority in their day to day lives. Andy is an active member of Pedal Holland. Our post-ride get together will be at New Holland Brewing Co. 

Huge thank you to all of our partners, ride leaders and post-ride sites!! The Russcher family, New Holland Brewing Co.Velo City CyclesOur Brewing CompanyLemonjello’s CoffeeFrances JayeCollective IdeaPocket Photographer, Pedal HollandGreen Commute Week, Holland, MICity Of Holland, Michigan – City HallWest Michigan Bike & Fitness, and Outdoor Discovery Center !!

Did you know?  – Commuting by bike is a great way to make our community more sustainable. Bikes are the most energy-lean form of transportation around: not only are they human-powered, they also require only a fraction of the energy of a car to manufacture and maintain. And riding your bicycle is an unbeatable stress-buster, too – people who commute by bike reduce their stress level by a whopping 40%!

We are looking to reduce the amount of energy we all use as part of Holland’s 40-Year Community Energy Plan, and choosing alternative modes of transportation reduces our carbon footprint. So unplug, get outdoors, get healthier, and spend time with friends and family – hop on a bike for your next trip!

For information about biking in Holland visit the City’s website
and the Macatawa Area Coordinating Council’s website

City Bike Map:

For more information about the series visit:

Living Sustainably: Creative recycling can help Michigan catch up

By Ken Freestone,
Rising from its Earth Day beginnings in the early 1970s, the message of “reduce, reuse and recycle” has been taught to millions through brochures, advertisements, T-shirts and countless other ways. We have come a long way from those days, but we still have much work to do, with plenty of opportunities to improve our recycling rates.
There is good reason to improve those rates, too. These benefits, below, suggest that recycling is something everyone can embrace:
 Recycling creates more jobs than disposal;
 Recycling generates income;
 Recycling uses less energy than mining, harvesting, importing and otherwise processing raw materials;
 Recycling destroys less habitat; and
 Recycling creates less greenhouse gas than landfilling.
Today, Americans recycle 34 percent of the waste they create. Michigan, however, has an estimated recycling rate of just 15 percent. And, while the U.S. recycling rate has been increasing – it was a mere 6.2 percent 50 years ago – more waste is being created than ever before, too. In total, Americans
generated 254 million tons of trash in 2013 – about 4.4 pounds per person per day.
Many European countries have developed more successful recycling programs, with Austria and Germany boasting the highest recycling rates at 63 and 62 percent, respectively.
Here are some recycling numbers to know from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality:

  • $435 million: The market value of recyclable metal, glass and plastic that Michigan households send to landfills every year.
  • 45: Number of stakeholders involved in forming Michigan’s recycling plan, including recyclers, grocers, bottlers, and landfill operators.
  • 25: Number of Michigan’s 83 counties where residents have convenient access to recycling.
  • Over 90 percent: Return rate for refundable bottles and cans in Michigan.
  • 6th lowest: Michigan’s rank in recycling of the six Great Lakes states.
  • Many more things can be recycled than we often realize. For example:
     Goodwill takes fabrics of all kinds. Even torn and ripped clothing gets bundled and sold as scrap.
     Many arts organizations can reuse giant cardboard boxes, colored paper, books, magazines, cardboard tubes, fabric, plastic jugs and bottles for art and craft projects.
     Comprenew will take almost any old electric devices for recycling at a drop-off site and resale electronics store in Holland Township.
     The Shipping Company in Holland will accept and reuse foam peanuts.
     Backyard composting is one of the easiest ways to repurpose/recycle food and yard waste.

 Ken Freestone is co-founder of He has worked on environmental stewardship, trails, greenways and land protection, as well as taught as a master composter, for more than 25 years.

Here are web resources to learn more about what and how to recycle:
 Comprehensive look at environmental solutions, including recycling.
 Ottawa County Household Hazardous Waste program guidelines, locations, links to other information.
 Michigan Recycling Coalition resources, including master recycler manual for individuals and business.
 Earth A national database for recycling.
 Company focused on hard to recycle materials offers recycling bins for more than 100 categories of materials – even items like used markers and toothbrushes.

deq rate chart.jpg . — Michigan has the goal of doubling its recycling rate, to 30 percent – still below the national average of 34 percent. Source: Michigan DEQ
Reclaimed3.jpg — This composting bin has the added benefit of being made from reclaimed wood.
Recycling containers.jpg. – Convenient containers can encourage easy recycling at home and work.

