Living Sustainably: LED Technology Offers Bright Ideas for Saving Money

LIVING SUSTAINABLY:  LED Technology Offers Bright Ideas for Saving Money
By Barry Rutherford, Holland Board of Public Works

Like many small business owners, Joe Langejans, owner of Maplewood Auto at 242 East 26th St. in Holland, has to make every dollar count to stay in business. So, when he was approached by a salesman talking about new LED lights and how much money he could save, Langejans said “show me in writing” and asked for a quote.
A light-emitting diode, or LED, is a type of lighting that uses a semi-conductor to turn electricity into light.
According to the Department of Energy, LEDs can be six to seven times more efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs and last 25 times longer. In addition to being more efficient than any other bulb, LEDs contain no mercury, and have a much smaller environmental impact than traditional bulbs.

The contractor assessed and quoted Langejans’ facility and presented him with a couple of surprising things.
First was a sizeable rebate for the project from Holland Board of Public Works, which, according to Langejans was “absolutely” critical in determining his decision to move forward with the project. In addition, the contractor made it easy by handling the rebate paperwork. Last year alone, Holland BPW helped more than 150 businesses earn rebates for a wide variety of energy efficiency improvements.
The second surprise was that the contractor estimated Maplewood Auto would recover the cost of the project in just nine months with the rebate and the energy savings from the LED lights.
“The contractor gave me an impressive return on investment estimate due to the rebate, and explained the long-term, energy-saving nature of installing LED lights, which is why I moved forward with the project,” Langejans said.
Langejans is very happy with the performance of the LED lights; they resulted in a 36 percent reduction in Maplewood Auto’s electric bill, making for a quick payback. Langejans said he would recommend other small businesses in the Holland community adopt smart energy practices and look into financial assistance if needed.
Not sure where to start? Start by contacting an electrician or lighting supplier to help determine what LEDs are right for your business and visit hollandbpw.com for available rebates. Financing options are also available at Michigansaves.org.
 Barry Rutherford is a certified energy efficiency engineer at Holland Board of Public Works. He advises commercial and industrial customers on ways to improve the energy efficiency of their facilities and production processes.

PHOTO CUTLINES –
Maplewood1.jpg A well-lit work area at Maplewood Auto Repair costs much less to light with LED technology.
maplewood.jpg New LED technology provided a 36 percent reduction in the electric bills for Joe Langejans at Maplewood Auto Repair.

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.

August 2017 Sustainability News

August 2017 Sustainability News

August 31, 2017 – 7 Ways to Have a Great Green Labor Day Party

August 31, 2017 – 4 steps to safely recycle your household batteries

August 31, 2017 – SpartanNash expands Double Up program

August 31, 2017 – Here’s What Good Buildings Have in Common

August 31, 2017 – Local Favorites: This salad takes advantage of fresh veggies

August 31, 2017 – Holland area joins Harvey relief cause; learn where is best to give

August 30, 2017 – Something in the Water:  Turns out there are more than a handful of craft breweries owned by Hope College alumni.

August 30, 2017 – Into Africa:  Dr. Tim Laman ’83 is passionate about conservation and joined the Hope College Alumni Travel Program.

August 30, 2017 – Dumpster-Diving Your Way into Zero Waste to Landfill

August 30, 2017 – Considering a Green Roof to Boost Stormwater Management? New PACE Funding Can Help

August 30, 2017 – How much would Hurricane Harvey rain raise the Great Lakes?

August 30, 2017 – Comment period closing for Saugatuck Dunes marina development

August 30, 2017 – Michigan communities take slightly different approach to clean energy financing tool

August 30, 2017 – National environment group recognizes GVSU sustainability practices

August 29, 2017 – Hurricane Harvey a Trash, Logistics Disaster

August 29, 2017 – 7 Ways to Improve Energy Efficiency

August 29, 2017 – The ever-inconvenient Gore

August 28, 2017 – Living Sustainably: Gardening a different way helps students learn

August 28, 2017 – Could states lure new businesses with renewable energy? (Large companies are looking for locations that help them meet clean energy goals, says a Michigan utility.)

August 26, 2017 – Meet the nation’s most endangered monuments

August 25, 2017 – Hurricane Harvey Shakes Up Oil Prices

August 25, 2017 – Why are Bill Gates and Richard Branson investing in meat that costs $18,000 a pound?

