Living Sustainably: Food projects help share the summer bounty

By Lisa Uganski, Ottawa Food
It’s summertime in West Michigan, which means it is time to enjoy the abundance of fresh, local fruits and vegetables. However, not everyone has access to the juicy strawberries, crisp asparagus, and tasty blueberries that are grown right here in our community.
The good news is that you can help provide local fresh fruits and vegetables to those in need by participating in one of the three following programs, while supporting your local growers at the same time.
1) Folks who love buying all that fresh produce at the Holland Farmers Market can keep on buying extra and share it through Ottawa Food’s Produce Donation Program.
On eight dates this summer at the market, a donation table will be set up that will be staffed by members of Ottawa Food from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Stop by and pick up a donation bag. When you’re finished shopping, bring your produce donation back to the table, and it will be distributed to those in need through local food resource agencies.
Produce donation is just one part of Ottawa Food’s campaign to provide local fresh fruits and vegetables to those in need.

2) Another opportunity to share the bounty is the Pick for Pantries program which allows U-pick patrons at participating Ottawa County produce farms to donate a portion of their pick to local food pantries.
You can head out to Visser Farm’s U-Pick Strawberry Patch, 7200 112th Ave., on June 19, 21 and 26 (weather permitting) to pick strawberries and help support local food pantries. Just grab a green bucket with the Ottawa Food logo and fill it up with as much as you would like to donate. Local food pantries will distribute the berries to families in need.
In July, Pick for Pantries will take place at Bowerman Blueberries and Crossroads Blueberries.  Ottawa Food is looking for a U-pick apple farm to participate in the fall. Visit Ottawa Food’s Facebook page for updates.
Ottawa Food3) A third way to provide fresh produce for others is to donate some of the goodies from your own garden to your local food pantry. Extra tomatoes? Lots of zucchini? Many people in this community would love an opportunity to enjoy those delicious items! Call your local pantry ahead of time to make sure they accept fresh produce and to find out when they are open.
Area food pantries include the following:

 Community Action House, Holland
 Salvation Army, Holland
 Harvest Stand Ministries, Zeeland
 Harvest Bible Chapel Food Pantry, West Olive

We are blessed to live in an area that produces such a wide variety of fresh and healthy food. We hope that you will consider participating in one of these programs to help share this abundance with those who otherwise might go without.
 Lisa Uganski is the coordinator of Ottawa Food, a collaboration of local agencies and individuals working to ensure that all Ottawa County residents have access to healthy, local, and affordable food choices. To get involved with Ottawa Food, visit www.OttawaFood.org for more information.

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 www.hope.edu/sustainability-institute for more information.

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.