Our network

Environment

Give your old wine corks new life with ReCORK

Give your old wine corks new life with ReCORK

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—A Grand Rapids restaurant is giving wine lovers another excuse to drink.

As part of its partnership with ReCORK, Houlihan’s is collecting old wine corks that will be recycled into sustainable footwear and other upcycled products.  The restaurant says even though cork is completely natural, renewable and biodegradable, most wine corks end up in landfills.   Since cork trees take up to 50 years to mature and can only be harvested every nine years, cork can be a hot commodity.

Houlihan’s is one of the few cork recycling drop-off locations in Grand Rapids.  Corks can be dropped off inside the bin located near the restaurant’s entryway.  Houlihan’s is located at 1968 Breton Road SE in Grand Rapids. The other drop-off locations include Art of the Table, 606 Wealthy St. SE and Haworth in Holland.

Holland man makes record-setting catch on Muskegon Lake

Holland man makes record-setting catch on Muskegon Lake

MUSKEGON, Mich.—A Holland man has reeled in a Michigan record, with the help of a spoon.

On Tuesday, Jan. 21, Aaron Slagh caught a record-setting white perch from Muskegon Lake in Muskegon County.  The fish weighed 1.93 pounds and measured 13.25 inches.  Slagh was ice fishing with a spoon when he landed the record fish, which was verified by a biologist from the Muskegon field office.

“It was just another normal day on the ice for me, as I get out as much as I can,” said Slagh. “We were actually targeting yellow perch and I thought I had a walleye. When we pulled it up we thought ‘Holy cow – that’s a big white perch!’”

Michigan’s previous white perch record was set on July 13, 2002 by Kyle Ryan on Lake Huron.  His fish weighed 1.88 pounds and measured 13.25 inches.

Slagh’s fish is the second state record-breaker caught this month.

Zeeland opens its own ice skating rink

Zeeland opens its own ice skating rink

ZEELAND, Mich.—The City of Zeeland is embracing this cold winter by opening up its own ice rink.

Mayor Kevin Klynstra and city events coordinator Kerri VanDorp came up with the idea.  Klynstra has invested hours of work into clearing a portion of the parking lot next to Main and Elm streets for the rink. He began flooding the space last week.  The rink was officially ready for skates this past Saturday.

The rink is free and open to the public, but visitors must bring their own skates.  Thanks to lighting, the ice rink is open until 9 p.m., weather permitting. 

TEDx Haworth presenter brings message to MSU in Holland

TEDx Haworth presenter brings message to MSU in Holland

HOLLAND, Mich.—  A TEDx speaker will take his message of green chemistry to Holland Wednesday, Jan. 15.

Mike Werner recently spoke at TEDx Macatawa about the role of green chemistry in the circular economy.  You can watch his talk here. Werner will present “Green Chemistry and Sustainable Product Design” at the Michigan State University Bioeconomy Institute Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.  The event is free and open to the public.

Werner is a chemist, engineer and sustainability strategist with Haworth.  He gave up the life of a pharmaceutical chemist to dedicate himself to eliminating toxic chemicals from consumer products instead of creating them. Werner has served as a sustainability advisor to the Department of Homeland Security and the National Institute of Building Sciences.

Old whiskey barrels get new life at New Holland Brewing Co.

Old whiskey barrels get new life at New Holland Brewing Co.

HOLLAND, Mich.—Two men are giving New Holland Brewing Co.’s retired oak barrels new life.

Instead of sending spent whiskey and Dragon’s Milk barrels to the dump, Steve Raad and Jeff Dyke transform the aged wood into a variety of handcrafted products, including their patented portable beach chair, tables, clocks, bottle openers, coat racks, guitar stands and skateboards. 

New Holland’s upcycled whiskey barrels are now available at its downtown Holland pub, located at 66 E. 8th St.   You can also order items online at the BarrelWorks Project website.

Grant to Hope College supports summer program for high school students

Grant to Hope College supports summer program for high school students

HOLLAND – For the fifth consecutive year, ExxonMobil has provided support for high school students to learn about the natural and applied sciences as participants in the summer research program at Hope College.

A $7,000 grant to the college supported the participation of five high school students in the REACH (Research Experiences Across Cultures at Hope) program this past summer. The award was presented at Hope earlier during the current fall semester by David Handy, a territory manager with ExxonMobil, and Matt Van Zanten and Abigail Albers, representing J&H Oil, a local ExxonMobil branded fuels marketing distributor.

Ottawa County looking for leaders to help protect local natural resources

Ottawa County looking for leaders to help protect local natural resources

OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich.--  An Ottawa County group in charge of protecting and enhancing the area’s resources is looking for residents interested in joining its board of directors.

The Ottawa County Conservation District is led by a five person panel.  Each member must be nominated then elected.   Candidates must be at least 18 years old and a resident of Ottawa County.  Those wishing to run for the March 4, 2014 election must submit a completed nominating petition by January 3, 2014.  Petitions can be picked up from the district office at 16731 Ferris St. in Grand Haven or by contacting Betty Huttenga at becky.huttenga@macd.org or (616) 846-8770 extension 5.