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.