JIM AND MARTIE BULTMAN STUDENT CENTER EARNS LEED GOLD CERTIFICATION

JIM AND MARTIE BULTMAN STUDENT CENTER EARNS LEED GOLD CERTIFICATION; WOOD FROM STORM-FELLED TREES LINKS PAST AND PRESENT

September 17, 2018 — by Greg Olgers

Organizations seeking LEED certification for their construction projects have many ways to earn it, including by using regional materials. In developing the Jim and Martie Bultman Student Center, which recently received LEED Gold certification, Hope College integrated a meaningful resource from mere yards away: wood saved from venerable campus elms that were felled by a storm.

The trees were lost in a thunderstorm that caused damage throughout the Holland area in June 2011.  Hope saved the trunks and turned them into boards to be used some day in a way that commemorated the trees’ long tenure at the college.

The student center, which is in the central campus, provided the opportunity, with construction beginning in 2015 for a fall 2017 opening.  Boards from an elm estimated to have been 164 years old (older than Hope, chartered in 1866) panel the east wall of the building’s chapel.  A wall in a large, multi-use room and the wall and bench work surrounding the main lounge’s fireplace also feature wood from campus.

“The trees were present for generations as students attended Hope,” said Dr. Richard Frost, who is vice president for student development and dean of students at the college.  “The boards made from them provide a connection between the past, present and future.  Just as importantly, the wood has become a significant element in the student center being designated as a LEED Gold building.”

Image result for leed goldThe center is the second newly constructed building in a row at the college to earn LEED certification, with plans underway for a hat trick.  The Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts that opened in August 2015 holds LEED Silver certification, and Hope will also be seeking certification for the new Campus Ministries building that is under construction and scheduled to be completed next fall.

“Sustainability is an ongoing commitment for us, and constructing buildings with concern for the environment is an important part of that commitment,” said Kara Slater, who is director of operations at the college and is a LEED accredited professional (LEED AP).  “In the same way, the college is dedicated to exercising good stewardship in its day-to-day operations, whether it’s the water-efficient irrigation that we use across campus, installing LED lighting or through the cleaning materials that we use.”

Read the full press release here:

https://hope.edu/news/2018/campus-life/jim-and-martie-bultman-student-center-earns-leed-gold-certification-wood-from-storm-felled-trees-links-past-and-present.html 

Living Sustainably: Holland Stands Out in Governor’s Energy Excellence Awards

By Anne Saliers, Holland Board of Public Works

More finalists have been selected from Holland for the 2018 Governor’s Energy Excellence Awards than from any other city in the state.

Holland resident Roy Cole is a finalist in the Governor’s Energy Excellence Awards Best Residential Project category.

Of the 21 businesses, organizations, and individuals across the state that have been honored this year, three are from Holland, a fourth is honored because of its work in Holland, and a fifth Holland resident has been chosen for an honorable mention. The city with the second most selections was Detroit – with just two finalists.
The Energy Excellence Awards recognize the people and organizations in Michigan that have taken firm, meaningful actions to improve energy efficiency.
Focusing on energy is nothing new to Holland citizens and businesses. The city’s long-range Community Energy Plan, initiated by the Holland Community Sustainability Committee, lays out a strategy the city has been implementing with excellent results for six years.

The Holland Board of Public Works is a finalist in the Governor’s Energy Excellence Awards Best Project category for the Holland Energy Park.

The plan, devised to ensure Holland’s economic vitality, aims to reduce carbon emissions from 24 metric tons per capita to 10 metric tons by 2050. The plan has already reduced the carbon footprint by an estimated seven metric tons of carbon dioxide per capita since the 2010 baseline. Key accomplishments include the new Holland Energy Park, snowmelt expansion, utility energy efficiency education and incentives, the creation of Holland Energy Fund as a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation, and the development of the Home Energy Retrofit and On-Bill Loan Programs.
Next up is the renovated Civic Center, which will be heated by, would you believe, the snowmelt system! It’s a form of “district heating” using waste heat from power generation to heat the building. The snowmelt system serves as the transmission line that gets the heat to the building.
Other people are taking note of our progress and progressiveness, including the governor. He will announce the eight category award winners at an invitation-only event in Grand Rapids on Sept. 5.

Here are Holland’s finalists:
Best Projects – Residential: Roy Cole (Robert Katrinic received honorable mention).
Best Project – Public: Holland Board of Public Works for Holland Energy Park.
Contractor of the Year: WMGB Home Improvement for all the home energy efficiency retrofits in Holland.
Best Program: Holland Board of Public Works for its Residential Energy Performance Labeling Pilot Program.

