SEEDS blog

Updates on Trash & Kilowatts!

Posted by SEEDS on Mar 18 , 2021 - 09:58 am

Reducing Landfill Wastes!

SEEDS is part of a cohort looking to change our local relationship to waste, and we couldn't be more excited! We are focused in 2021 on figuring out how to unlock more value from 'organic waste' streams - from ugly foods to food scraps and landscaping brush to clean wood. Separated from other wastes, these products have real value! Sadly they make up over a 1/3 of what's going to Michigan landfills (not including the paper that isn't recycled!).

So, how can we get your apple core into a compost pile? How can we get ugly food into hungry bellies? How can we repurpose garbage in ways that improve the quality of our soil, our waters, and our air? Simple, but not easy! The answers to these questions will also build a more circular economy for Michigan, creating local green collar jobs everywhere.

SEEDS is collaborating to study and test the feasibility of local systemic-solutions with many friends including Bay Area Recycling for Charities (BARC), Grand Traverse & Emmet & Manistee Counties, Next Cycle Michigan, Michigan Recycling Coalition, Networks Northwest, and funders including Rotary Charities and the Michigan Dept of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy.

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Read More: Rotary Charities Investment

Watch Sarna: Talking Trash at the Oryana Compost Bin

City of Traverse City Meets 2020 Goal: 100% Clean Electricity

The City of Traverse City set an ambitious goal for itself: Source all of the electricity needed to power its own city meters with renewables by 2020. And it met that goal!

SEEDS has been honored to act as the Green Team Facilitator during this project. By reaching this goal, the City is preventing the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to the total energy used by 900 homes in a year or the annual carbon sequestered by 10,200 acres of forest.

"Meeting electric demand with renewables took care of the lion's share of municipal greenhouse gas emissions. Now the City faces their second and more ambitious challenge of getting all the way to carbon neutral."  - Executive Director Sarna Salzman

The City reached its goals through a variety of actions both big and small. They invested heavily in a new solar array on M72 and they started replacing their fleet with electric vehicles. They switched light fixtures to LEDs and invested in high efficiency boilers. Carbon neutral goals are in alignment with other City goals as well such as prioritizing grasses and native plants for landscaping over energy-intensive flower beds and manicured lawns, and continuing to enhance multi-modal transportation options for residents and visitors.

SEEDS continues serving as the City's Green Team facilitator during the coming year, and looks forward to working together to reverse global warming!

Read More: kWh Staff Energy Challenge

Sign Up: TCLP Customer? Explore On-Bill Financing for Your Efficiency Upgrades!

Read More: Tree Planting on West Bay

About SEEDS Energy & Environment:

SEEDS Energy & Environment team assists individuals and institutions in achieving ‘green’ goals by :

  • Defining and forecasting the triple-bottom-line impacts of various choices,
  • Designing implementation strategies in alignment with goals, and
  • Coaching decision makers and stakeholders.

We regularly facilitate Green Teams and develop energy or climate action plans to help partners reduce costs, reduce waste, and make the switch to clean energy, zero waste, and improved quality of life. Learn more about this program here. Support our work with a gift by visiting our Donate page.

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