Do you have plastic trash at home that you don’t know what to do with? Plastic pieces that are not recyclable, but which you hate to throw away, knowing they will make their way into a landfill? We have a solution!
We are hoping you can help us with a collaborative project that centers on the challenges of plastic pollution, particularly in our Michigan waterways. Lisa Walcott’s sculpture students will be creating sculptures made of collected plastics, which will be displayed as part of the scenery for Kara Brems’ dance piece this spring in the Dance 49 faculty Dance Concert. We are partnering with the Office of Sustainability and also getting help from Dining Services and Physical Plant to organize a “plastic drive” on campus. In order to make this happen, we would love for you to donate your own clean plastics from home in the designated bins, which will be placed in the lobby of DePree from 9/16-9/30.
We will accept all plastics but would like to particularly focus on plastics that can not otherwise be recycled curbside (even if they have a recycling number on them). All donated items MUST be clean and free of any food particles. Below is a list of suggested items:
plastic bags of all types
plastic envelopes (like the kind your amazon purchases come in)
plastic straws, plates, or flatware
film packaging (like the plastic that nearly everything you buy comes wrapped in – toothpaste containers, produce, pens, etc…)
bulky plastics such as 5-gallon buckets, broken lawn furniture, laundry baskets, milk crates, plastic toys or household items that are broken or not usable
Note: If any items are too big to fit into the provided bins, please talk with the student at the front desk or Nicole in the front office about an appropriate location to put these.
Thank you in advance for your help! We hope to post photos of the process and update you on how the sculptures turn out!
Kara Brems, Lisa Walcott, and the Office of Sustainability
We are very pleased and excited to announce the creation of the Hope College Alumni Sustainability Affinity Group (HC-ASAG).
Under the direction of its officers and Board of Directors, the HC-ASAG aims to channel the dedication and resources of its alumni to enhance the focus on Creation Care within the mission of Hope College. Group members pledge to foster lifelong relationships with each other and the College in assisting Hope to fulfill its overall mission and the strategic goals of the Office of Sustainability.
Through engagement in fundraising, in campus sustainability projects and events, and in community outreach, the Group seeks to provide focus and direction for the College’s sustainability goals, and to enhance Hope’s leadership in sustainability to the larger communities of Holland and Western Michigan.
Through the efforts of the HC-ASAG, Hope alumni will be actively engaged in learning about campus activities around sustainability, serve as an educational resource for faculty, students, and staff, and lend their expertise in shaping and supporting the College’s sustainability goals.
Are you a Hope College Alumni and work in a field of sustainability or are you personally interested in the topic? If so we’d love to hear from you! Please click here to subscribe to our quarterly newsletter or get involved in our group.
2022-2023 Sustainability Affinity Group Board Members:
Anne Deckard ’73 Hiskes Co-Chair
Retired Grand Valley State University – Dean, Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies and Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, The University of Connecticut
Kyle Funk ’18 Co-Chair
National League of Cities – Transportation and infrastructure Policy Specialist
Kaila Robertson ’19 Bylsma Secretary
Meijer – Information Technology
Richard Hiskes ’73 Outreach and Engagement
Professor Emeritus, University of Connecticut, Political Science and Human Rights
Photos from summer research with Dr. Christians and Dr. McMullen. Mark Krudy’s work focused on researching best practices for establishing a campus green fund. Gracie Hill and Bella Tafarello focused on analyzing the HVAC system in Hope’s Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts. Their analysis is helping the Hope Physical Plant better understand the real-world system performance of this LEED Silver building, helping to save Hope money and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. #sustainablehope .
Photos from Dr. Philben’s summer research team! Their team is studying how the release of nutrients from organic matter will increase with warming due to climate change. This will determine if the bog will be able to sequester additional carbon due to faster plant growth. #sustainablehope
“Our food system has major impacts on the environment. Agriculture occupies half of all ice-free land on Earth, and the global food system is responsible for 20%-37% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Animal products have a much larger environmental footprint than plant-based foods, using more resources and causing more greenhouse gas emissions… A shift toward plant-based foods is the most impactful way food companies can reduce their carbon footprint, prevent deforestation, minimize demand for water and land resources, improve food security and preserve natural habitats.”
