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 –
Rebates from HBPW –
American 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.

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 for more information.