LIVING SUSTAINABLY: How Are We Creating a Sustainable Community?
By Brett Little and Michelle Gibbs
Great things are happening in Holland, and we want you to join in!
Many people are working hard to help Holland become a vibrant, world-class community, but for that to happen, it takes all of us working together and addressing all aspects of our community. This includes the economic, social, and environmental impacts we all have.
On March 7 at City Hall we will explore how Holland is building a more resilient community. The evening will include refreshments, a program, awards and door prizes.
The event will present the programs and tools that are helping us see where we are and how we can best adapt to change with our Community Energy Plan.
Among the evening’s activities: The winners of the Holland Energy Prize Biggest Loser Challenge will talk about what they did to save energy. In Holland, 118 households took part in the contest, and over half of them received Department of Energy Home Energy Scores. (Learn more at www.homeenergyscore.gov)
Here are a few of the easy, do-it- yourself measures that winners implemented:
Sealing air ducts,
Insulating and air sealing basement ceiling/rim joists,
Replacing old, inefficient bulbs with LED bulbs,
Sealing holes in homes and caulking around windows,
Using rigid foam boards or cellulose insulation in unfinished areas.
Learn more tips at the open house about how to make your home more efficient.
In addition, the open house will let you meet the pros who can help with low-financing options like Holland’s new Home Energy Retrofit and On-Billing Financing programs with the potential for thousands of dollars in rebates. (Learn more at ww.hollandenergyfund.com/)
Did you know that a majority of your wasted home energy is going through your floors, walls and ceilings? Most homes in Holland can see significant savings – as well as increased comfort and home health – by air sealing and insulation. People attending the Open House can sign up for a limited offer of a free Department of Energy Home Energy Score assessment of their house.
Finally, an RSVP is not required for the Open House, but those who do will be entered into additional drawings for more than $200 worth of door prizes. Go to www.Greenhomeinstitute.org/events to RSVP.
All of this work is helping the City of Holland reach the goals in the city’s 40 year Community Energy Plan, which aims to make our community a world-class leader in energy security, affordability, sustainability and efficiency.
Brett Little is director of the Green Home Institute and organizer of the Holland Biggest Loser competition. Michelle Gibbs is director of the Holland-Hope College Sustainability Institute.
If You Go
What: Creating a Sustainable Community Open House
Who: Anyone interested in saving energy and learning about how to create a more sustainable community.
When: Tuesday, March 7. 6 p.m. reception with refreshments, and 6:30 p.m. program, awards, and door prizes.
Where: Holland City Hall, 270 S. River Ave.
Why: Join the effort to make Holland a vibrant, world-class community for all.
BULB IN HAND.JPG LED bulbs are one way that winners of Holland’s Biggest Losers cut energy use.
HOME ENERGY ASSESSMENT.JPG Free Home Energy Score assessments will be available to people who attend the Sustainable Community Open House on March 7.
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.