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: Standards help make spaces more healthy

Living Sustainably: Standards help make spaces more healthy

By Morna Hallsaxton, EcoCreative Design

When designing a building, most architects consider the functions of the building to determine the building structure and materials. However, the WELL Building Standard rating system v1.0, launched in 2014, has increased the consideration of human health in design and construction strategies.

Seven years of development helped formulate seven wellness concepts included in the WELL Building Standard. A WELL building certification must demonstrate specific thresholds of compliance within each of those concepts: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind. The International Building Institute, which administers the voluntary WELL standard, is committed to balancing occupant health benefits with profitability.

Each concept in the WELL Building Standard has many features that focus on specific aspects of occupant health, comfort or knowledge. It also identifies specific aspects of human health it will impact.

As an example, consider the following about the first feature, Air Quality Standards.

Air pollution contributes to 50,000 annual premature deaths in the United States and about 7 million annual premature deaths worldwide. Indoor air quality is particularly important since the average person spends more than 90 percent of their time indoors.

Indoor air quality can suffer from a variety of sources, including material off-gassing, decreased outdoor air ventilation, indoor combustion sources, and surfaces that can accumulate airborne germs.

These conditions can contribute to negative health effects such as asthma, upper respiratory illnesses, allergies, headaches, and decreased work productivity.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulates indoor pollutant exposure and pollutant concentrations with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards. These standards limit exposure to six major pollutants: carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, particular matter, and sulfur dioxide.

The WELL Building Standard incorporates these U.S. standards, as well as the World Health Organization requirements.

Those compliance requirements also limit exposure levels for formaldehyde and radon. A radon kit can be purchased for testing and then mailed in to obtain free results. Formaldehyde, a carcinogenic, can be released into the interior spaces from adhesives in new materials, called off-gassing.

There are three easy ways to remove indoor air pollutants.

 Increase outdoor ventilation by opening windows and/or doors as well as turning on exhaust fans.

 Purchase High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters that have different diameters of fibers that can retain smaller airborne pollutants.

 Avoid materials and products that might contain chemicals or produce chemicals such as those for which the National Ambient Air Quality Standards recommends limited exposure.

Another option is that certain plants can absorb chemicals. The gerber daisy and chrysanthemums are most effective at removing formaldehyde. Spider plants are best for removing carbon monoxide.

Good indoor air quality is important for everyone’s health. It is helps occupants live longer, feel better and be more productive.

 Morna Hallsaxton has degrees in interior design and environmental design and operates EcoCreative Design, an interior design business with an emphasis on healthy environments. Her work has included reviewing LEED projects, auditing BIFMA Furniture Sustainability Standard compliance and certifying products for environmental volatile organic compound emissions.


Healthy air.jpg Growing indoor plants helps make indoor healthier, with some plants known to reduce certain toxins.

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.


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.

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: Students make their own discoveries with air monitors

LIVING SUSTAINABLY:  Students make their own discoveries with air monitors

By Susan Ipri Brown, Hope College

Students are naturally curious about the world around them. So why not let that curiosity drive their learning?

Simple and compact air quality monitors developed by resident Don Triezenberg are doing just that through a program managed by ExploreHope, Hope College’s educational outreach center. Partnership with the Holland-Hope College Sustainability Institute expands the community relationship of the project.

The simple air quality monitors are equipped with carbon dioxide and particulate matter sensors.

Students can use them to test the air in and around their homes and schools. Through that process, the monitors have introduced science lessons to more than 300 middle and high school students in West Michigan.

Students are challenged to first discover how the monitors work through experimentation. Then, with guidance from their teachers, they design and carry out their own experiments. This student-directed learning sparks the interest of the students and allows the teacher to engage the students in a directed discussion of the related science.

While the data from these monitors are not yet calibrated to a high enough level to publicize as community air quality assessments, the findings provide powerful examples to illustrate how environmental conditions can change based on a variety of conditions. Students are investigating questions related to changes in air quality in different sections of their homes, or how the air composition changes as all the students show up for school in the morning, or the effect of humidity on air quality. Teachers are observing that students in a range of classes benefit from use of the monitors, with implementation in chemistry, math, biology and environmental science classes as examples. Middle school students in Grand Haven even started to challenge their teacher to learn how the weather and other conditions affected their data.

This week the monitors are at West Ottawa High School’s AP calculus classroom. These students have just completed their AP tests, and their teacher wanted to keep them engaged in the final weeks of school. Not only will the students be exploring real-time data collection, designing experiments and data analysis, they also will see the topics covered in their classroom in real world applications.

