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My Town: Volunteers needed for Grand River cleanup on Sept. 21

My Town: Volunteers needed for Grand River cleanup on Sept. 21

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- The annual Mayor’s Grand River Cleanup takes place Sept. 21.

Volunteers are encouraged to make a difference in their community by taking part in this clean-up effort focusing on sites in Grand Rapids, Grandville, Plainfield Township, Walker and Wyoming.

Registration takes place on Sept. 21 at Sixth Street Park located at 647 Monroe Ave. on the corner of Monroe Avenue and Newberry in downtown Grand Rapids. Arrivals after 9:15 a.m. may not be guaranteed a place on the bus. Buses leave at 9:35 a.m. sharp from the Sixth Street Park.

Call Becky Brown at (616) 451-3051, e-mail her at bbrown@wmeac.org or visit www.grandrivercleanup.com for more information.

Can efficiency measures change our energy future in Grand Rapids?

Can efficiency measures change our energy future in Grand Rapids?

By Nina Ignaczak
This story originally appeared in Rapid Growth

Caulk, insulation, efficient appliances, and programmable thermostats may not be the sexiest aspects of Michigan's energy landscape.  

Kris Spaulding helps Brewery Vivant find a new way of making merry

Kris Spaulding helps Brewery Vivant find a new way of making merry

By Matthew Russell
This article originally appeared in Rapid Growth

It’s not just the regular releases of always-popular beer that Brewery Vivant is now celebrated for, but a renewed commitment to its three tenets—people, profit, and planet—as bolstered by a recent B Corp certification.

How investments in solar energy make for better business plans in West Michigan

How investments in solar energy make for better business plans in West Michigan

by Anya Zentmeyer
This story originally ran in Rapid Growth

OPINION: Michigan, Our Great State

OPINION: Michigan, Our Great State

Michigan, our great state. Whether we realize it or not, we really do have a great state.

Granted, we had an unusual winter this past year but then again, have you ever seen the grass and trees so green before? Even people returning from Florida this year have commented about everything being so green!

Despite all of the good things, I still hear people complain about it either being too cool, too cloudy, too hot, etc. To those people I say, maybe it’s time for you to move to a perfect climate, wherever that may be.

I love Michigan and all it has to offer. We have the Great Lakes, a treasure on their own. I used to have an older friend, Bill Hickey, who had apple orchards.

He told me, “You will never, ever find an apple as snappy when you bite into it as a Michigan apple in the fall, because of the Great Lakes.” 

My Town: Our Kitchen Table improves lives through the power of plants

My Town: Our Kitchen Table improves lives through the power of plants

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— A leafy green initiative to improve the lives of Grand Rapids families is leading to a plant free-for-all this weekend.

On Saturday, July 26, Our Kitchen Table will be giving away a variety of vegetable plants to those who rely on the United Church Outreach Ministry and the Asian West Michigan Association for support.  Kale, collars, broccoli, cauliflower, Bok Choy, chard, lettuce, cabbage and Brussel sprouts will all be available on a first come, first serve basis. The plant pick-up will take place at Gerald R. Ford Academic Center, 851 Madison Ave. SE from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

My Town: Consumers Energy backs solar projects for local businesses

My Town: Consumers Energy backs solar projects for local businesses

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—What does a Kalamazoo area school, Ottawa County hops producer and the West Michigan Sports Commission have in common?

All three are teaming up with Consumers Energy to produce solar power.

Consumers has selected 22 projects to back, including  five non-residential programs at Paragon Die & Engineering in Kentwood, Monsignor Hackett High School in Kalamazoo Township, Pure Mitten Hops in Ottawa County, the West Michigan Sports Commission in Grand Rapids and Bonobo Winery in Grand Traverse County.

In addition, Consumers is backing 17 solar projects for residential customers, including those in Kent and Ottawa counties.  The customers were chosen as part of Consumers’ Experimental Advanced Renewable Program.   Consumers will soon be accepting applications for the next phase of EARP.  The deadly to apply is 5 p.m. Aug. 6.