August 25, 2017 – Michigan DNR reminds hunters to observe cervid importation regulations

August 25, 2017 – Artist takes part in groundbreaking exhibition

August 24, 2017 – By 2021, we’ll have lost more than 4,000 grocery stores

August 24, 2017- Women Who Care donates $19,500 to Escape Ministries

August 24, 2017 – Fennville Schools asking for $23M bond

August 24, 2017 – Downtown Holland parking ambassador starting next week

August 24, 2017 – Letter: Clear and present danger

August 24, 2017 – Interior Secretary Zinke won’t eliminate any national monuments

August 24, 2017 – Indianapolis LED Streetlight Upgrade Will Save More Than $800K Per Year

August 24, 2017 – As In-house Sustainable Sourcing Schemes Soar, Will Fairtrade Fade?

August 23, 2017 – Letter: Clean water crucial to making America great again

August 23, 2017 – ‘Not one drop’ of Poland Spring bottled water is from a spring, lawsuit claims

August 23, 2017 – Midwest researchers aim to make home energy management systems even smarter

August 23, 2017 – Organic produce becomes mainstream

August 23, 2017 – How much sugar in that cola? Panera to list it on its cups

August 22, 2017 – A coal country dispute over an alleged Trump promise unmet

August 23, 2017- As US Exports More Natural Gas, Manufacturers Worry About Increased Prices

August 22, 2017 – Sierra Magazine Cool Schools 2017 – Hope College listed as 156/227 schools  Full List.    Princeton Review:  Green College 2018 Honor Roll

August 21, 2017 – Living Sustainably: Award-winning series celebrates local sustainability

August 22, 2017 – Green Roof Retrofits Relieve Stormwater Systems (and Look Lovely)

August 20, 2017 – Meet Destination Education’s new college advisers

August 19, 2017 – How a middle-aged Midwestern nobody made his mark in the Arctic

August 18, 2017 – Asian carp caught near Lake Michigan got past electric barriers

August 18, 2017 – GHI projects receive Governor’s Energy Excellence Award nomination

August 18, 2017 – Holland votes to file lawsuit against company involved in Holland Energy Park project

August 18, 2017 – THE MEETING OF THE FUTURE IS GREEN AND LOOKS LIKE THIS

August 17, 2017 – Michigan Legislature Expands Program Serving Locally-Grown Food in Schools

August 17, 2017 – It’s Time to Tie Executive Compensation to Sustainability

August 17, 2017 – Cream Cheese Plant Uses ‘Unsustainable & Disruptive’ Amounts of Water

August 16, 2017 – MESSAGE TO THE HOPE COMMUNITY by Rev. Dennis Voskuil

August 16, 2017 – Method Cleaning Products To Display How2Recycle Labels

August 15, 2017 – SMELLS OF THE CITY

August 15, 2017 – Living Sustainably: Creative recycling can help Michigan catch up

August 15, 2017 – Annual Michigan Economic Developers Association meeting held in Holland

August 15, 2017 – 5 simple ways to stay connected as a family on a budget

August 15, 2017 – Hudsonville receives tree-planting grant

August 15, 2017 – West Olive’s Ottawa School turns 150

August 15, 2017 – Holland police surprise special needs student

August 15, 2017 – Eclipse viewers need special glasses, astronomers say

August 15, 2017 – Infant mortality rate rises 35% in Holland

August 15, 2017 – EXHIBITION “OUT OF NATURE” TO OPEN ON AUG. 24

August 14, 2017 – Living Sustainably: Creative recycling can help Michigan catch up

August 14, 2017 – Developer wants industrial district in Holland for future tax abatement

August 14, 2017 – UNIQUE REUNION CELEBRATES HOPE PROFESSOR AND THE SCIENCES

August 11, 2017 – Poll: Most say time to stop trying to repeal ‘Obamacare’

August 10, 2017 – Building Healthy Communities encourages Michigan schools to apply for wellness program

August 10, 2017 – Hope College’s Bultman Center provides dedicated student space

August 10, 2017 – Latino Republicans see political peril in Trump immigration plan

August 10, 2017 – Holland reacts to the election of Raul Garcia

August 10, 2017 – Millennials are driving a $9 trillion change in investing

August 10, 2017 – Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance Announces New Executive Director

August 9, 2017 – FORMER TRUSTEE CHAIR MAX DE PREE DIES

August 9, 2017 – NSF GRANT SUPPORTS HOPE COLLEGE DEVELOPMENT OF BIO-INSPIRED APPROACH TO REDUCE THE EFFECTS OF EARTHQUAKES

August 8, 2017 – 6 Essential Truths That Will Help the World Urbanize Sustainably

August 7, 2017 –Living Sustainably: 5 ways to put green into back to school

August 7, 2017 – STUDENTS HONORED DURING NATIONAL MATHEMATICS CONFERENCE FOR PRESENTATIONS ON BIRD SONG RESEARCH

August 7, 2017 – Government Report Finds Drastic Impact of Climate Change on U.S.

