Living Sustainably: Holland: Working towards healthy people, healthy planet, healthy community

By Ken Freestone, City of Holland

Holland has a world class 40-year Community Energy Plan with goals that have guided our efforts to reduce our per capita carbon dioxide emissions.
To date, we have made great progress in energy efficiency while maintaining cost effective, reliable and clean energy supplies. But we know that we still have much work to do as a community.
The urgency of addressing climate change has recently escalated according to the Global Environment Outlook-6 (GEO-6) published by The United Nations International Panel on Climate Change. Our Community Energy Plan and the GEO-6 have similar goals.
Our Community Energy Plan goals include strong economics through clean and reliable energy, energy efficiency for homes and businesses, and innovation and well-established strategies to meet our goals.
The GEO-6, with a focus on “Healthy People, Healthy Planet,” also clearly presents the challenges we face and lays out clear targets that include economic opportunities for new industries, creating both solutions and new jobs, and embracing innovation, technological solutions as well as global sustainability.
I believe that Holland has opportunity, with a bold Community Energy Plan, to demonstrate to the world our own best practices in sustainability and our strategic and intentional efforts towards “Healthy People, Healthy Planet” as well as a “healthy community.”
If we lead with technological innovations (inventing, manufacturing and selling solutions), make adjustments in our behavior (smarter or less consumption), and improvements in our business processes, then we will be heading towards strong economics, a healthier environment and healthier people.
On Tuesday, Oct. 22, a program called “New Developments in Smart Energy” will present what’s happening in Holland. At 6:30 p.m. at Herrick District Library, the next Living Sustainably Along the Lakeshore program will tell how Holland is leading in many ways to increase our efficiency while reducing our carbon dioxide emissions, and how individuals and a community can make significant impacts.
At the program:
 Dave Koster, general manager of Holland Board of Public Works, will talk about the new initiatives underway to further reduce Holland’s per capita carbon footprint and what citizens can do to move us toward the energy goals our community has set.
 Robert DeNooyer, of DeNooyer Chevrolet, will offer an auto dealer’s perspective on the current and upcoming line up of General Motors electric vehicles.
 Kris Hunter, of Global Battery Solutions in Holland, will share information about emerging trends in battery technology and the exciting opportunities in the near future for battery storage.
Holland continues to deliver “world class” results that demonstrate our concern for healthy people, healthy planet and healthy community.
 Ken Freestone is Holland’s residential energy advisor, focusing on home energy retrofits for city residents, and is also co-founder of GreenMichigan.org, a nonprofit focused on sustainability.

If You Go:
“New Developments in Smart Energy”
Living Sustainably Along the Lakeshore series, free admission
6:30 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 22
Herrick District Library, 300 S. River, Holland

More Online:
Holland’s Community Energy Plan Executive Summary: https://tinyurl.com/yxguc4v8
Global Environmental Outlook-6 report: https://tinyurl.com/y5qjd3w3

This Week’s Sustainability Framework Theme
Community Knowledge: The collective knowledge and energy of the community is an incredible resource that 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.