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.

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
institute for more information.

What is you summer sand dune story? Hike, bike, surf, climb, and share!! 275,000 acres of AMAZING! What do these dunes mean to you?
This online survey will provide vital information about how residents and visitors use and value our amazing freshwater coastal dunes for recreation, relaxation, scenic enjoyment, and more.
Please take a few minutes and take this survey and then share it with friends, family, and colleagues.

Survey created by Michigan Environmental Council, Hearts of the Lakes, and West Michigan Environmental Action Council.

July 2017 Sustainability News

July 31, 2017 – Living Sustainably: Rain, rain go away – the right way

July 31, 2017 – Tesla’s Model 3 And The Transition To Sustainability

July 31, 2017 – Five-acre dune fire south of Grand Haven caused by campfire

July 31, 2017 – National Night Out coming to Holland

July 30, 2017 – At Herrick: The eBook advantage for summer beach reads

July 30, 2017 – Local startups continue to find success

July 29, 2017 – Why the Tesla Model 3 is a really big deal

July 29, 2017 – Cynthia M. Allen: Panhandlers near? First acknowledge their humanity

July 29, 2017 – Local man with cognitive disabilities finds job with help of Hope Network

July 29, 2017 – HOPE TURNS PURPLE

July 28, 2017 – Outdoor Discovery Center announces new solar array installation

July 28, 2017 – Holland League of Women Voters works to educate on candidates, issues

July 28, 2017 – Lack of Regulatory Burdens and Incentives Leads to Solar Growth among C&I Customers in Kenya

July 28, 2017 – Apple’s Forests Now Sustainable Enough to Cover the Paper Used in All Packaging

July 28, 2017 – Architecture Firms Fall Short of Energy Benchmarking Goals; Here’s Why

July 27, 2017 – ‘We’ll never be the same’: A hydroponic tomato garden inspired police to raid a family’s home

July 27, 2017 – Networx: Soil test and amendment guide

July 27, 2017 – In some U.S. communities, clean electricity is now the default

July 27, 2017 – States Will Need 50% Rise in Renewable Energy Use to Meet Set Standards

July 27, 2017 – Chicken of the Sea to Track Tuna from the Can Back to the Fisherman Who Caught It

July 26, 2017 – Tech Giants Increase Lobbying Spend for Renewable Energy

July 26, 2017 – More Big-Name Companies Moving Toward Renewables

July 26, 2017 – Walmart Invests in Research to Stunt Food Waste at the Source

July 26, 2017 – PepsiCo, Seeking to Close Recycling Gap, Pledges Support to Nonprofit Partnership

July 26, 2017 – Report Alleges Utility Sector Knew About CO2 Risks in 1968. Times Have Changed

July 26, 2017 – These middle-school students are taking action on climate change


July 25, 2017 – Peak Bloom Week at Windmill Island Gardens

July 25, 2017 – Climate art: More and better with time

July 25, 2017 – WHAT’S UP IN THE SKY: Take advantage of special events during eclipse

July 24, 2017 – MACC Newsletter:  Clean Air Action Days

July 24, 2017 – Living Sustainably: Get up close with the Great Lakes

July 24, 2017 – Climate change could make air travel even more miserable

July 24, 2017 – Here’s how much giving up beef helps – or doesn’t help – the planet

July 24, 2017 – Aldi Sees Competitive Advantage with Energy-Efficient Upgrades in the US

July 24, 2017 – Ottawa County Agricultural Preservation Board opens position to young residents

July 24, 2017 – Snooty the famous manatee dies in ‘heartbreaking accident’ days after his 69th birthday (video)

July 24, 2017 – Water Reuse Innovation Leads to Top-Selling Pickle Product

July 22, 2017 – West Ottawa offers summer education for students of migrant workers