The Governor’s Energy Excellence Awards honor Michigan individuals and organizations that have made reducing energy waste and implementing energy-efficient practices part of their everyday lives.
Congratulations to these finalists and to the Holland community!

 Anne Saliers is community energy services manager at Holland Board of Public Works. She leads the conservation and energy waste reduction programs for the utility, including the On-Bill Loan Program, and the implementation of Holland’s long-range Community Energy Plan.

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.

Living Sustainably: Booming bike use benefits Holland

By Meika Weiss, Pedal Holland

Increased bike ridership to core city events, like the Art Fair, eases traffic and parking congestion while increasing the overall health and sustainability of the community.

The number of people bicycling in Holland has increased an incredible 281 percent since the year 2000, far outpacing the national increase of 51 percent, according to U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.
This is great news because of the positive effects bikes have in cities like ours, even for people who don’t ride: Better air quality means fewer asthma attacks and less cardiovascular disease, our streets last longer and cost less to maintain, our neighborhoods are quieter, and we see fewer crashes of all kinds.

Efforts like the City of Holland Bike Plan encourage and support bike riding, which improves the health and sustainability of the community.

Our best guesses for reasons why bicycling is increasing so quickly here also point us toward future improvements that can continue to boost ridership and community sustainability.
Those reasons include nearly 200 miles of shared use pathways and 70 miles of on-street routes, in addition to our well-established Green Commute Week program. A recent study by the National Association of City Transportation Officials showed that places with new, high-comfort bike facilities – generally meaning places for bikes that are separated or protected in some way from motor traffic – see an increase between 21 percent and 171 percent in the number of people riding.

The number of people biking in Holland has increased 281 percent since 2000, well above the national average, helping boost the health and sustainability of the community.

This hints at one way to address two important local challenges – increasing our housing supply and accommodating development in our thriving downtown. Because bicycles take up much less space than cars, shifting some car trips to bicycles will allow us to preserve the character of our downtown and center city neighborhoods while still allowing other traffic to flow smoothly.
Even though we see most great bike infrastructure in big cities, small cities like Holland have several advantages over large metropolitan areas in creating a bicycling culture.
One of the most powerful is Holland’s relatively small footprint. Nationally, 40 percent of all trips are two miles or less, a very reasonable ride for even the most casual bicyclist. Since our metropolitan region is only 10 to 12 miles across in any direction, many of our destinations are already in easy biking distance. Because bike facilities are relatively inexpensive compared to automobile infrastructure, Holland could become a national leader for less than the cost of a single public parking garage.
The greater Holland area is off to a great start in becoming a bike-friendly community. If you are inspired to get started riding, keep it simple: Get some lights on your bike, grab a helmet, and move predictably while riding – travel in a straight line in the same direction as car traffic and pay attention to street lights and stop signs.

https://www.cityofholland.com/bikeholland

http://www.the-macc.org/transportation/overview/

http://www.the-macc.org/transportation/overview/

Other bicyclists are a great resource for new riders, too. Join us for a casual Bike Holland ride on Aug. 13 or Sept. 10 at 6 p.m., starting at Velo City Cycles, 326. S. River Ave. in Holland.

 Meika Weiss is the founding board chairperson of Pedal Holland, a start-up non-profit advocacy group committed to making bicycling an easy choice for transportation and recreation.

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: People can expand or limit invasive bugs’ impact

This small fuzzy material and the tiny bug that creates it on hemlock trees is an invasive species that could have massive impact by decimating Michigan’s hemlock forests.

By Analise Sala ’19 and Micaela Wells ’19, Hope College
Travel has consequences. Thanks to an increasingly connected world, American forests house more than 360 non-native insect species, 30 percent of which have become serious pests.
By relocating and displacing organisms, we are effectively homogenizing our planet’s landscape in a period of great human influence on the environment that has been coined the “anthropocene.”
Many are aware of the emerald ash borer, an invasive Asian beetle. It was first discovered in 2002 in southeast Michigan, where by now it has killed over 99 percent of adult ash trees. The transport of firewood and nursery trees ensured quick spread from forest to forest throughout Michigan and the eastern U.S.
Dead trees all around Holland are symbols of this beetle’s destructive power.
This story is far from unique. Fewer than 15 years after the invasion of the emerald ash borer, a new insect threatens Michigan tree species. The invasive hemlock woolly adelgid has been discovered on Eastern hemlocks in West Michigan’s own dune forests.
And still another pest is knocking on our doors. The Asian longhorned beetle is devouring the heartwood of thousands of maples and other hardwood trees in neighboring Ohio and frequently hitches rides on human-transported firewood and shipping pallets.
These insects are not problematic in their home regions of highly interdependent systems. Home-range trees have evolved defenses against their longtime pests, and they can coexist with no danger of heavy infestation.