August 7, 2017 – Secretary Perdue Announces $16.8 Million to Encourage SNAP Participants to Purchase Healthy Foods

August 7, 2017 – Wrangler to Cotton Farmers: Improve Sustainability, Boosts Profits, We’ll Help

August 7, 2017 – Former VW Exec Pleads Guilty to Helping Car Maker Cheat Emissions Standards in the US

August 7, 2017 – DuPont Continues to Settle Environmental Lawsuits, Adds Another $50M

August 7, 2017 – World’s Largest Companies Push Record Growth in Renewable Energy

August 7, 2017 – Commercial Building Retrofits Follow Ultra-Low Energy Trend

August 6, 2017 – HITLER’S AMERICAN MODEL–AND WHAT THAT MEANS FOR RACE IN THE U.S. TODAY

August 5, 2017 – Students get prekindergarten help with Start School Ready

August 4, 2017 – Camp Sunshine creates fun space for developmentally disabled

August 4, 2017 – Spring & Summer Sustainability Slants: Supply Chain, Packaging & Apparel

August 4, 2017 – The hidden environmental costs of dog and cat food

August 4, 2017 – Class to offer mountain biking basics

August 4, 2017 – How Much Motor City Water Does Coke Use, and What Does It Cost ‘Em?

August 4, 2017 – PepsiCo Faces Activist Outrage, Plus Threats of More to Come

August 4, 2017 – Report Points Finger at US Timber Distributors for Illegal Deforestation in PNG

August 3, 2017 – Third Annual Governor’s Energy Excellence Awards Honor Michiganders for Innovative Energy Solutions (Finalists include public, private efforts to reduce energy waste)  Holland has been involved in three of the finalist projects.  Information about the program can be found at http://mienergyexcellence.org/

August 3, 2017 – Holland state park, DNR host stop invasives week

August 3, 2017 – The Mediterranean diet works – but not if you’re poor, a study finds

August 3, 2017 – NSF GRANT SUPPORTS EXPANSION OF ONLINE RESOURCE FOR TEACHING INORGANIC CHEMISTRY

August 3, 2017 – Walmart: Chemical Footprint Reporting Is Key to Creating Sustainable Stuff

August 2, 2017 – Hope College earns STARS Silver rating

August 2, 2017 – Sustainability in school isn’t as hard as you think (Going green in your dorm isn’t as hard as you think)

August 2, 2017 – Must-have elements for building a sustainable new home

August 2, 2017 – UPDATE: Civic Center work halted during investigation of fatal accident

August 2, 2017 – Hitting the Goals of the Paris Agreement Requires Urgent Business Support

August 1, 2017 – 5 tips for taking the stress out of ‘back to after school’

August 1, 2017 – Michigan DNR to accept pre-proposals for aquatic habitat grants

August 1, 2017 – How Alternative Energy Affects Electricity Pricing

Living Sustainably: Award-winning series celebrates local sustainability

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 www.hollandsustainabilityreport.org/.
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,
 GreenMichigan.org,
 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 www.hope.edu/sustainability-institute 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:  http://bit.ly/visit-holland-energy-park
“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.

PHOTO CUTLINES –
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.

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.

A Brighter Tomorrow: Hope College Students’ Actions and Attitudes About Sustainability