July 22, 2017 – Lake Michigan temperatures up this summer, expert says

July 21, 2017 – Study: Leading CSR Rankings Lack Consistency, Transparency

July 21, 2017 – While homelessness surges in Disneyland’s shadow, Anaheim removes bus benches

July 21, 2017 – Marks & Spencer Reduces Packaging on Popular Foods

July 20, 2017 – Holland Farmers Market Chef Series to feature opening restaurant dishes

July 20, 2017 – Honorably discharged veterans will soon get to shop tax-free

July 19, 2017 – Plastic Is Everywhere And Recycling Isn’t The End Of It

July 19, 2017 – Bowerman Blueberries to provide blueberries for local pantries

July 19, 2017 – Letter: Keep fighting Saugatuck development

July 19, 2017 – Companies offer quirky perks like guitar lessons, tattoos

July 19, 2017 – 4 surprising health benefits of cherries – this summer’s superfruit

July 19, 2017 – Taking care of workers key part of sustainability

July 18, 2017 – What’s the Answer to a Sustainable Future? We Are.

July 18, 2017 – Holland Farmers Market to host kids activities

July 18, 2017 – Notre Dame Turns to Geothermal Fields to Reduce CO2

July 18, 2017 – Windmill Island Gardens to celebrate Peak Bloom Week

July 18, 2017 – Retailers Bank on Environmentally-Friendly Clothing for Increased Sales

July 18, 2017 – Leaders Unveil Their Secrets: Business Case for Environmental Stewardship

July 18, 2017 – SpartanNash to offer curbside grocery pickup

July 18, 2017 – You don’t need to go full vegan to get the vegan benefits

July 17, 2017 – Businesses May Help Fund Green Climate Fund If The US Reneges

July 17, 2017 – McDonald’s Scolded Again, This Time for Straws

July 17, 2017 – Local riders train for ride across Iowa

July 17, 2017 – Water clean after chemical spill at Lake Michigan tributary

July 17, 2017 – Retailers, brands see green for back-to-school shopping

July 17, 2017 – Adorable mouse is to blame for the spread of Lyme disease

July 16, 2017 – Living Sustainably: Standards help make spaces more healthy

July 16, 2017 – Mark Phelan: New SUVs, not cars, key to future of US automaking

July 15, 2017 – Why two black pastors are suing Coca-Cola, sugar and lots of it

July 14, 2017 – Cities Look to Business (Not Washington) to Build Sustainability

July 14, 2017 – Snyder signs $56.5 billion Michigan budget

July 14, 2017 – Biz Must Work with Gov’t for Successful, Sustainable Growth

July 14, 2017 – Holland to host Home Energy Retrofit Program meeting

July 14, 2017 – Cheaper gas, wireless plans keep U.S. inflation in check

July 14, 2017 – Coca-Cola Unveils Ambitious Sustainable Packaging Strategy

July 13, 2017 – Bill puts $300M for Great Lakes restoration

July 13, 2017 – Little Hawks Discovery Preschool

July 13, 2017 – 7-Eleven Gives Millennials What They Want: Sustainable Coffee

July 13, 2017 – Polar bears more likely to hunt humans as polar ice continues to melt

July 13, 2017 – Barbara Mezeske: We the people are an invaluable resource

July 13, 2017 – How one city is preparing for extreme heat – with trees

July 12, 2017 – Study: 350 million worldwide could experience deadly heat by 2050

July 12, 2017 – Macatawa Water Festival offers environment education

July 11, 2017 – Hope College To Host Purple Community Football Game On September 16

July 11, 2017 – Boulder boosts solar and cuts carbon pollution

July 10, 2017 – Living Sustainably: Everyone is part of a watershed – celebrate yours!

July 10, 2017 – Letter: Time to remove Straits pipeline

July 10, 2017 – Holland City Council to discuss airport millage renewal

July 10, 2017 – Greater Ottawa County United Way to host school supply drive

July 10, 2017 – Allergens and indoor air quality: 4 steps to a healthier home

July 10, 2017 – Can animals suffer from PTSD?