Living Sustainably: Celebrate: Save money, cut carbon and breathe easier

By Anne Saliers, Holland Board of Public Works
With the sun having crossed the equator and daylight shortening, I find myself instinctively adding items I haven’t worn in months as I dress in the morning. Things like a sweater, sometimes a jacket, and socks. Flip-flops have migrated to the back of the closet.
Around the house, my windows are open less and lights are turned on earlier each evening. It’s a cozy feeling, actually, when it’s gradual like this, but I also know it means I’m using more energy. Soon, I’ll be turning the heat back on.
As community energy services manager at Holland Board of Public Works, it is my job to wake up each day and think about how to help everyone, residents and businesses, save energy. Why? Because our civic leaders are committed to a bold, progressive Community Energy Plan in which energy efficiency and conservation are productive and cost-effective ways for Holland to become a world-class city.
The Community Energy Plan mantra is, if you don’t need it, don’t use it. You save money, cut carbon, and breathe easier. You also keep money in the community that would otherwise be spent on fuel, all of which is imported from outside of Holland.
To promote these benefits, a national Energy Efficiency Day is now celebrated during the first week of October.
Holland Mayor Nancy DeBoer proclaimed Energy Efficiency Day for Holland at the City Council meeting on Oct. 2, stating, “Whereas, together, the residents and businesses of the City of Holland can continue to contribute to our success and quality of life by learning more about energy efficiency and practicing smarter energy use in our daily lives.”
Did you spot the big postcard in your mail recently that tips you to look for the blue Energy Star logo on LED light bulbs, appliances, and electronics you buy? I hope so, because the blue star indicates optimal energy efficiency and a likely rebate from your utility. You save twice – cash back and lower utility bills.
This week is also American Public Power Week. Celebrate with us by stopping by the BPW Service Center lobby on Friday, October 11, from 11-5 for doughnuts and a free LED lightbulb, and at Holland Energy Park from 4-6:30 for ice cream and popcorn, an LED lightbulb kit, exploring the Visitor Center, and climbing into BPW trucks.
We’re celebrating affordable, reliable, sustainable, community-owned power, and your wise use of it.
As you get cozy this fall, think about how you will benefit from being more energy efficient. Look for the blue Energy Star label on the electrical products you buy, cash in on rebates, and know you’re contributing to making Holland a great place to live.
 Anne Saliers is community energy services manager at Holland Board of Public Works and a Holland resident.

If You Go
American Public Power Week Celebration
What: Doughnuts and free LED lightbulbs
When: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday, Oct. 11
Where: HBPW Service Center, 25 Hastings Ave., Holland
What: Refreshments, Visitor Center exploration, free LED lightbulb kit, Touch-a Truck and more
When: 4 to 6:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 11
Where: Holland Energy Park, 1 Energy Park Way, Holland

Learn More Online
Energy Efficiency Day 2019 – www.energyefficiencyday.org
ENERGY STAR – www.energystar.gov
Rebates from HBPW – www.hollandbpw.com/en/energy-smart-program
American Public Power Week – www.publicpower.org/event/public-power-week

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: Climate strike encourages self-reflection, action

By Emma Bright ’18, Community Member
As I sat in the bay window of my Eighth Street apartment Friday, Sept. 20, I heard the clamor of voices from afar. As they drew closer, I made out the chant “We want climate justice!” being passionately yelled by a small but feisty group of youth climate protesters.
I did not know it as they picketed by, but I soon learned that from Sept. 20 through 27, roughly 4,638 events were scheduled in 139 countries in an effort to join people together for a Global Climate Strike. In New York alone, more than 1.1 million students cut class and marched on Friday.
At first, I felt a little wave of pride, it takes a lot of gusto to march down Eighth street on a Friday afternoon. However, what caught my attention next is what kept my thoughts spinning the following days. An older man sipping a beer on the patio yelling in response, “Then don’t buy rubber shoes!” I immediately scanned the protesters for any brands flagged for lacking environmental ethics, for a hint of hypocrisy in the marchers.

