Gift a Tree This Holiday Season

Not sure what to gift the environmentalist in your life? How about planting a tree in their honor? Green is partnering with local organizations to offer the perfect gift this holiday season. We are planting trees in the West Michigan area in honor of the person you choose.

Here is what you get

A certificate emailed to you or the person of your choosing explaining the gift

A local native tree will be planted in the spring or the fall depending on purchase

Once tree is planted a map will be sent to you or the person you are choosing letting you know where your tree is planted.

Want a Bunch of Trees or do you have questions? Contact


Video -Reducing the amount of plastic by Angela Topp

Reducing the amount of plastic you use |

Reducing the amount of plastic you use


Natural Awakenings West Michigan Magazine / Resource

Natural Awakenings is your guide to a healthier, more balanced life. In each issue readers find cutting-edge information on natural health, nutrition, fitness, personal growth, green living, creative expression and the products and services that support a healthy lifestyle.




TEDX Macatawa Event Sets A Great Sustainable Example

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This year’s TEDxMacatawa put forward a sustainability message that went beyond reducing, reusing and recycling. It focused on value-added collaborations. Four collaborative initiatives were added to a single day that will have a lasting impact far into the future.

  1. A local company provided Renewable Energy Credits, representing an indirect emission reduction for the energy used for TEDxMacatawa and for offsetting an entire month’s use of electricity for the Knickerbocker Theatre.
  2. The recycling and composting bins used for the day were donated by Recycle Box Bin . These boxes are made in West Michigan and now are being used for other local events.
  3. One dollar from every ticket sold ($382 for 382 trees) was donated to The Land Conservancy of West Michigan to purchase locally cultivated trees through the Ottawa Conservation District for reforesting a Nature Preserve in West Michigan. The Land Conservancy will plant the trees and provide oversight and maintenance of those trees in perpetuity.
  4. Finally, coordination for the credits, recycle bins, trees and composting and the overall sustainability message have been in collaboration with a new West Michigan environmental resource center located at

Careful attention has been given to sustainability by the TEDxMacatawa planning team. It ranged from locally sourced food Hope College provided, the reduction of energy for putting on the event, the reduction of waste to the long-lasting value that TEDxMacatawa provided even beyond the day of the event.

TEDxMacatawa is proudly committed to stewardship of our natural and personal resources by embracing the Collaboration by Design message and purpose.


By the TEDxMacatawa planning team

Tips Instructions for Removing Trash Cans and Encouraging Use of Recycling Stations

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Tips  for Removing Trash Cans (and encouraging use of recycling hubs)
We learned a lot as we implemented Centralized Waste Hubs and wanted to share our tips and instructions.

recycling Bin

1) Really, really perfect your rational and be sure that EVERYONE is talking about it.
-Use facts to persuade people, but consider telling it as a story… it can even be a long story. Our message, in story form, is found at the end of this document.

2) Expect push-back
-People are really attached to their trash cans, but you CAN change behavior!

3) Revaluate and Educate constantly
-For a while we noticed that large plastic fountain pop cups were being tossed into the trash. We realized that the icon on our “Plastics” bin was a bottle and so people were confused. We modified the bin sign and the problem was gone! Similarly, we noticed that most of our “trash” was candy/chip wrappers. We called our provider and they indicated that if we set up a separate bin for wrappers, that they would be able to recycle them. And so we did!

4) Arm your staff with answers to FAQs
-From “where does this go” to “why are we doing this”… the questions come forward all the time, and so it is helpful for staff to not only buy in to the initiative, but also be able to help educate

5) Consider using “Individual Recycling Containers” for staff with individual offices.
-We realized right away that our full time faculty and staff did not want to get up and walk to a centralized bin each time they opened an envelope, ate a snack, or used a tissue and so we offered “individualized recycling containers.” Our containers are paper bags with our logo on them so that people can fill them up and empty/sort at a hub as needed. The bags work well for several reasons:
A.) In a shared office space, each person can have their own
B.) Small bags encourage people take care of them regularly (custodial staff will NOT be sorting bags)
C.) If a bag gets somewhat gross, it can be composted

For a local, Inexpensive Recycling Bin Maker Check out

This was implemented in parts of Grand Valley State University,
GM Dealership Denooyer Chevy, and TEDx Macatawa


Simple Solutions to Stop Using Plastic


Three years ago, I did something unusual for me; I made a New Year’s Resolution.  My goal was to stop getting plastic grocery bags.  We were already using cloth bags for our large bi-weekly trips, but I noticed that it was the small trips where the bags were coming from.  My radar for plastic usage had been going up due to numerous stories about the bags floating in the Pacific and then seeing trash wash up on the beautiful island where we vacation.


That goal has now grown to borderline obsession which I am happy to say my husband has also adopted.   Below are some suggestions for how you can start to reduce your consumption of plastics.  What I realize is,  like most things in life, that success comes with being committed.


At the restaurant

  • When buying pop, take in your own insulated cup or re-use the restaurant’s cup.  I use a vintage large plastic cup from McDonald’s to satisfy my Diet Coke addiction.
  • Take it a step further and also re-use the lid & straw.
  • When you buy your next hot beverage, put the lid in your glove box so that you can re-use on the next visit.
  • When getting food to go, ask for no bag.  Great examples of plastic bag pushers are Subway & Taco Bell.  It is called “carry out” for a reason.
  • Before making the decision to take home leftovers, notice if the restaurant uses Styrofoam or compostable boxes.


At the grocery store

  • Take your own cloth bags
  • Take you own bags for vegetables & meat, or don’t use at all.
  • When comparing different brands, look for those that use less packaging or packaging that is recyclable.
  • Eating healthy drives less packaging too.  Cooking from scratch means less packaging than processed foods.
  • Regularly shop at your local farmer’s market.


At home

  • If you do end up with plastic bags, use them for your kitchen trash instead of using a new garbage bag.
  • Refill water bottles and keep them in the refrigerator to take with you.
  • Wash & reuse food storage bags.
  • Reuse plastic wrap.  Since we started buying Papa Murphy’s’ take & bake pizza, we have not had to buy a new roll of plastic wrap!
  • Create a compost pile.  This will reduce your garbage and in turn the amount of garbage bags used.
  • Fix or repair instead of buying new products, such as vacuum cleaners and small kitchen appliances.
  • Donate unused items instead of putting in the trash.

By: Beth Clark – Hudsonville MI


Christmas Stocking Stuffers – Holland

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A great gift  for family’s is a gift certificate to a locally owned  and operated restaurant.

I am personally  giving away jars of local honey from a local university @gvsu along with hand made adult hot chocolate kits. 🙂
Don’t forget to look locally for gift ideas.
Where I live in Holland Mi:

The Bridge, a great fair-trade store, where you can find an assortment of socially- and environmentally-friendly products.
While you’re in the area, don’t forget to stop by the Peanut Store, for popcorn balls and other consumable goodies.

Karla’ Place  a place were locally made gifts are sold.


There are always Christmas markets across the state seliing locally made gifts.  I n Holland Check out the holiday Kertsmarkt


Sometimes it’s the little things that count the most. LED light bulbs fit snugly in a stocking and can spare many a kilowatt hour this coming new year.

Tire gauges are another great little gift. By keeping tires properly inflated, you can save fuel and cut pollution.
For families with lots of electronics and toys, consider giving rechargeable batteries and chargers. It is a great way to save landfills and pocketbooks at the same time.