July 10, 2017 – Traveling to see the eclipse? Act fast

July 9, 2017 – Book Corner: Skerry helps us understand sharks

July 8, 2017 – New startup challenge combines a Silicon Valley mindset with Catholic social teachings

July 8, 2017 – Music and the Spoken Word: Moments in nature

July 6, 2017 – An inspiring green space in the concrete jungle

July 6, 2017 – Letter: Build others up instead of tearing down

July 5, 2017 – July Fourth holiday brings mixed feelings for minorities

July 4, 2017 – West Michigan celebrates Independence Day

July 3, 2017 – Living Sustainably: Lessons from Washington for local efforts

July 1, 2017 – Letter: Trump doesn’t care about normal citizens

July 1, 2017 – Holland Christian brings makers fun to Street Performers

Living Sustainably: Rain, rain go away – the right way

LIVING SUSTAINABLY:  Rain, rain go away – the right way

By Kelly Goward, Macatawa Area Coordinating Council

What happens to water when it rains? We’re glad you asked!
Rain, or stormwater, that lands on trees, shrubs, flowers, and grass is slowed down and soaks into the soil (well, most of it). However, when rain falls on roof tops, driveways, roads, and parking lots, it runs off the surface into catch basins that are connected to pipes that deliver stormwater to streams, drains or
directly to Lake Macatawa.
But stormwater is treated before it ends up in the lake, right? Unfortunately, not.
Any pollution that is on the land, like fertilizers, dirt, oil, gasoline, grass clippings, and trash, can be carried away by stormwater and end up in the lake. Catch basins trap heavier materials and floatables that the city can clean out, but they don’t catch everything. Yuck!
So, is there a better way to manage stormwater? Absolutely!

Remember what happens to rain when it lands on plants? It slows down and soaks into the ground, allowing pollution to be trapped or filtered before rain makes its way to groundwater, streams and Lake Macatawa.
Green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) is anything that mimics these natural processes of slowing, filtering and soaking rain into the ground. GSI includes rain gardens, bioswales, permeable pavement, rain barrels, and more.
So, if green stormwater infrastructure is better for Lake Macatawa, why don’t we use it more? The City of Holland and the surrounding areas are starting to use more stormwater infrastructure, but there is much more that can be done. The Macatawa Area Coordinating Council (MACC) recently received a grant from the Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area to develop a GSI vision for the Macatawa Watershed that will be completed later this fall.
The MACC is also working with local units of government to make sure policies, codes and ordinances are friendly to green stormwater infrastructure and to educate decision makers and planners about the practice.
One event that will help is coming in August. The MACC, in partnership with the City of Holland, the Ottawa County Water Resources Commissioner and the Allegan County Drain Commissioner, is hosting a green stormwater infrastructure seminar at the Haworth Inn and Conference Center, 9 a.m. to
3:30 p.m. on Aug. 22.
The seminar will focus on how the beneficial measures can be included in site designs. There will also be updates on local initiatives and discussions about the drivers and barriers to implementing these practices in our communities. This seminar is for engineers, contractors, developers, landscape architects,
water quality professionals, elected officials and decision makers, planners, conservation professionals, and anyone from throughout the West Michigan Region interested in learning more about green
stormwater infrastructure!
The seminar is eligible for 3.5 professional development hour credits for professional engineers.
Registration fees apply. Visit to find out more or to register.
 Kelly Goward has been with the Macatawa Watershed Project since August 2012, managing efforts to improve the water quality of Lake Macatawa. She has a B.S. in biology from Grand Valley State University and a master’s degree in natural resources management from Ball State University.


Smallenburg.jpg — Intentional plantings, such as this rain garden at Holland’s Smallenburg Park, hold and capture rain water so it soaks into the ground, helping limit runoff that carries pollutants into Lake Macatawa.
HPS permeable.jpg A West Michigan Green Infrastructure Conference tour studies permeable pavement at Holland High School, one method of slowing down rainwater and avoiding polluted runoff into Lake Macatawa.

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.

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
institute for more information.

Living Sustainably: Lessons from Washington for Local Efforts

Lessons from Washington for Local Efforts

By Kyle Funk, Hope College Green Team

Education is about taking in wisdom from different settings and applying it to communities you work for. While interning in Washington, D.C., for four months, I made some observations about how to work toward sustainability policies right here in Holland.