I also wondered, “Is all that gusto a hipster facade? They probably used disposable water bottles.”
My own judgment spiraled on. Assuming that the man was referencing the all-too-close-to-home Wolverine dumping debacle near Grand Rapids, I further found myself analyzing my personal environmental choices of the week.
As I consider myself to be quite environmentally conscious, I felt a wave of guilt as I remembered the moldy Tupperware of soup I found in the back of my fridge. I dumped it all in the trash instead of composting the soup and washing the container. I remembered the sweater I bought at one of the big box stores, probably unethically made. Why didn’t I save up for organic cotton?
How many straws have I used this month?  Was it selfish to blast my AC when I would have been only slightly warmer with the window open? I own two pairs of Chacos, so am I somewhat to blame for Wolverine’s waste disposal? Similar thoughts spiraled, and my own sustainable consciousness grew more guilt. 
Then it dawned on me. These kids marching for “climate justice” were not marching to inform me that I am a terrible person for buying rubber shoes or using a plastic straw on occasion.
Not to say one shouldn’t be aware of their own carbon footprint, but they were marching for justice – for the attention of Congress, for policy change, for the recognition of the global effects of climate change.
The climate change strike of 2019 is not a force to make you feel terrible about the number of plastic bags you use at the grocery store. While everyone in the strike would admit it is preferable to use your own reusable bags, the movement is bigger than that: It is a force to call attention to the greater picture of global sustainability.
Policy change can happen, and it begins with showing our representatives that we, the community, believe that change is needed.
 Emma Bright graduated from Hope College in 2018 with a degree in English literature. She strives to live her life as sustainability as possible, even on a budget in Holland.

This Week’s Sustainability Framework Theme
Community Knowledge: The collective knowledge and energy of the community is an incredible resource that 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.

Living Sustainably: Plant-based foods offer better health, better environment

By Steven McMullen, Hope College
There are many different ways in which most of us could change our lifestyle in order to do less damage to the environment and the ecosystems that support us. For most people in the United States, however, there are few changes that we can make that will have more of a positive impact than to consume more plants and fewer animal products.
Each year more people choose to eat vegetarian and vegan diets, and they do so for many different reasons.
Some eat less meat for health reasons, since eating more plants and fewer animal products is a more healthy choice for most of us. Others do so to limit the poor treatment of animals in our modern food system. A large number of people have chosen to change their diets in order to reduce the environmental impact.
All of these have merit, but consider the following case for sustainable eating:

Climate Change: While it is well-known that cars and coal-burning power plants often cause substantial greenhouse gas emissions, animal agriculture also has a big impact. According to one report, farmed animals contribute about 14.5 percent of our emissions. Since diet is sometimes easier to control than other consumption, cutting out meat may be the easiest change you can make.
Fresh Water Use: We are blessed with abundant fresh water in Michigan, but most of our meat and dairy comes from out of state, sometimes from areas where fresh water is far scarcer. Turning cows into beef, in particular, uses a lot of fresh water. While some plants we eat use a lot of water, almost all plants use less water than animal foods.
Land Use: If you have ever traveled through the western U.S., you will probably have seen vast amounts of land used to raise cows. Far more land goes to raising animals than you might think, however.
Pigs, chickens, and cows end up eating more corn and soybeans than people do. After exports and ethanol are factored out, we use approximately twice as much land to grow food for animals as we do to grow food for people in the U.S. If we all ate less meat, that would free up considerable amounts of land for natural environments or other uses.

There are so many new plant-based grocery items and restaurant menu items in our area that shifting your diet away from animal products toward plants has never been easier.
Moreover, every time you purchase plant-based foods, you make it a little easier for others to do the same, since grocery stores, restaurants, and even pot-lucks at your church will start to offer more items that are better for our environment. Give it a try today.

 Steven McMullen is a Holland resident and an associate professor of economics at Hope College.

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.

for more information.

