Involving All of Us in So Many Ways
By Michelle Gibbs
Director, Holland-Hope College Sustainability Institute
Welcome to the new Living Sustainably series!
This weekly column is sponsored by the Holland-Hope College Sustainability Institute as a way to keep our community informed and engaged in all of the great work in sustainability that is happening around the greater Holland area.
You may be asking yourself, what really is “sustainability?” The term sustainability has been defined in many ways, but the most commonly referenced definition comes from the Brundtland Commission’s Report Our Common Future which states “sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” This weekly column is aimed at showing how issues of sustainability are actually at play in so many areas of our lives.
Each week, guest authors will share information about events or work they are involved in as it relates to seven categories. These categories make up our “Sustainability Framework,” which demonstrates the many ways in which sustainability awareness can improve our community’s future. They are:
- Smart Energy
- Economic Development
- Community & Neighborhood
- Quality of Life
- Community Knowledge
- Environmental Action & Awareness
Our City of Holland Sustainability Committee has created this seven-pillar Sustainability Framework with “lenses” to help us evaluate and make more sustainable choices. We are using this framework as a way to share information about our journey to become a more sustainable community. Each week’s column will look at an issue through one of these lenses.
The city’s vision statement says Holland is “a vibrant, world-class community in a beautiful lakefront environment where people work together, celebrate community, and realize dreams.” We believe for that to be true, we must look at all aspects of our community – including the economic, social, and environmental impacts we all have. In doing that, we are working hard to ensure that Holland is a great place to live, work, and play for generations to come.
The Sustainability Institute is entering our third year of partnership between Hope College, the City of Holland, and Holland Board of Public Works. The purpose of the Institute is to support efforts to encourage, engage, educate, and drive sustainable culture in water and air quality, energy efficiency, land use, and environmental innovation.
Our vision 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.
We invite anyone and everyone in the community to join in. Check out the new community sustainability dashboard at www.hollandsustainabilityreport.org to see dozens of metrics in all seven framework areas. You can also follow us on Facebook by liking the group “Living Sustainably Along the Lakeshore.”
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. See more at hope.edu/sustainability-institute