First, learn civics. Learn about how government works. That begins locally. Know who represents you. Know who sits on government bodies such as city council and school boards, and know how to communicate with them.  Then progress to understanding Lansing and Washington, D.C.

Also know the Constitution, the branches of government, and the different committees that your federal legislators sit on. For example, I took many calls about the House health care bill – something we could do little about because we were in the Senate.

Next, consider bipartisan effort. Learn how to work together, even with people of different philosophies, to find solutions to shared concerns.

For instance, Sen. Stabenow, a Democrat, and Sen. Portman, an Ohio Republican, co-chair the Senate Great Lakes Task Force. It is an issue that needs both parties to come together to find solutions.

This shared goal has carried over into a great friendship between the two of them. Together they are even stronger advocates for protection of the Great Lakes.

Last week, an Asian carp was found very close to Lake Michigan, a serious threat to the Great Lakes and the communities around them from environmental, recreational, and economical standpoints.  Recent policy development on stopping Asian carp was also a bipartisan effort between Rep. Bill Huizenga, co-chair on the House side, and Sen. Stabenow.

Third, appreciate community. In Holland, we have a strong community, and we need to value that.

Through many phone calls and letters I read while in Washington, I learned that is not the case everywhere. Communities across America are hurting. But that can be fixed by coming together, listening, and working on solutions.

Some things are better addressed locally than at the federal level, such as raising money for schools, addressing energy needs, encouraging sustainable business growth, and maintaining parks and recreation for all citizens. We also need to understand that some things will require public and private partnerships.

Consider the motto on Holland’s City Seal: “In unity is our strength, God be with us.”

Fourth, develop empathy. To accomplish any of this, we need empathy, a trait greatly lacking in our country right now. We need to listen and realize that sometimes when people say something or ask a question, it is not out of ignorance but out of anxiety for the future.

Lessons like these from Washington can be put to practical use. Coming together in empathy, we can build a resilient community, one that causes other cities to look to see what Holland is doing. One that that works towards a sustainable community through policy and practices that promote healthy citizens, economies, and ecosystems.

 Kyle Funk, a rising senior at Hope College and Hope College Green Team intern, interned in the spring semester on Capitol Hill with Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s office as part of the Hope Washington D.C. Honors Semester.


Kyle stabenaw.jpg Kyle Funk interned this spring in the office of Sen. Debbie Stabenow in Washington, D.C.

Kyle whitehouse.jpg Kyle Funk toured the White House during his internship in Washington, D.C., this spring.

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.


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 for more information.

June 2017 Sustainability News

June 30, 2017 – Greenwashing a ‘Very Serious Issue,’ Leads to Poor Decisions, Says CEO of GRI

June 30, 2017 – Holland preparing for next phase of Civic Center work

June 30, 2017 – Four options to vacation close to home

June 30, 2017 – Holland Christian brings makers fun to Street Performers

June 30, 2017 – Holland says goodbye to former city manager

June 30, 2017 – Loneliness in Seniors: Like hunger Or thirst, loneliness can be eased

June 30, 3017 – Michigan League of Conservation Voters and the Michigan Environmental Council released a report recently detailing the implications of the proposed federal and state budget cuts for our Great Lakes, drinking water and natural resources.

June 29, 2017 – How to Reduce Energy Costs in Multifamily Buildings

June 29, 2017 – EPA to Publish Proposed Guidelines Clarifying Waters of the United States Rule

June 29, 2017 – Holland named one of America’s 11 best beach towns

June 29, 2017 – AT&T donates $15K to LAUP youth program

June 29, 2017 – Schuette calls for shutting down Mackinac pipeline

June 29, 2017 – High-Rise Buildings Use More Energy, Release More CO2

June 28, 2017 – Antarctic iceberg break ‘imminent,’ likely in ‘hours, days or weeks’

June 28, 2017 – Want to Retain Top Employees? Improve CSR Efforts, Survey Says

June 28, 2017 – Consumers Say Businesses Must Help Solve Water Crisis

June 28, 2017 – Michigan, rural American roads and bridges need help

June 28, 2107 – Natural selection: Live-edge wood in home design

June 27, 2018 – Smart Energy Storage Methods Helping Companies Save Money and Power