Living Sustainably: Volunteers tackle trash – in Holland and globally

By Evan Bright, Dec. 2019 Hope College graduate and intern with the Holland-Hope Sustainability Institute
Volunteers around the world – and in Holland – will flock to streets, rivers, beaches, and forests this Saturday, Sept. 21, in a communal effort to rid our beautiful planet of litter and mismanaged waste.
World Cleanup Day has become a global phenomenon, uniting 18 million volunteers in 157 countries last year. This effort to collect improperly disposed trash began in 2008 in the country of Estonia, where 50,000 people united to clean up the entire country in just five hours.
Estonia’s ambition sparked a movement that looks past race, gender, or social status to focus on the betterment of the planet we all share. World Cleanup Day is a surprisingly simple initiative, not some miracle solution but just a push to act. We all see the problem of mismanaged trash, and we all have the ability to reduce it within our own communities.
Learn more about World Cleanup Day at worldcleanupday.us/, with details about the national campaign found at nationalcleanupday.org/.
Locally, a cleanup will focus on our waterfront. In the Holland area, we are fortunate to be surrounded by vast amounts of fresh water that is home to diverse plants and animals. Our abundance of water is a defining characteristic of our community, and a big reason so many people visit. We should take pride in our environment, and this is why the Outdoor Discovery Center and the Macatawa Area Coordinating Council organize semi-annual cleanup days for the Lake Macatawa waterfront. 
“Trash pollution is one of the most prevalent types of pollution in the world today,” notes Kelly Goward of the Macatawa Area Coordinating Council. “It can harm fish and other wildlife and interfere with human recreation.”
Taking part in the waterfront cleanup is a wonderful way for community members to get involved with their community and care for the watershed.
The waterways may appear clean from a distance. But Outdoor Discovery Center staffer Dan Callam pointed out, “(We) typically will gather somewhere between 100 and 200 pounds of trash at each event, although these numbers can vary depending on whether our finds are Styrofoam or car seats – and we’ve found both!” 
In the spirit of World Cleanup Day, the Holland community will have its next cleanup 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday Sept. 21 at two locations – Window on the Waterfront, 20 S. River Ave., or the south end of Kollen Park, at 250 Kollen Park Drive.
Advance registration is required to provide sufficient cleanup supplies. All are welcome, and extra hands are always appreciated. Register online at outdoordiscovery.org/ under “Get Involved.”
Whether or not you can participate in the riverfront cleanup, we can all easily get involved in World Cleanup Day. Go on a small walk in any direction, taking along a bag and gloves, and before too long you’ll find a piece of trash or two to put in its proper place. Take a few seconds to remove a piece of litter from the street and better our community and our planet. 
Our gestures do not have to be grand, but we simply must act.


 Evan Bright is an intern with the Holland-Hope Sustainability Institute, a proud Holland area native, and a Hope College math major graduating December 2019.

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.

Living Sustainably: Think ‘glocal’ about our threatened water resource

By Michelle Gibbs, Office of Sustainability
Glocal water. What in the world is that? 
The term glocal refers to considering a particular topic from both a global and local perspective.
And, in our area, water certainly is a topic we should approach that way, thinking about how our choices are impacting our local water as well as global water.  
For many Michiganders, part of our identity and culture comes from our connection to water.  We live in a state that has the unique characteristic of touching most of the Great Lakes, which combined hold one-fifth of the world’s surface fresh water.  Michiganders also tout that we have more than 3,000 miles
of shoreline, and we are never more than six miles away from a lake. So, it really isn’t a surprise that we hold this amazing natural resource close to our hearts.  Water is this beautiful resource that is constantly moving and changing forms as it travels through the water cycle.
Yet, while we are surrounded by water, we don’t realize that this precious resource is in danger.  
At 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17, at Herrick District Library, the Living Sustainably Along the Lakeshore planning team will kick off another year of fun, free, educational, and interactive events.  This series aims to educate and empower residents in the greater Holland area to live more sustainably. 
September’s event will have door prizes and offer material understandable for all ages, so we highly encourage youth to attend and learn ways they can get involved.    
The topic that evening will be Glocal Water. The event will kick off with a presentation by Dr. David Van Wylen, the dean of natural and applied sciences at Hope College. Van Wylen will discuss the challenge of global water scarcity and some of the issues that arise as we deal with this challenge.
“Living next to Lake Michigan in a state with an abundance of inland rivers/lakes and sufficient precipitation, it is easy to be ignorant of the daily challenges faced by many in the world as they seek safe, accessible, and affordable water sources,” Van Wylen said.  
The next presenter will be Paul Sachs, director of the Department of Planning and Performance Improvement at Ottawa County, speaking about the county’s challenges with groundwater depletion in the deep bedrock Marshall Sandstone formation. 
His presentation will be interactive and will include a physical groundwater model showing how our unique geology is affecting local water recharge.  Sachs’ presentation is based on recent research conducted by Michigan State University. 
Our final speaker will be local author and Great Lakes advocate Mary McKSchmidt, who will lead us through the call to action about what we can all do.  McKSchmidt’s presentation will be interactive and kid-friendly as she helps us understand that it is not okay that the health of Lake Michigan is at risk, nor that the number and magnitude of the issues are increasing.
“There are things we can do, as individuals, to make a difference. But if we want to drive needed changes faster, more efficiently, we need to link arms and form teams,” McKSchmidt said.
She will share the example of the impact of 42 fourth graders from Quincy Elementary School, and we’ll explore how more organizations in Holland can get involved in tackling everyday issues that threaten access to and the quality of our water.
 Michelle Gibbs is the director for the Office of Sustainability at Hope College and is also the director for the Holland-Hope College Sustainability Institute, a collaboration of Hope College, the City of Holland, and Holland Board of Public Works.

