Entries by WMEAC

Saugatuck Dunes Development Challenge

Written by Bill Wood For 100 years, 400 acres of dunes along the Kalamazoo River and Lake Michigan have escaped the region’s trend toward development, and remained relatively untouched except for the construction of one home at the river mouth and the defunct Broward Yacht factory. This landscape is world-renowned […]

Striving Towards Zero Waste

Written By: Morgan Kelley All across America, food is making its way to consumers packaged in plastic bags, aluminum foil, wax paper, or single-use bags for snacks, are thrown away daily in mass amounts at the end of school lunch periods. Though these packaging items seem convenient for school lunch […]

The Benefits of Stormwater Calculator and Green Infrastructure Benefits

Written by: Brandon Hunt WMEAC and GVSU have spent more than a decade on valuing ecosystem services.  These “ecosystem services” are the benefits that society receives from the environment. Examples of ecosystem services include timber, pollination of crops and flowers, climate regulation, water storage and flood prevention, and riverbank stabilization. […]

Freshwater Dunes Summit – May 7 – 8

From Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore to Warren Dunes State Park, Great Lakes coastal dune systems are found along Michigan’s coastal shorelines. Dozens of unique plant and animal species, like the endangered Piping Plover and Pitcher’s Thistle, make their homes in these coastal dune environments. We are fortunate to have so […]

Teaching students & families to protect the Grand River & Great Lakes

From learning about eco-friendly practices to fertilizer, the 2017 River City Water Festival held at the Grand Rapids Public Museum educated both school groups and the West Michigan public on the importance of protecting the Great Lakes and Grand River from nonpoint source pollution and how to do it. What […]

What is a Stormwater Utility – Part 1

Written by Brandon Hunt What is a stormwater utility? Similar to how gas, electricity, and water and sewage are managed as a utility by a city government, stormwater runoff is increasingly also managed as a utility. A stormwater utility handles the stormwater runoff that is generated from houses, businesses, and […]

Holiday Upcycling Projects

Holiday crafting is a time-honored tradition, so why not combine it with some “green” thinking?

Upcycling is the process of converting old or discarded materials into something useful or new. When you upcycle an object, you are giving it a new purpose. Why is upcycling good for the planet? Because upcycling reduces the raw materials you need to consume as well as reduces the amount of waste and pollution you create.

The concept of upcycling is nothing new, it came from the post-depression era when families had to make do with very few material resources. Now upcycling has become a part of our culture to protect the Earth and is a savvy way of life for practical people wanting to minimize their carbon footprint.

Our zero waste team recently went to Holmes Elementary School in Spring Lake to test out some adorable upcycled crafts using easy-to-get items like bottle caps, mason jar rings, puzzle pieces and socks. Turns out, kids can easily create some unique and creative holiday gifts with the very simple message of protecting the Earth. Here are some great upcycled crafts we researched and completed with kids ages 5-10 that you can also try at home!