June 27, 2017 – Trump Says U.S. Will Dominate World Energy Production

June 26, 2017 – Living Sustainably: Eight Things to Know about Shopping at a Farmers Market

June 26, 2017 – Shift to Renewables Happening Faster than Most Business People Understand

June 25, 2017 – How food labels help us make better food choices

June 24, 2017 – Holland Youth Connections donations exceed matching grant by about $8,000

June 24, 2017 – Local Author: McCahan’s love of the lake inspires young adult novel

June 23, 2017 – Kids’ Food Basket receives $10K award

June 23, 2017 – Games, music, more coming at DeGraaf’s Summertime Jamboree

June 23, 2017 – Huizenga, Stabenow lead bipartisan effort against Asian carp

June 23, 2017 – Live Asian carp discovered near Lake Michigan

June 22, 2017 – Make the most of your gardening buck

June 22, 2017 – HBO, John Oliver Sued By Coal Company CEO Over Last Week Tonight Episode

June 22, 2017 – Visser Farms to provide strawberries to Ottawa Food

June 22, 2017 – Michigan implements hemlock woolly adelgid quarantine

June 22, 2017 – Environmentalist group files suit against Saugatuck Township for dune development

June 22, 2017 – According to a new study from the University of Colorado Boulder Groundwater Fees Prompt Farmers to Slash Water Use by a Third

June 22, 2017 – So Are We Wasting 40% of Our Food or Not? Study Says We Don’t Really Know

June 21, 2017 – Energy-saving tips for summer

June 21, 2017 – Michigan terminates contract for Enbridge pipeline study, citing conflict of interest

June 21, 2017 – Crisp Country Acres to sell fresh products at farm market

June 21, 2017 – Holland Public Schools preps for another enrollment drop in 2017-2018 budget

June 21, 2017 – Reptiles and amphibians take over Holland State Park

June 20, 2017 – Holland Coast Guard offering free boat washes

June 20, 2017 – Local farmers optimistic about crops heading into summer

June 20, 2017 – Zeeland Schools passes surplus budget, lunch prices to increase next year

June 20, 2017 – Letter: Remembering an environmental catastrophe

June 20, 2017 – ‘Living street’ concept taking shape on Elm Street in Zeeland

June 19, 2017 – Living Sustainably: Shopping locally sustains community

June 19, 2017 – Lead detected in 20 percent of baby food samples, surprising even researchers

June 19, 2017 – Thousands of wildebeests die in a river each year. Here’s why that’s a good thing.

June 18, 2017 – Trump’s shortsighted, ill-informed decision is one we’ll all regret

June 18, 2017 – Trump is right to withdraw from international sham

June 15, 2017 – Great Lakes water levels expected to be higher than average



June 14, 2017 – Consumers (Especially Millennials) Still Significantly Suspicious of CSR Motives: Harris Poll

June 14, 2017 – ‘No Matter the Industry, We’ll Collaborate & Get This Thing Done’: Quotes from the Conference

June 13, 2017 – “ACRE AgTech’s Newest Client Extracts Drinking Water from Manure”

June 12, 2017 – USDA to award 65 farm to school grants

June 9, 2017 – June 9, 2017 – Smaller metros take action to draw millennials fleeing bigger urban areas

June 12, 2017 – Living Sustainably:  Manage your house for more comfort and lower energy bills

June 9, 2017 – How to start composting, even in the city (video)

June 9, 2017 – Michigan DNR urges caution around snakes, whether deadly or not

June 9, 2017 – West Michigan sustainability efforts expected to continue, despite U.S. exit of Paris accords

June 7, 2017 – Simple upgrades and habit changes can yield big water savings in bathrooms

June 7, 2017 – From students to leaders: How today’s youth are preparing for the future

June 7, 2017 – Zeeland Criterium to kick off June 16

June 7, 2017 – Holland police unveil new Polar Patrol ice cream truck


June 6, 2017 – The Michigan Restaurant Association (MRA) has partnered with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and Michigan Ag Council to raise awareness of the economic impact of restaurants using Michigan manufactured products. This is a group partnership that will be working together to recognize restaurants with the 2017 Michigan GROWN, Michigan GREAT Restaurant Award. 