What: Glocal Water, a Living Sustainably Along the Lakeshore event
When: 6:30-8 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 17
Where: Herrick District Library, 300 S. River Ave., Holland

This Week’s Sustainability Framework Theme:
Community Knowledge: The collective knowledge and energy of the community is an incredible resource that 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.

Living Sustainably: Preserving farmland ensures future food

By Becky Huttenga, Ottawa County Economic Development
When you boil it right down, the term sustainability really just means ditching the mindset of “there will always be more.” More fossil fuels. More places to put our trash. More safe water. More clean air. More abundant food.
Let’s focus here on that last one: more food. Almost all of us have heard the United Nations prediction that the world population will hit close to 10 billion people by the year 2050, and not surprisingly, one of the biggest challenges that will accompany that burgeoning population is feeding them all.
Even with all of the amazing innovation and technological advancements in agriculture, growing our food will always be reliant upon having adequate land available for farming. As you drive around Ottawa County, it might not seem like we need to worry about protecting our farmland, with all of the different
crops and barns you see, including blueberries, corn, soybeans, hay, celery, cattle, hogs, poultry.
But make no mistake, many factors threaten our farmland, including development pressure, lack of new farmers to take over operations, and financial instability of farming, just to name a few.
Ottawa County leaders are very aware of these threats and are actively working to protect county farmland.
One protection method the county uses is the creation of permanent agricultural easements through its Farmland Preservation Program. This program allows the county to procure the development rights to farmland from landowners, which means the land must remain agricultural and can never be developed.
The program uses a combination of grant funding, landowner contributions, and private donations to purchase the development rights. No county tax dollars are used to purchase the rights.
Using agricultural easements to protect farmland has a number of benefits.
For a young farmer trying to break into the industry, buying farmland is often the largest capital acquisition they will make. Buying farmland that has an agricultural easement on it can be more affordable for that young farmer.
For the farmer who protected his land with an agricultural easement, the money that he or she receives from the county in exchange for the development rights to the land can be used to invest in the farming operation, to save for retirement, or to balance out their estate among their successors.
For everyone else, the benefit is the land we depend upon for food production is permanently protected.
While creation of agricultural easements is the farmland protection tool that the county has been using the longest, it is not the only tool. County leaders are working on a comprehensive plan to help address the most critical threats to our farmland, and that plan will be released later this year.
Two upcoming events are related to the issue of farmland preservation.
If farmland protection is important to you, please consider attending the Farms are the Tapas fundraising event on Sept. 26, 2019. The evening feature farm-to-table foods, master chef cooking competitions, fresh local ingredients, a silent auction and live music. Find out more at www.miottawa.org/tapas.
To learn more about farmland loss and what we can do about it, consider attending our Redefining Farmland Preservation event on Nov. 8, 2019. Learn more at www.miottawa.org/farmland.
 Becky Huttenga is the economic development coordinator for Ottawa County. She works to redevelop underutilized and contaminated properties, protect prime farmland, and invigorate the farm economy in throughout the county.

