Local Greenhouse Recycles – Holland

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Where should we buy our plants for the yard this year? Here is a suggestion that is not only local but they also a place to recycle all our plant pots and trays locally. Jacks Greenhouse https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jacks-Greenhouses/110349882338989  located at 11771 E Lakewood Blvd, Holland, Michigan is a great local mom and pop greenhouse business. This is a fairly large greenhouse (even though it doesn’t look like it from the road). This Greenhouse not only sells plants but also collects all plastic pots (not just the ones they sell) and trays from plants. They bring the pots and trays to East Jordon plastics in South Haven http://www.eastjordanplastics.com/recycling-program to be recycled back into new plant pots and trays.  Jacks does a great job advertising this with a bin located outside their greenhouse  marked with a large recycle sign (as seen below). So as you think about where to buy your plants keep Jacks in mind.

When you buy from Jacks Greenhouse you:

  1. Support Local Greenhouse /Business
    • No shipping of plants is less local pollution
    • Your money stays in our local economy
  2. Recycle all plant pots and trays locally
    • Supporting local industry not landfills
    • Keeps raw materials locally cutting down on cost for East Jordon

All of this = Sustainability

IMG_0802

 

By : Dan Broersma

parrothead79@att.net

 

Recycling

What Do I Do With My Recycling Discussion

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On Nov. 9th 2015 the Herrick District Library hosted an America Recycles Day Event and invited local businesses and organizations to come and briefly explain the services that they offer. Ever wonder what happens to your recycling? Join us as we follow the journey that some of your most common recyclables take over the course of their life cycle.

In conjunction with America Recycles Day.

Speakers include:
Ken Freestone of greenmichigan.org
James Cherney: Goodwill
Dan Broersma: Herman Miller
Jerry Ford: Comprenew
Nic VanderVinne: Kent County
Stew Whitney: Ottawa County
Kim Buckley: CHEF Container
Pete Hoffswell: Makers Group
Daniel Schoonmaker: West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum
Doug Padnos: Padnos

How To Move Toward Zero Landfill

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Moving to Toward Zero Landfill

Business, Non-Profit, Educational Organizations

Below this article are online story’s sharing results

Moving toward zero-landfill requires your campus or organization to examine current waste management practices and consider how to modify procedures in order to determine the best management system. 

Rally!

Bring your Green Team together to outline the objectives, discuss the process, and assign point people for each aspect of this undertaking as outlined below.

 

Create a Baseline

The first step in the process is to understand the current state and what the opportunities are. This includes getting the costs for waste hauling, cleaning services, and recycling.

 

Do a Dumpster Dive

The purpose of doing a dumpster dive is to understand what’s being thrown out. Steps involved in the process:

 

–   Identify a time to conduct the dive. The best time is right before it’s emptied.

–   Identify and list typical items that can be recycled.

–   Separate trash from items that could be recycled.

–   Take pictures and/or video of the items from the dumpster.

–   Estimate the percent that could be recycled.

 

Consider recording the dumpster dive for use when rolling out the new process.

 

Review What’s Currently in Place

It’s time to take a walk through the building(s) to check out the recycling containers that are currently in place. During this review, look for:

 

–   Locations, quantity, and type of containers.

–   Information available/communicated on what can be recycled in the containers.

 

Document the locations and information available. Consider taking photos for documentation purposes.

 

Identify the recycler and what they will take

Now that the team knows what’s being thrown out and what’s in place to support recycling, it’s time to create a proposal outlining the different options.

 

1) Identify and document the opportunity:

 

–   What types of waste are being thrown out?

–   What additional types of recycling can be done?

–   What types of containers are needed?

–   Where should the containers be placed?

–   What type of information/communication is needed by the containers?

 

2) Identify providers, what they will take, and associated costs. There are a few options.

–   Stick with the existing garbage hauler: there’s usually a cost to do this.

–   Research to find a local recycler such as a regional recycler: this could be a wash in terms of cost or could potentially bring in revenue for the school.

–   Nonprofit recycler: this approach helps to create a triple bottom line story.

–   Local or regional composting industry: consider if you are not already composting food and yard waste.