June 6, 2017 – California Looks to Set a 100% Renewable Standard and to Tie its Carbon Market with China

June 5, 2017 – Living Sustainably: Students make their own discoveries with air monitors

June 5, 2017 – Dropping Out of Paris Accord May Have ‘Done Us a Favor,’ Says Unilever CEO

June 5, 2017 – 80% Energy Savings from Single LED Installation Also Brings Higher Rents, Longer Leases

June 4, 2017 – DNR seeking stewardship volunteers for June

June 4, 2017 – Gov. Snyder names June Immigrant Heritage Month

June 2, 2017 – Trump withdraws from climate pact, world leaders push back

June 2, 2017 – Michigan School Board Says No to Power Purchase Agreement

June 2, 2017 – Net Zero Energy Buildings Popping Up Nationwide

June 1, 2017 – Snyder Commission unveils strategies for economic success

June 1, 2017 – Trump Will Withdraw U.S. From Paris Climate Agreement

June 1, 2017 – Like Others in Corporate Real Estate, LEDs Save Condo Complex 80% on Energy Costs in First Month

Living Sustainably: Eight Things to Know about Shopping at a Farmers Market

Eight Things to Know about Shopping at a Farmers Market

By Lisa Uganski, Ottawa Food

Thinking about a visit to the Holland Farmers Market? Here are eight things to know about why local farmers markets are much more than just places to purchase food!

1. Sustainability is the predominant theme at local farmers markets. Farmers engage in sustainable farming practices to produce healthy food to sustain the local community, and the community members provide the money necessary to support the farmers. Each shares in the success of the other.

2. Locally grown food has more nutrients. The longer fruit and veggies spend on trucks or in storage, the greater the loss of vitamins and other nutrients. Because local food is harvested and sold in a short time period, it often has a higher nutritional value than produce that has been transported long distances.

3. Locally grown food tastes great.  Fruits and vegetables at the local farmers market are often the freshest and tastiest you will find! Usually, the produce is picked just hours before being sold.

4. Shopping the market helps protect the environment.  Purchasing locally grown food helps maintain farmland and greenspace in your community. Food sold at local farmers markets is transported short distances, which reduces the amount of greenhouse gasses emitted.

5. Shopping at the market supports your local economy.  Money spent on locally produced food stays in the community longer. This money supports local farmers and stimulates local economic growth.

6. You can learn where your food comes from. A trip to your local farmers market is a great way to learn where your food comes from and how it was produced. Talk to the farmers and ask questions.

7. Connect with your community. Local farmers markets enhance quality of life by cultivating social interaction. Kids’ activities are available each Wednesday at the Holland Farmers Market from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. The market also participates in Double Up Food Bucks, a program that helps ensure that community members have access to healthy local food. When shoppers use their Bridge Card to buy SNAP-eligible foods at the market, they get free Double Up Food Bucks to spend on Michigan grown, fresh fruits and veggies. A variety of Holland market vendors also accept Senior Project FRESH and WIC Project FRESH vouchers.

8. Learn cooking tips and discover new recipes. Many farmers have tips about how to select, prepare, and store the foods they are selling. Ask questions! On Saturday mornings at 10 am at the Holland market, area chefs demonstrate how to use fresh, local grown ingredients to prepare healthy meals.

When people eat healthy food, support local businesses, and come together as a community, great things happen! For these reasons and many more, get out and visit your local farmers market.

 Lisa Uganski, RD, MPH, is the coordinator of Ottawa Food (formerly the Ottawa County Food Policy Council), a collaboration of local agencies and individuals working to ensure that all Ottawa County residents have access to healthy, local, and affordable food choices. Check out


Family Shopping.jpg Families can find fresher vegetables and talk to the farmers at the Holland Farmers Market. Contributed photo/Holland Famers Market

This Week’s Sustainability Framework Theme:

Quality of Life: The community, through governmental, religious, business and social organizations, makes decisions that contribute to its own well-being.

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 for more information.