What a Waste: Food Waste and Our Future

What a Waste: Food Waste and Our Future
Thursday, March 15, 6:30pm
Douglas UCC Friendship Hall
56 Wall Street, Douglas, MI
Program is free, public is welcome.

On Thursday, March 15, the Creation Justice Team’s next environmental education program entitled What A Waste: Food Waste and Our Future, presenting local and national Environmentalist Tracey Shafroth, who will teach us about the impact of food waste on our environment and steps we can take at home and in the world to help curb it. Tracey serves on the Michigan Advisory Board of the Environmental Law and Policy Center, on the Midwest Council of the National Parks Conservation Association, is a fellow and member of the Keller Science Action Center at the Field Museum, a strategic advisor to the Vital Lands Program of the Grand Victoria Foundation, and a volunteer for Freshwater Futures. We will open the doors of the Friendship Hall at 6:30pm for dessert and coffee. Tracey’s talk will begin at 7pm, with time afterward questions and more conversation. This event is open to the public. Please encourage your friends and neighbors to join us.


Making Our Lakes Great Again

On September 14, as part of Douglas UCC’s month-long Creation Justice Season, we will hear from former state senator and former director of Michigan’s Office of the Great Lakes, Patty Birkholz. Ms. Birkholz is a Saugatuck native who continues in her role as protector of Michigan’s waterways by serving on the boards of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), and NOAA, among her many points of service and leadership.

Ms. Birkholz remains very active in the work of protecting and preserving the Great Lakes, and will talk to us about the recent challenges to the GLRI (Spoiler! It is not all bad news!), and will steer us through the various groups contributing to these efforts, so we can each decide where and how we can help this work along.

This event is free and open to the West Michigan community.

The details:

September 14, Making Our Lakes Great Again

DUCC Friendship Hall, 56 Wall St., Douglas, MI

6:30pm, social time, dessert, coffee and tea

7:00pm, program begins

Please sign up for this event in the Friendship Hall at Douglas UCC or by writing to julie@ridl.com. We would like to have your RSVPs so we can plan for our table of desserts and light snacks, coffee and tea service. This is not a potluck, but if you feel inclined to share something, sharing is always nice.

Green Gardening is FUN

Also, it was delicious. Also inspiring. And sweet. And funny. Our May 11 evening presentation-and-dessert Green Gardens event drew a huge and good-looking crowd!

We used the cool new tech (hello big presentation screen!) and old tech (that one coffee pot? Not happy.) Such big thanks to our presenters, Avril Freeman, the agricultural educator, her daughter Hazel, who brought comic breaks to the evening:

And Ken Freestone, master-composter-among-other-green-roles, who made dirt-making sound fun and important. (So many ways composting helps the environment!)

I don’t want to make a long post about it, but do want to share resources along with the slides, to help us all get started. If you have more resources, farms, seed sources, plant swaps, composting supplies, farms, markets to share, please post them in the comments!

Here goes:

Were you inspired to start growing food in your flowerpots, on your borders, in a straight-up veggie plot? Here’s a helpful planting calendar.

Going to grow from seed? You might want to wander up to Zeeland to visit this place.

Want to learn more about trading plants you’ve started? Connect with Avril.

No thanks, you’d rather save your manicure, support a farmer, and buy a local share of a farm’s fresh produce? Shop local community-supported Ag here.

And of course, there is our own, local and lovely Saugatuck Farmers’ Market at the SCA. Fridays from 9am to 3pm, starting on the 26th!

Want to get started composting? Want one of the cool compost bins Ken designed? He’ll make and deliver them, or he will put together a kit you can assemble yourself. And the basics, hand-out-forms and how-tos are all right here.

Want to reach Ken directly, to talk about putting a Green Michigan bin at your home or business? Write to him here.

Want to donate to Greenmichigan.org to thank Ken and his team for all the love and time he’s given DUCC? There’s a handy donate button right here.

Download Avril’s Green Gardening Preso

Ken’s Compost Presentation

Green Gardens

On May 11, the Douglas UCC Creation Justice Team brings you “Green Gardens,” a really fun evening event designed to help us manage our patches of Earth and support green growers, to keep her healthy and the plants and foods we raise happy and flourishing, all while feeding a shared table and a shared water table safe enough for everyone downstream of us. Our teachers will be Ken Freestone, Master Composter (yes, that’s a thing), returning to us from GreenMichigan.org, and Avril Freeman, an Agriculture Educator (definitely a thing, too).

Thing 1 and Thing 2 will race us through all of the possibilities for growing our own or working with our landscape maintenance folks and local farmers to reduce our impact, improve our yields, recycle our garbage into gold.

The details:

May 11, Green Gardens

DUCC Friendship Hall

6:30pm, social time

7:00pm, program begins

Please sign up for this event in the Friendship Hall at Douglas UCC or by writing to julie@ridl.com. We will have desserts and light snacks, coffee and tea service to share. This is not a potluck, but if you feel inclined to share something, sharing is always nice.

Save Your Energy

“Save Your Energy — Plug the Leaks in Your Home” is the title of our next education potluck at 6pm, February 9 (with February 16 a possible ice-delay date, to protect our speaker, who comes in from Grand Rapids.)

The potluck begins at 6pm, the presentation at 7:15pm. Please watch for potluck sign-up sheets in the Friendship Hall soon!

And of course, if you have friends/family interested in this topic? Bring them along!

You can help us help the speaker speak to the Energy questions that bother you most if you use the Contact link to send us your vexing energy-saving-at-home questions.

Chuck is a friend of the CJ Team,  a public relations and corporate communications specialist who long ago focused his career on promoting and reporting corporate social responsibility and environmental sustainability in business. His clients have included the U.S. Department of Energy, Herman Miller, Whirlpool, and the Detroit Medical Center. His passion is reducing energy use, here, there, everywhere. It makes his eyes light up. If we could harness THAT, we could solve the climate crisis overnight.

You’ll love Chuck as much as we do. So hit that sign-up sheet when you see it. And meantime, do ask us your pressing Home Energy questions!

Let’s Talk Trash Potluck


Our first potluck in the Creation Justice Team’s education series was held the evening of November 10, 2016.

We had an amazing turnout to learn from Ken Freestone of Green Michigan, who entertained us with recycling stories, taught us how recycling works in our region, and challenged us to find interesting new ways to reduce waste (Zero-waste parties, anyone?).

It was a night necessary to all of us for so many reasons.

As if that were not enough to chew on, we had a wonderful potluck (thanks to everyone who fed us!), including Ken Freestone’s extremely popular bread. He sent along a copy of his slides for his talk, below, which includes local recycling resources, a copy of his bread recipe, below (with an offer to teach a bread making class any time, anywhere). And a link to the Youtube video where he learned the process.

Next Creation Justice potluck is coming in February. Energy savings at home. Onward!



How to make Ken’s fabulous bread