–   Donate: Organizations such as Habitat Restore and Goodwill will be able to utilize gently used items

 

During this process the team should provide a list of what needs to be recycled to the different recyclers being considered to ensure they can handle all types of waste that need to be handled. The team may also want to focus on how to modify their purchasing practices in order to better ensure that which comes into the facility can be disposed of properly.

 

3) Develop a proposal outlining the different options and the pros and cons of each.

 

–   During this process, look for options to switch to items that can be reused. An example of this is switching from plastic silverware to stainless silverware. There is typically a cost savings to these types of switches.

 

Rally!

It’s time to get the Green Team back together to present the options and make decisions about what to implement. Objectives of the rally:

–   Make a decision about which option to implement.

–   Determine who will be responsible for planning the launch. This is an essential part of the process as this person needs to be committed and have capacity to lead the process.

–   Confirm the launch date is feasible and adjust if necessary.

 

Prepare for the Launch –

***See Our  “ Ho w T o I mp l ement C en t ral i z ed  Wast e Hu b s”  document for details on encouraging positive waste management decisions.

 

–   Determine what bins will be used for recycling and composting. If there are existing bins that can be used, they can be used. As necessary, purchase new bins. All bins need to be labeled. Cardboard dividers work well for separating space for different items within a bin. Consider these lessons learned from other implementations:

–   Around Organization

  • Communicate clearly what can be recycled and provide examples. This list should be supplied with the container.
  • Consider putting the recycling bins into place 4 weeks prior to removing trash receptacles. This will help people to become familiar with the process and what goes where.

–   In Offices:

  • Removing trash cans from offices has a significant impact on behavior.
  • Consider providing a receptacle or paper bag for people to keep at their desks for recycling. Employees can empty these themselves at a centralized bin or custodial services can take care of this. There’s a

cost benefit to employees taking care of this themselves.

 

 

–   Develop the marketing and communications plan.

–   Identify key messages.

–   Identify communication channels.

  • Leverage your leaders as a means of communicating.
  • Leverage your website.
  • Leverage Facebook and other social media platforms already in place at the school.

–   Look for ways to show the process.

–   Leverage the video from the dumpster dive.

–   Develop the audit plan and the metrics that will be tracked. Ensure that the metrics focus on the positives. This is an essential component in the process.

–   Pick a day for the launch and finalize the launch plan.

 

An essential component for the launch is finding ways to engrain this process so it becomes part of the culture. It will likely take some time for the new process to become the way things are done so plan to “launch” and “re-launch” this program.

 

Launch!

It’s time to implement the items in the launch plan. This is a big step in the process and is

building and campus specific. Communication plays a major role in the success of the

implementation and it doesn’t hurt to over-communicate.

 

Evaluation

The best way to evaluate how well the process is working is to do another dumpster dive. This will show what’s not being recycled. This should be done at the beginning and end of the semester with a mid-semester audit. By 4-6 months into the process, an evaluation should be done.

 

Keep the Program Going!

Ensure that people on the Green Team are assigned to ongoing responsibilities.

 

–   Check in with the recycler on a regular basis: Are they getting the materials the way they should?

–   Do a dumpster dive on an annual basis: What’s being thrown away that can be

recycled?

–   Track metrics in a scorecard and publish the scorecard in places where people will see it.

–   How much is being recycled?

–   How much is being reused?

–   Capture stories and share them!

By : Dan Broersma

parrothead79@att.net

 

https://www.gvsu.edu/holland/our-sustainability-story-17.htm

http://www.gvsu.edu/gvnow/2013/high-school-students-give-recycling-presentation-at-meijer-6252.00000.htm?photoNumber=1

 

http://www.hermanmiller.com/research/case-studies/grand-valley-state-university.html

 

How to Implement Centralized-Recycling/Waste Hubs

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How to Implement Centralized-Waste Hubs
(and remove all other containers)

Business, Non-Profit and Educational Organizations

The goal of implementing centralized waste hubs and removing individual trash/recycling containers is to encourage people to take responsibility for their waste and make responsible decisions when disposing of it. Removing individual/standalone trash and recycling containers will encourage people to ‘do the right thing’.