However, when the pests are transported away from their home regions, natural competitors and predators are left behind, allowing unchecked invasive populations to spread rapidly.
The danger, then, comes with us. Every tree, pallet, or pair of unwashed hiking boots moved from one place to another has the potential to introduce a new major player into an existing ecosystem. These major players can out-compete and displace multiple native species, reducing an area’s biodiversity.
We can best appreciate the local diversity of the places we visit by doing whatever we can to keep those places just that – local. Landscaping with local nursery stock, washing clothing after visiting the woods, and heeding those oft-overlooked Department of Natural Resources warnings against transporting
fish, firewood or soil are all great ways to slow the spread of invasives that threaten the unique ecosystems of our region.
We can also report the presence of invasive species to cooperatives like the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network which work to monitor and control invasive species spread. (Visit www.misin.msu.edu/ for more information.)
Undoubtedly, some pests will still spread, and scientists will need to explore new ways to combat those threats, but we can each help prevent the frequency at which they must do so. Explore and cherish our unique West Michigan ecosystems, but be mindful of what you take with you.
 Analise Sala and Micaela Wells are summer student researchers working at Hope College under Drs. Vanessa Muilenburg, K. Greg Murray, and Kathy Winnett-Murray on the project “Direct and Indirect Impacts of a Developing Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Invasion in West Michigan Dune Forests.”

June 2018 Sustainability News

June 2018 Sustainability News

June 30, 2018 – Parks enrich children’s lives

June 30, 2018 – ‘Task force’ quietly planning James DeYoung vision process

June 30, 2018 – The Annual Macatawa Water Festival is right around the corner, Saturday, July 14!

June 30, 2018 – Trump claims Saudi Arabia will boost oil production

June 30, 2018 – What will become of the historic Park Township airport?

June 29, 2018 – Where you can be a kid again: Adult summer camps

June 29, 2018 – Gypsy moths are back, defoliating trees in West Michigan

June 29, 2018 – $6 Million in Bogus Organic Fruit Sold to U.S., Costa Rican Report Finds

June 28, 2018 – Letter: Community Kitchen set to reopen

June 28, 2018 – Migrant workers prove vital to local farming community

June 28, 2018 – Hundreds arrested in DC protesting Trump immigration policy

June 27, 2018 – Back-to-school readiness contributes to your child’s academic success

June 26, 2018 – 5 simple ways to green your business

June 26, 2018 – New ‘Smart Brick’ will aid in snowmelt efficiency

June 26, 2018 – Mental illness – one common language

June 25, 2018 – Living Sustainably:  Eating local – Food for thought

June 25, 2018 – Prudence Hilburn: You don’t need meat to have a complete meal

June 25, 2018 – Target, Tesco, CVS to Require Environmental Impact Data from Suppliers through CDP

June 24, 2018 – Hope science camps challenge young minds

June 24, 2018 – Canoeing in the wilderness of Minnesota’s Boundary Waters

June 22, 2018 – Study shows business case for racial equity:  Report finds Michigan can gain $92 billion in economic output by 2050 if racial disparities are eliminated

June 22, 2018 – OPEC countries to pump more oil to contain price increase

June 22, 2018 – West Michigan companies rate as ‘Best for the World’

June 22, 2018 – Are Certificates of Deposit Worth It Right Now?

June 21, 2018 – Cities at the Crossroads of Consumption and Sustainability

June 21, 2018 – Small businesses and the benefits of conscious capitalism

June 21, 2018 – Trump scraps Obama policy on protecting oceans, Great Lakes

June 21, 2018 – Holland Police ice cream truck rolling out for second season

June 21, 2018 – Looking to the long term, UPS boosts fleet with CNG trucks

June 20, 2018 – Volunteers wanted for Holland State Park clean-up day

June 20, 2018 – Hamilton schools pass surplus budget

June 19, 2018 – Living Sustainably:  Food projects help share the summer bounty

June 19, 2018 – U.S. Announces Its Withdrawal From U.N. Human Rights Council

June 19, 2018 – Has Environmental Sustainability Lost its Relevance?