The monitors won’t sit idle over the summer, either. They will be used in the Hope College Summer Science Camp program managed by ExploreHope. Middle school students will explore the impact of energy generation, and high school students will explore experimental design in a week-long camp. More information on these programs is found at hope.edu/explore.

Teachers interested in hosting the monitors in their classroom next year should reach out to explore@hope.edu. Additional community partners and supporters are welcome. Funding for new monitors is needed to reach the growing classroom demand.

What’s next? Only the students can tell us that.

 Susan Ipri Brown is director of ExploreHope and instructor of engineering at Hope College.


Boy scouts2.jpg The air quality monitors are used during a Boy Scout Environmental Science Merit Badge Day at Hope College.

students.jpg Students examine the workings of the air quality monitors they get to use for testing and experiments.

Monitor.jpg – These simple but effective devices monitor carbon dioxide and particles in the air, letting students devise and test their own experiments.

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.


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 2017 Sustainability News

May 31, 2017 – Trump resisting pressure from Europe, pope on climate deal

May 30, 2017 – Living Sustainably: Acid’s impact – A “Teach for Our Energy Future” lesson


May 30, 2017 – Sustainable business at a crossroads, again

May 29, 2017 – DNR’s fish trend viewer updated with fresh content


May 26, 2017 – West Michigan water enthusiasts should feel confident diving in

May 26, 2017 – Holland Harbor to be dredged in June

May 25, 2017 – ‘Sustainable Apparel’ Apparently Continues to Gain Momentum; Supply Chain Cited

May 24, 2017 – 5 tips that support your lawn and the environment

May 23, 2017 – Trump budget slashes money of clean air and water programs

May 23, 2017 – Class of 2017 prepares to graduate from Holland-area schools

May 23, 2017 – Zeeland High woodworking class builds stairs for Early Childhood Center

May 23, 2017 – How to Invest Without Sacrificing Your Values

May 22, 2017 – Former Grand Rapids mayor shares sustainability thoughts with city council (Petoskey)

May 22, 2017 – Experts say it’s never too early to teach compassion and empathy to children

May 22, 2017 – Rainwater Harvesting Increasingly Helps Companies Reduce Stormwater Fees & Energy Use

May 21, 2017 – Living Sustainably: 6 ways to raise a sustainable family in Holland

May 20, 2017 – 3 key indicators of Ottawa County’s health

May 20, 2017 – Holland Christian students volunteer to unearth Laketown Beach stairs during ‘big dig’

May 19, 2017 – After successful festival, Tulip Time organizers begin work for next year

May 18, 2017 – The Michigan League of Conservation Voter’s Governor’s Report Card offers resource to assess how Governor Snyder performed over the last two years.

May 18, 2017 – Hope College research project receives award

May 17, 2017 – Grand Valley receives gold status from national sustainability group

May 17, 2017 – Anglers asked to report tagged fish to DNR

May 17, 2017 – Help children avoid asthma attacks by improving home indoor air quality

May 17, 2017 – Notre Dame students plan to protest against Mike Pence at commencement — and the university is okay with it

May 16, 2017 – WALK THIS WAY TO CHALLENGE BORDERS.  The project has much to teach you about those whose lives have experienced disruption and disorder due to immigration, climate change, the refugee crisis and mass incarceration. And the disciplines of art and English and science and psychology and communication all converged to do so, crossing interdisciplinary boundaries in order to challenge you about the ways you view borders — domestic or international — and the people who are affected by them.

May 16, 2017 – Michigan biking fatalities rise 81 percent since 2014

May 15, 2017 – Living Sustainably: Green Commute Week offers challenge, health, perks

May 14, 2017 – DEQ celebrates wetlands for May

May 14, 2017 – My Take: Challenge to participate in Green Commute Week

May 12, 2017 – Modern Motherhood Has Economists Worried:  A better balance between work and family could boost the world economy

May 12, 2017 – RISE: China, US agree on some trade; no rush on climate change policies

May 12, 2017 – Outdoor Discovery Center: Early Bird Hike sets off at dawn May 13

May 11, 2017 – 6 tips to make healthy eating realistic and sustainable

May 10, 2017 – Rethinking “Sustainability”

May 9, 2017 – Majority of Michigan deer hunters don’t support regulation changes


May 8, 2017 – Boston to Pursue Zero Waste, Hopes to Trim $37M Annual Hauling Cost

May 1, 2017 – FOIA Requests Filed on Trump’s ‘Bizarre’ Plan to Cut Energy Star

May 1, 2017 – The Progress Toward Sustainability

Living Sustainably: Green Commute Week offers Challenge, Health, Perks

LIVING SUSTAINABLY:  Green Commute Week offers Challenge, Health, Perks

By Carolyn Ulstad, Macatawa Area Coordinating Council

It’s finally spring! This time of year always warms my heart. The flowers and trees begin to blossom, the days gradually get longer and I notice myself and our neighbors venturing out more often from our homes. It’s incredibly refreshing to finally be able to soak up some warm rays.