Thank you to Hope College Dining Services, Creative Dining for your efforts in this area, congratulations on your top 10 ranking!
In Holland, we believe that in order to become a vibrant, world-class community we must look at all aspects of our community. This includes the “Triple Bottom Line” and the economic, social, and environmental impacts we all have. Our City of Holland Sustainability Committee created a seven-pillar framework with “lenses” to help us evaluate and make more sustainable choices. We have used this framework model as a way to identify the 2022 Hope College Sustainability Research Projects.
The students and their projects represented all of the college’s academic divisions — the arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural and applied science.
The research and performance celebration, first presented in 2001, is designed to spotlight the quality and importance of student-faculty collaborative research at Hope. Undergraduate research is a hallmark experience for many Hope students and has been a teaching model used at the college for more than seven decades. Mentored collaborative research happens year-round, with approximately 300 students conducting faculty-supervised independent research during the academic year and 200 doing research over the summer, making Hope’s summer research program among the largest in the nation at a liberal arts college. Since faculty are active in scholarship year-round, many more students engage in research during the academic year.
Research has a long and storied history at Hope College. More than 100 years ago, biologist Dr. Samuel O. Mast designed research laboratory space for the college’s Van Raalte Hall, which opened in 1903. The late Dr. Gerrit Van Zyl, who taught chemistry at the college from 1923 to 1964, is widely recognized for developing research-based learning at Hope in its modern sense.
Hope Advocates for Sustainability (HAS) is an organization that works to promote sustainability at Hope College. On Wednesday, April 20, HAS partnered with The Bridge, a local non-profit located in downtown Holland, for an educational event at Hope about environmental justice and fair trade.
The Bridge is known for its fair trade gifts and crafts that represent over 35 countries. Fairtrade is about helping artisans in growing countries achieve sustainable and equitable trade relationships by valuing their rights and giving them fair pay for their work. Not only does it tremendously help the workers, but fair trade also guarantees high-quality and ethically sourced products for the shoppers.
Tsion Weldetsadik (‘24) recently became an intern for Hope Advocates for Sustainability. Weldetsadik is passionate about educating people about environmental justice and the issues that are happening around the world today. She hopes to teach people how to be more aware of environmental racism and the ways in which one can get more involved.
“I’ve always been interested in social issues and social justice and sustainability also intrigues me,” Weldetsadik said, “so when I came across this position, I was really excited to be a part of it.”
Kate Martin, manager of The Bridge, came to speak about the ways in which students at Hope can become more conscientious about their purchases, specifically with the clothes they are wearing. Both passionate and knowledgeable, Martin proposed a challenge of not only being a conscious shopper but actually making the choice to purchase more sustainable and ethically sourced products.
In partnership with Heart to Heart Resale, we will be setting up move out collection stations in the lobbies of Kollen, Phelps, Cook, Gilmore, and Dykstra.
There will also be a station for students not living in those halls in the BSC inside the Student Life Office (open weekdays 10am-3pm).
Accepted items include: clothing shoes mini fridge small furniture pieces small miscellaneous items Unopened non-perishable food items can also be dropped off at the Student Life Office for the Hope Care Pantry.
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you do not live in one of these residential halls or have larger items to donate, please click the link below for a list of other area locations to donate gently used items.
Are you considering pursuing an internship addressing environmental advocacy and/or education with a non-profit organization for this summer? If so, Hope College is offering a new funding source to support a low or non-paid role: the Environmental Internship Fund. This new fund will provide up to $4,000 to support a full-time summer internship addressing a pressing climate change issue. Apply through this link by Monday, March 21st.