June 19, 2018 – More Travel Providers Boost Sustainability Initiatives

June 19, 2018 – WO set to have enrollment drops, some deficits in 2018-19

June 19, 2018 – Donate school supplies, food pantry items to Stuff the Bus events

June 18, 2018 – Flooding from sea level rise threatens over 300,000 US coastal homes – study

June 18, 2018 – El Niño watch issued: How it could seriously affect this storm season

June 17, 2018 – DeVos muddies debate: Education leader’s comments spark immigration worries, outrage

June 16, 2018 – Why many Americans aren’t benefiting from robust US economy

June 15, 2018 – Sidewalk repairs, youth employment coming with Holland’s CDBG funds

June 15, 2018 – Michigan enacts toughest lead rules in U.S. after Flint crisis

June 14, 2018 – At Summertime Jamboree, play cornhole, race cockroaches and more

June 13, 2018 – Drug, assault and sex offenses up in Ottawa County

June 12, 2018 – Charitable giving in US tops $400 billion for first time

June 11, 2018 – Living Sustainably:  Framework guides Holland’s sustainability efforts

June 7, 2018 – Yellowstone boss says Trump administration forcing him out

June 5, 2018 – Lawmakers, civil rights groups call for DeVos to set record straight on immigration, schools

June 5, 2018 – Local fruit farmers optimistic about upcoming season

June 5, 2018 – ‘Station Eleven’ picked for Big Read Lakeshore

June 4, 2018 – Living Sustainably:  Summer is time to spur kids’ natural curiosity

June 1, 2018 – Group challenges Nestle’s water permit from Michigan

June 1, 2018 – Home Help: How to attract hungry hummingbirds to your yard

June 1, 2018 – Nicolas Loris: (Opinion) Why gas prices are pumped up – and how we can lower them

June 1, 2018 – Holland State Park receives beach wheelchair donation from nonprofit Lori’s Voice

June 1, 2018 – Avoiding meat and dairy is ‘single biggest way’ to reduce your impact on Earth

Living Sustainably: Eating local: Food for thought

By Madison Ostrander, Hope College ’17 and Eighth Day Farm Intern

Food bought at a local CSA like Eighth Day Farm is direct from the farm and needs less packaging and transport than food imported to the area.

I spend my days interning on a farm in the middle of a parking lot learning about the intricacies and practices of urban farming. I’m a recent college graduate with a passion for food and an itch to learn more about agriculture, especially as it pertains to food justice, community development, and sustainability.
Through getting to know the farmers, sampling each flavor-bursting harvest, and becoming acquainted with our natural growing practices, I have been thoroughly convinced of the benefits of buying locally grown food or even starting a home garden.
Although many people experience barriers to buying local produce, such as work schedules, constrained budgets, and lack of growing space, it is my hope that sharing the following benefits and presenting doable alternatives will serve as motivating food for thought resulting in progressive change.
Aside from providing more irresistible summer salads and savory stir fries, supporting local growers also has profound health, environmental, and economic benefits.

Fresh, locally grown fruit like strawberries can be picked at a peak of ripeness and flavor.

Who can forget an unfortunate run-in with over-ripe or otherwise displeasing produce from a grocery store? Growing your own food or buying from local farmers has the exciting potential to relieve us from such disappointments.

In addition to improved quality, many believe consuming locally-grown food is better for your health. At larger farms, mechanical harvesting often precedes long transport to the grocery store. Some crops may not have been harvested at their peak ripeness, when they retain the most nutrients. Locally grown produce can be picked at peak ripeness, as it doesn’t need artificial ripening or the ability to withstand a cross-country road trip.
Those cross-country trips don’t only signal a longer wait time from the farm to your fork; they also damage the environment through greenhouse gas emissions. And local farmers can use less packaging than those supplying grocery stores. Note, for example, the unnecessarily plastic-wrapped cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, and so on.
The health of our bodies and environment is important, but so is that of our economy. Holland recognizes the importance of its small businesses, as our community values both their stories as well as their ability to stimulate Holland’s economy. Well, I suggest you buy local produce for the same reasons.
You can eat local in many ways: Holland is home to produce stands, Holland Farmers Market, CSAs, and community gardens.
The Holland Farmers Market is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tents stretch over flowers, baked goods, and of course, vibrant in-season produce. Bridge Cards also can be used.
Another option is joining a CSA, short for Community Supported Agriculture. In a CSA, members pay an annual fee in exchange for an abundance of seasonal produce and the opportunity to know their farmer.
Eating local is certainly food for thought.
 Madison Ostrander is an intern at Eighth Day Farm, a local urban farm focused on creation care and natural growing practices. A recent business and writing graduate from Hope College, she aspires to team her interest in writing with her passion for both wellness and sustainability in her future career.

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