Holland meetup to focus on environmental education and networking

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HOLLAND — A gathering of people interested in sustainability is planned for downtown Holland, including a presentation of the city’s energy-saving measures.

Holland Green Drinks, a free event, will take place from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, October 13 at Big Lake Brewing. The meeting provides an opportunity to meet others in areas related to sustainability. Unlike St. Patrick’s Day, the beer itself will not be green, but the topics of discussion and common interests will revolve around “green”, environmental and sustainability topics.

As described by its founders, Green Drinks is an “informal networking event where environmentally conscious people meet for a social drink. … It’s a great way to find people you know and also to make new contacts. Everyone invites someone else, so there’s always a different crowd, which makes Green Drinks an organic, self-organizing network.

The West Michigan Environmental Action Council usually hosts events in Grand Rapids, but this rally is being held in Holland to highlight lakeside events and support a local business.

Organizers include Dan Boersma, head of sustainability in the Netherlands, and Kristopher Reinhardt, financial adviser at Edward Jones and nominee in ODC Network’s 2021 Nature-Rich Business Guide.

Big Lake will offer 23 different drinks on tap, five of which are brewed in-house, as well as free appetizers for registrants.

Attendees will hear Boersma talk about Dutch initiatives, including the Home Energy Retrofit program. The HER program makes it easy for all homeowners, renters and landlords to reduce their energy consumption and utility bills while increasing the value of their home.

The HER program makes it easy for all homeowners, renters and landlords to reduce their energy consumption and utility bills while increasing the value of their home.

After residents complete Home Energy 101, an in-home training, the HER program can also provide free energy-saving supplies and the opportunity to apply for a grant to pursue more in-depth energy efficiency projects.

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The program offers many freebies to help homeowners improve comfort, reduce utility costs, reduce environmental impact, and access rebates and financing options. To apply, go to hollandenergyfund.com/apply/.

To participate in the Holland Green Drinks event, register on EventBrite at bit.ly/3yqsJoR. To learn more about upcoming Green Drinks installments, visit wmeac.org/annual-events/green-drinks.

— Sarah Irvin is an ODC Network Naturalist.

About this series

The MiSustainable Holland column is a collection of community voices sharing updates on local sustainability initiatives.

Theme of this week’s sustainability framework: Community and Neighborhood: The places we live and the people we interact with support the development of our personalities and life perspectives. It is essential to encourage vibrant and effective communities.

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