PREP WORK: Perfect Your Rationale
You are attempting to modify individual behavior and transform culture within your organization, so you better be ready to answer the question “why are we doing this?” Aligning this initiative with the mission/vision/values of your institution is a great starting place, but also considers why you want people to make the responsible choice when disposing of their waste. This rationale becomes your “message” and will be shared repeatedly.

PHASE 1: IMPLEMENT CENTRALIZED-WASTE HUBS

Rally!
Bring your Green Team together to outline the objectives, discuss the process, and assign point people for each aspect of this undertaking as outlined below.

Create a Baseline
The first step in the process is to understand the current state and what the opportunities are. This includes getting the costs for waste hauling, cleaning services, and recycling. You can
learn more by reading our “ How to Move Toward Zero -F i l l ” document.

Identify the Best Location for Centralized Hubs
It’s time to take a walk through the building(s) to check out the best location for your centralized hubs. Consider:
– Where the most waste is generated (lobbies, lounges, study spaces, cafeterias, etc).
– The distance between each hub
– Showing a person unfamiliar with the building a map and ask where they would assume a trash/recycling/composting station would be located

Develop Signage for the Hubs
If you haven’t already done so, determine what can/should be disposed of in each bin and make clear/obvious signage. Do not assume that people know what can/should go where. When developing signs:
– Review what was found in your dumpster dive and/or look into bins to see what items are causing confusion
– Ask students/faculty/staff what items they struggle with putting in the “right place”
– Make sure your signs have graphics that allow people to “match” their items with the right bin

Launch the Centralized Waste Hubs System
Additional information can be found in http://www.greenmichigan.org/diycase-studies/tips-instructions-for-removing-trash-cans-and-encouraging-use-of-recycling-stations/

PHASE 2: REMOVING INDIVIDUAL/STAND- ALONE RECEPTACLES

Identify Champions
Depending on the size of your organization, you may need to solicit extra buy-in or support to launch a centralized hubs only program.
– Consider enlisting champions/representatives from each of the departments or offices
on campus/in your organizations.
– Consider representatives from groups within your organization that reach many people or have significant pull: Student/Faculty Senate, Student organization officers, etc
– Consider „high profile‟ champions such as Presidents, Board Members, etc (note: this isn’t necessary for success, but is a nice touch!)

Pick a Date to Remove Individual/Stand-alone Receptacles
Select a date to remove all individual/standalone trash and recycling containers from your building/office/campus. Some things to consider:
– Consider putting the recycling bins into place 4 weeks prior to removing trash
receptacles. This will help people to become familiar with the process and what goes where.
– Coordinating the launch with a mile stone or tradition (start of semester, Earth Day, etc)
– Determine how long it will take to develop appropriate materials and train staff prior to the launch

Develop Support Materials
Ask the Green Team and Champions to consider what sorts of materials might be necessary to develop in order to successfully launch the program with minimal confusion for all constituents.
– Consider your audiences and their familiarity with your processes and procedures
Primary: Students, faculty, staff, other employees
Secondary: Community members, guests, visitors, etc
– Identify Types of materials needed for each audience. Materials could including:
Training Manual
FAQ list
Notice for guests/conference services
Signage
Announce that “Trash Cans are Going Away”
This is when knowing your rationale comes in handy. You‟ll need to rely on various forms of communication in order to launch this effectively:
– Signage/Branding
Succinctly share “the message” on signs that can be placed on or near individual trash receptacles indicating   when and why the container will disappear
Place signage with the message in high traffic areas around campus
– Word of Mouth
Equip all champions with “the message” and encourage them to keep it positive
Encourage all champions to tell “the message” to as many people as possible (formally and informally)
– Mass Communication
Update your website with information about the initiative
Send an email to as many constituents as possible (and be sure to include “the message”)
Utilize as many forms of social media as possible to generate conversation. Be sure to have champions and    people with “the message” checking these accounts and staying active in the conversation
– P.R.
Consider a press release for local media
Share the information with your student newspaper and organizations
Announce that “Trash Cans Have Gone Away ”
This is when the implementation becomes reality.
– Signage/Branding
Replace the previous signs with signs that indicate where the new recycling hubs are located.
Place additional signage with the message in high traffic areas around campus
– Word of Mouth
Equip all champions with “the message” and encourage them to keep it positive
Encourage all champions to tell “the message” to as many people as possible
(formally and informally)
– Mass Communication
Update your website with information about the initiative
Send an email to as many constituents as possible (and be sure to include “the message”)
Utilize as many forms of social media as possible to generate conversation. Be sure to have champions and    people with “the message” checking these accounts and staying active in the conversation and be ready to  answer questions.
– P.R.
Consider a press release for local media
Share the information with your student newspaper and organizations
Evaluation
The best way to evaluate how well the process is working is to do another dumpster dive. This will show what‟s not being recycled. You‟ll be surprised to see how many people make responsible decisions when you make it easy and obvious for them. Integrate the progress into your message.