Research Project – A Brighter Tomorrow: Hope College Students’ Actions and Attitudes About Sustainability
By: Cindy Alexander and Dr. Stephen C. Scogin
Historically, colleges struggle reducing energy consumption, due in part to a lack of student fiscal accountability. Nonetheless, Hope College is committed to building a sustainable institution, and thus seeks to reduce energy consumption and promote green actions such as recycling. This mixed methods study sampled 685 students living on campus during the 2016-2017 school year. Students in three different residential locations (dorms, cottages, apartments) answered 24 Likert and open response questions about their attitudes and actions regarding energy and recycling activities and their opinions about sustainability practices. A one-way ANOVA was used to compare students’ responses regarding sustainability practices based on residential location.
Inductive qualitative analysis was used to identify the most common suggestions of how to encourage sustainability practices on campus. Results indicate: (1) The most common suggestions were to increase education through posters and flyers, increase the number and convenience of recycling receptacles, and encourage competitions to reduce consumption, (2) Students in cottages acted more sustainably, while students in dorms tended to act least sustainably, and (3) Student attitudes did not always match actions.
From these results, we conclude that further steps to achieve a more sustainable campus should aim to increase education, particularly targeting students in dorms as they are in the greatest need of an intervention and also represent the largest proportion of on campus students. In addition, providing more recycling cans in convenient locations would likely improve recycling participation. Finally, organizing competitions between on campus residents would encourage energy reducing habitats, educate students’ on their usage, and promote cognitive dissonance in students who are not acting in accordance with their attitudes about sustainable practices.

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 – HOPE COLLEGE EARNS STARS SILVER RATING FOR SUSTAINABILITY ACHIEVEMENTS

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

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 15, 2017 – PHOTOGRAPHY BY STEVE NELSON FEATURED AT PIERCE CEDAR CREEK INSTITUTE

June 14, 2017 – HOPE COLLEGE STUDENTS ARE IMMERSED IN THE SCIENCES FROM DAY1

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 – NSF GRANT SUPPORTS DEVELOPMENT OF RESEARCH EXPERIENCE FOR STUDENTS IN HOPE COLLEGE BIOCHEMISTRY LABORATORY COURSE

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: Manage your house for more comfort, lower energy bills

Living Sustainably: Manage your house for more comfort, lower energy bills

By Peter Boogaart, City of Holland Residential Energy Adviser

In the commercial/industrial sector, every building has a supervisor, someone who is responsible for managing the way it functions. When something is wrong — no heat, broken window, lights out — you call the “super.”

In the residential sector, every house – and there are 7,500 single family homes in Holland – has a “super” too. It just happens to be you, the homeowner. OK, true – but most of us never took a Building Management course, and the house didn’t come with an owner’s manual.

So, what should we do to manage our homes most efficiently?

First, monitor your building. Supers get reports. Today those reports are digital and happen in real time. Homeowners get reports too. They’re called utility bills. Yes, you have to pay it, but the real value is in the data. How many therms of gas, kWh of electricity or gallons of water are you using? How does your run rate compare with an energy efficient home? With a wi-fi thermostat, much of this information can be digital too. Some homeowners are installing dashboards which give them real-time monitoring.

Second, whatever your technology, begin with an audit. You need to know your baseline. The Holland Board of Public Works can help. Access their online tool (find the Home Energy Use Calculator in the pulldown at www.hollandbpw.com/my-home) and calculate your energy use number. Think of it as the miles-per- gallon for your house; low numbers are better.

Third, take an inventory. Go room to room and write down everything that uses electricity. How many light bulbs? Are they LED? Are your electronics and entertainment equipment on smart surge protectors? Are your major appliances Energy Star rated? Ask yourself, “Do I need it? Could it be unplugged?” You may not need to change anything, but you won’t know that without an intentional review.

Next check your mechanical equipment. Do you have a high-efficiency furnace and a schedule for changing the furnace filter? Efficient air conditioning? Check your hot water tank – is it set for 120°F, the most efficient temperature?

Fourth, listen to the family. Complaints are data. Cold rooms? Big bills? Drafty? They’re telling you where the problems are!

If the problems are significant, you may need diagnostic help from a certified building analyst. The technician will check all your systems and run a pressurization test. Think of it like your checkup with your doctor. If you live in the city, Holland’s Home Energy Retrofit program can walk you through the process. There are incentives and funding available through the On-Bill Loan program. Go to www.hollandenergyfund.com to check out the options.

Buildings are as variable as people. Some are more efficient than others. Be a smart super for your house and keep it running efficiently.

 Peter Boogaart is the residential energy adviser for the City of Holland and assists homeowners with energy efficiency issues.

PHOTO CUTLINES –

PETER TESTING.JPG – Peter Boogaart, Holland’s residential energy advisor, checks a furnace for leaking emissions.

EFFICIENT LIGHTS.JPG – Installing efficient light bulbs is one of the things a smart homeowner can do to cut back energy use.

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.