Living Sustainabily: A Week’s Worth of Things to Do for Earth Day
By Abagail Jeavons and Michelle Gibbs
Since the first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970, Earth Day has become an international movement with events worldwide demonstrating support for environmental protection. “The wealth of the nation is its air, water, soil, forests, minerals, rivers, lakes, oceans, scenic beauty, wildlife habitats and biodiversity… that’s all there is,” said Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. senator from Wisconsin, who founded the day.
“That’s the whole economy. That’s where all the economic activity and jobs come from. These biological systems are the sustaining wealth of the world.”
The Holland area offers a full week of Earth Day-oriented themes and events, beginning Monday, April 17. But any day can be an Earth Day, as seen by about 50 Hope College students who recently participated in a beach clean-up.
Doing things like cleaning up our local beach is so important because it lets us take ownership over our community and deliberately shape it into the kind of community in which we want to live,” said one of the students, Olivia Witta. “Little things like this are the things that ultimately make the world better.
Here is an Earth Week list of things to join in or think about in the Holland area:
Explore an alternative commuting option such as walking, biking, or carpooling.
Bike Holland! is a casual, social bike ride around downtown to learn locations of the new bike lanes. The ride will roll out from Centennial Park at 7 p.m. and will last roughly 45 minutes. All types of cyclists and bikes welcome. Helmets required. (These rides will take place every third Monday of the month from April through August.)
Tap Water Tuesday
“Take back the Tap” by opting to use a reusable water bottle and fill it from the faucet or fountain. Often, people drink bottled water out of convenience or because they think it tastes better, but in blind taste tests, participants often prefer the tap. Plus, drinking tap water is better for the environment and your wallet.
Sandy Hansen, a local artist, will present her eco-art and highlight the important and impactful conversation between art and the environment. Hope College, Martha Miller Center, first floor Rotunda at 3 p.m.
“What’s Invading My Habitat?” will be Living Sustainably Along the Lakeshore’s final event of the spring. Herrick District Library, 6:30 p.m.
Rarely, do we think about where things go when we throw them “away.” Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle! And don’t forget to compost food waste. For more information about what can be recycled rather than sent to the landfill in the city of Holland, visit www.cityofholland.com/solidwasteandrecycling. GreenMichigan.org is also a great resource about items you typically wouldn’t think to be recyclable.
Learn about the impacts the clothes we purchase have socially and environmentall’y with a discussion led by staff from the Bridge and watch clips from the film “True Cost; in the Schaap Science Center, 35 E. 12th St., Room 1019. 7 to 9 p.m.
“Women in Nature” will be hosted by the Outdoor Discovery Center at 6 p.m. This series is designed to motivate women to be more healthy, active and passionate about the natural world. To register visit: outdoordiscovery.org/events/women-nature- nature-photography/
Did you know the food we eat has a huge impact on the environment? Try products that are organic, local and meatless.
A children’s event at the North Side Herrick Library, 155 Riley St., will let the kids make their own recycled bird feeders, along with two other earth-friendly make-and- take crafts. Participants will be entered in a drawing for a $50 Jonkers Garden Center gift card.
Earth Day Saturday
Turn off electronics, unplug and get outdoors! Ideas include studying outside, visiting a park or getting some family and friends together to pick up trash or plant a tree.
For additional details about these and other activities, visit the Community Sustainability Calendar under Events at www.hope.edu/sustainability-institute/. For more information about the international Earth Day, visit: https://www.epa.gov/history/epa-history- earth-day.
Abagail Jeavons is a Hope College junior and co-president of Hope Advocates for Sustainability. Michelle Gibbs is director of the Holland-Hope College Sustainability Institute.
BEACH CLEAN.JPG Hope College students and the group Hope Advocates for Sustainability recently cleared trash from Lake Michigan beaches.
Courtesy photo BIKING2.JPG Alternative commuting options, including bike riding, are a great way to celebrate Earth Week and start being more sustainable. Courtesy photo: Rob Walcott at www.pcketphotographr.com and Velo City Cycles.
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