Keep the Program Going!
You’re making major changes on your campus/in your organization and these processes
probably won’t be familiar to “new people” (freshman, new hires, guests, etc). Be sure to share the message when you come into contact with “the new people”. This could be at new student/staff orientations, on campus/facility tours, announcements at the start of major events, etc.

Check out more Tips http://www.greenmichigan.org/diycase-studies/tips-instructions-for-removing-trash-cans-and-encouraging-use-of-recycling-stations/ 

By : Dan Broersma

parrothead79@att.net

 

Articles showing this program works

https://www.gvsu.edu/holland/our-sustainability-story-17.htm

http://www.gvsu.edu/gvnow/2013/high-school-students-give-recycling-presentation-at-meijer-6252.00000.htm?photoNumber=1

http://www.hermanmiller.com/research/case-studies/grand-valley-state-university.html

 

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 http://www.recycleboxbin.com/

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

binbin1bin2

Habitat for Humanity ReStore is the Greenest Hardware Store

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Home improvement can be confusing, especially if you’re trying to do it the greenest way possible. I’m your average Joe. I love hardware stores, tools and the smell of cut wood — “arrr, arrr” (Tim Taylor voice. OK so I dated myself:-)). There are tons big-box stores out there. But recently, I found a store that has most of what I need that’s not only cheaper but very green, too. Welcome to the Habitat ReStore. I’ve been involved in many Habitat home builds in the past and I’d heard of the Habitat ReStore but I’d never been in one before. Then on a recent project I went to the store near my home, and wow what a store!

 

store

There’s almost anything for any project out there. As I walked around I found cabinets, molding, paint (even a great recycled paint), doors, windows, a water heater and even a couple of fireplace units. They have almost everything you need for almost any project — even tile and grout. I must admit, I was skeptical when I was first told about the store and the quality of its merchandise. But after a bunch of projects, I am now a believer. The main reason I’m so convinced is because this store basically sells recycled merchandise a lot of the material is in like-new condition. I went in the other day thinking they wouldn’t have any paint brushes but, low and behold, they had a brand new one and it was of a very high quality brush. Their used materials are of surprisingly of good quality, too. It’s simply amazing to see the variety of supplies this store stocks.

Habitat gets the surplus materials donated from builders, retail stores and average Joes and Jane’s like you and me. Just think of all the projects where you’ve had leftover flooring, or a can of paint you meant to use but decided you didn’t like the color anymore … The Habitat ReStore greatly benefits from these donations and is able to resell them for around 50 percent below retail price. Donors and buyers alike, can feel good about helping a great organization like Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

Think about this: you have a project and need materials; I just finished a project and have unused materials; we both visit the Habitat ReStore and we both help out a great cause in a very green way. I don’t see any down side!

So the next time you’re putting up a mantle in your living room or working on any other sort of project, check out the Habitat ReStore. They have knowledgeable people/volunteers, and most have years’ experience in home building and construction materials. Check out the wall below they built with recycled skids in their store.

wall

I am redoing a bathroom in my basement with nothing but restore and donated materials. I plan to blog more about this project this winter. Stay tuned!

Check out were to find a store near you on the links below.

http://www.lakeshorehabitat.org/#!restore/c1j7q

http:http://www.tricitieshabitat.org/restore_13.html//www.habitat.org/restores

http://www.habitatkent.org/restore/locations-hours

http://www.habitat.org/

By : Dan Broersma

parrothead79@att.net