Event Details:
Two events will address the issue of preserving farmland in Ottawa County

What: Farms are the Tapas
When: 6 p.m. Sept. 26
More info: www.miottawa.org/tapas

What: Redefining Farmland Preservation
When: 8:30 a.m., Nov. 8
More info: Search Redefining Farmland Preservation at Evitebrite

This Week’s Sustainability Framework Theme
Community & Neighborhood: The places we live and the individuals we interact with support the development of our personalities and perspectives on life. Encouraging vital and effective communities is essential.

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: Two events will celebrate the works of Wendell Berry

By Mary Huisman and Peter Boogaart, Creation Care Group
The thoughts and works of Wendell Berry, among the greatest living American writers, will be the focus of two special events in Holland on Sept. 13 and 14.
A writer of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction essays, Berry examines both community and nature, reflecting on their relationship and on issues such as our impact on the environment, the impact of industrial agriculture, and preservation of rural communities.
The first event is a film and panel discussion about Berry’s work at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 13 at Hope Church, 77 W. 10th St. in Holland.
The second event is a retreat for participants to explore Berry’s lifetime of work as a writer, farmer and activist. It will be 9:15 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, at the Outdoor Discover Center, 4214 56th St., Holland.
While the events are related, they also stand independent of one another. The public is invited to attend either event or both. There is no charge for the film. Cost of the Saturday retreat is $25, and space is limited; registration is available on Eventbrite.

The Friday evening event will be a showing of the film “Look and See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry.” A panel discussion will follow the film, with panelists Steve Bouma-Prediger, professor of religion at Hope College; Carol Bechtel, professor of Old Testament at Western Theological Seminary; and Andy Rosendaal, curator of Eighth Day Farms.
“Look and See” is a cinematic portrait of the changing landscapes and shifting values of rural America in the era of industrial agriculture, as seen through the mind’s eye of Berry. Through his award- winning poetry, fiction, and non-fiction essays, Berry is a prophetic voice winsomely calling us to live in ways that honor our calling to be earthkeepers of our home planet.
“Look and See” is filmed in the rolling hills of Henry Country, Kentucky, where Berry has lived and farmed since 1964. It weaves Berry’s poetry with gorgeous cinematography and the testimonies of family and neighbors.
The Saturday retreat, “Look, See and Listen,” will explore Berry’s lifetime of writings – poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction – with a focus on rest and delight. Berry fans are invited to bring a favorite quote and/or poem. People new to the work of Wendell Berry are invited to bring their desire to learn more. 
In 1965, Berry astonished colleagues and critics when he left the publishing epicenter of New York to return home to Port Royal, Kentucky. He and his wife, Tanya, bought a small farmhouse and began a life of farming, writing and teaching.
This lifelong relationship with both the land and community would come to form the core of his prolific writings.
A half century later Henry County, like many rural communities across America, has become a place of quiet ideological struggle. In the span of a generation, the agrarian virtues of simplicity, land stewardship, sustainable farming, local economies and rootedness to place have been replaced by a capital-intensive model of industrial agriculture characterized by machine labor, chemical fertilizers, soil erosion and debt – all of which have frayed the fabric of rural communities.
The public is invited to bring their perspectives, thoughts and comments to both event. Registration for both events is available on Eventbrite or by emailing maryhuisman47@gmail.com.
 Mary Huisman is a member of the Creation Care Group of Grace Episcopal Church in Holland. Peter Boogaart leads the Macatawa Creation Care Group that meets at Hope Church in Holland. Both are also involved in the Citizens Climate Lobby.

This Week’s Sustainability Framework Theme
Community Knowledge: The collective knowledge and energy of the community is an incredible resource that 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.