Every spring I challenge myself to be more active, spend more time outside and ride my bike to work. And a great place to start my healthier and more sustainable commute is during the annual Holland/Zeeland Green Commute Week, now in its tenth year. The week-long commute challenge takes place May 14-20. It promotes walking, biking, carpooling, riding the bus and any other alternative transportation.

During the week, teams from businesses track their Green Commute miles online to compete for bragging rights and a trophy. Getting the entire workplace involved is a wonderful way promote healthy living and a healthy planet, but also the friendly competition can be a great team-building exercise.

Individual commuters not affiliated with a business can also submit their miles on the Macatawa Area Coordinating Council’s website to contribute to the overall total. At the end of the week, the Green Commute miles are totaled to calculate air quality and financial benefits to the community.

An added perk for Green Commute Week participants are Recharging Stations. These are local businesses giving discounts on things like coffee and food purchases, bike tune-ups, and free rides on MAX Transit’s fixed route service. (Find an interactive map showing the stations on the Green Commute web page.) Also this year, the Herrick District Library on River Avenue will have a photo-booth set up for anyone who green commutes.

To be eligible for discounts, participants must wear a Green Commute pin, available at the MACC office on Douglas Avenue, from any local bike shop or through an employer that is pre-registered.

To sign up your place of work or get more information about the commute challenge, call the MACC at (616)395-2688 or email culstad@the-macc.org.

 Carolyn Ulstad is program assistant at the Macatawa Area Coordinating Council.

Green Commute Week Calendar:

  • Sunday: Commute kickoff; consider biking downtown, or walk or carpool to church.
  • Monday: Bike Rodeo at Lakewood Elementary, 5 to 7 p.m. Bike Holland, 7 to 8 p.m. Casual ride, all skill levels. Meet at Centennial Park. Wear helmet.
  • Tuesday and Wednesday: School Challenge Day
  • Friday: Submit final commute miles by noon at www.the-macc.org/green- commute/green-commute-week-registration/

For information about Green Commute Week:

  • www.the-macc.org/green- commute
  • www.facebook.com/MIGreenCommute
  • on Twitter @MIGreenCommute

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.


CUTLINE BIKECOMMUTE2.JPG – In advance of Green Commute Week, a group of area residents check out Holland’s new bike routes at April’s Bike Holland ride. Courtesy photo City of Holland


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 2017 Sustainability News

April 30, 2017 – Living Sustainably: Task force shows businesses how energy efficiency wins

April 29, 2017 – Can a tiny house play a role in helping the homeless?

April 29, 2017 – Controversial Saugatuck Dunes development gets nod from planning commission

April 28, 2017 – 100% Clean Energy Bill Launched by US Senators Merkley, Sanders, Markey, and Advocates

April 28, 2017 – Robots, tasers join battle against invasive species

April 28, 2017 – DNR seeking volunteers at state parks

April 25, 2017 – Nearly 400 military bases must be tested for drinking-water contamination

April 25, 2017 – Holland West recognized for energy reduction in ‘Battle of the Buildings’

April 24, 2017 – Three Holland organizations win Battle of the Buildings Contest

April 24, 2017 – Roots run deep for American growers

April 23, 2017 – 7 things we’ve learned about Earth since the last Earth Day

April 23, 2017 – Living Sustainably: Join the Macatawa Cleanup for a healthier waterway

April 21, 2017 – DeGraaf Nature Center hosts Earth Day events

April 21, 2017 – Local SpartanNash stores to sell redesigned reusable bags

April 21, 2017 – The Swedish six-hour workday could help you live longer

April 20, 2017 – Hope College was a finalist in the “U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY RACE TO ZERO STUDENT DESIGN COMPETITION

April 20, 2017 – (Michign) Bipartisan legislators speak out against possible EPA closure

April 20, 2017 – Michigan DNR stresses caution during Wildfire Prevention Week

April 20, 2017 – George F. Will: The battle against sex trafficking of minors

April 19, 2017 – Earth Day crafts at Herrick

April 19, 2017 – Target Vows to Use Its Power & Scale to See that All Packaging Is Recyclable

April 19, 2017 – Hertz to Provide Carbon Reporting, Offsets to Corporate Clients

April 19, 2017 – 5 gadgets for a smarter home

April 19, 2017 – Walmart Launches Sustainability Platform to Reduce 1GT CO2 Emissions Across Value Chain

April 19, 2017 – Letter: Change your diet to fight climate change

April 17, 2017 – Living Sustainably: A week’s worth of things to do for Earth Day

April 17, 2017 – Kroger Sustainability ‘Lives Here’

April 11, 2017 – Chicago’s Mayor: 900 Public Buildings to Go 100% Renewable

April 10, 2017 – Living Sustainably: You can help fight the invasives invasion

April 10, 2017 – STUDENTS TO PRESENT CREATIVE AND RESEARCH PROJECTS ON APRIL 21  Original research by students on topics ranging from the historical roots of the Black Lives Matter movement, to monitoring of the Lake Macatawa watershed, to changes in political trust in the United States will be highlighted during the annual Celebration of Undergraduate Research and Creative Performance at Hope College on Friday, April 21, from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Richard and Helen DeVos Fieldhouse.

The public is invited.  Admission is free.

April 9, 2017 – Planting pride: Beautifying America one garden at a time

April 8, 2017 – Biking Holland: What’s next for city’s bike network


April 5, 2017 – Get safer drinking water

April 4, 2017 – MICHIGAN SPACE GRANT CONSORTIUM SUPPORTS SEVERAL PROJECTS Several Hope College projects have received grants from the Michigan Space Grant Consortium (MSGC).

April 4, 2017 – Subscription boxes OK for the Earth?

April 3, 2017 – Transforming Organizations with Sustainability Management

April 2, 2017 – Holland Recognized as a 2016 Tree City USA

January 2017 Sustainability News

January 30, 2017 – Living Sustainably: We can see more stars in Holland

January 30, 2017 – Why 98% of Companies Do Not Achieve Their Sustainability Goals

January 30, 2017 – BP Advocates for Putting a Price on Carbon

January 30, 2017 – How to Reduce Corporate Food Waste? There’s an Online Hub for That

January 27, 2017 – Affordable housing, LGBT ordinance among goals discussed by Holland city council


January 23, 2017 – Kids’ Food Basket adds Jefferson K-7 to Sack Supper program

January 23, 2017 – EV Charging Stations Increasingly Common

January 23, 2017 – Leaks: Trump Budget to Demolish DOE Programs

January 23, 2017 – Perry Signals Support for Energy Codes

January 22, 2017 – Living Sustainably: Cultivating a sustainable community

January 18, 2017 – EPA pick disagrees with Trump, says climate change isn’t hoax

January 18, 2017 – North Ottawa Dunes land swap finalized

January 17, 2017 – Consumers will pay more money for “sustainable” products

January 17, 2017 – Herman Miller receives WorldatWork 2017 Seal of Distinction

January 17, 2017 – Groups to begin making social justice changes in Holland

January 16, 2017 – Need identified for affordable housing in Ottawa County

January 15, 2017 – Ottawa, Allegan receive grant to battle invasive species

January 12, 2017 – Home Help: 5 tips to keep your home warm, cozy and protected this winter

January 11, 2017 – This bumble bee was everywhere. Now it’s on the endangered species list.

January 11, 2017 – Holland’s South Shore Drive to see on-street bike lanes

January 10, 2017 – Dale Wyngarden: Bike lanes need to adhere to standards

January 6, 2017 – How one company eliminated food waste: The ‘landfill can no longer be an option.’

January 6, 2017 – Cyclists gather to ride, eat, drink together at Sunday’s Frigid Frondo

January 5, 2017 – GVSU’s Sustainability Impact Totals $250 Million

January 4, 2017 – As from 1 January 2017 100% of Dutch trains are powered by wind energy.  The Dutch railways company NS is the world’s first railway company that gets 100% of its energy from wind turbines.

January 3, 2017 – Allegan, Ottawa United Way partnership brings regional service

January 3, 2017 – Holland Sentinel Guest Editorial: Think inside the box: Shipping donated items to Goodwill made simple

January 3, 2017 – Gardening trends for 2017

January 1, 2017 – 2016 Holland Annual Report  What a year it was! Expanded snowmelt, LED lights, Home Energy Retrofit Program, Record High Voter Registrations and much more. Take a look inside Holland’s 2016 Annual Report.