Delta College’s Printing Services Paper
is committed to the environment
and uses only papers that have Printing Services stocks several varieties of paper which
been responsibly sourced. contain up to 20% post-consumer recycled content.
All convenience copiers use paper that contains 30%
This publication is printed post-consumer waste recycled content.
using vegetable based inks
and recycled paper. Ink
Press jobs at Delta College use vegetable-based ink,
whose production requires only a small amount of en-
ergy. Vegetable inks are more easily removed and paper
fibers are better retained in the process of recycling.
Printing Services allows the electronic submission of
jobs, nearly eliminating the need for hard copy print
orders or original documents.
Green Book: Creative Sustainable Action is a gathering of reveal a personal sustainability statement, consider what
imaginative, artistic, and resourceful actions that give cre- endorsement you’ll offer toward stepping more lightly on the
dence to our ability to make a difference. They shed light planet. When you read lessons learned, inspiration found
on how our decisions and our activities may be influencing and changes made, our hope is that you wonder aloud how
the change in our climate. The collection of sustainable you, too, might shape your own story.
actions that make up Green Book illustrate that ‘doing’
is fundamental in bringing about long-term good for our The power of a single action can most certainly launch an
planet and the people who call it home. They prompt us to idea or map a plan but it takes each and every one of us
ask ourselves about what we can do to lighten our personal to multiply the effort. Creative action involves all of us.
and professional footprint. We must be willing to look closely at the ways in which
we conduct our lives and look to a means in which to live
That, of course, is a question for which there is no ‘one simply but abundantly. And, in tandem, to search for in-
size fits all’, no ‘quick stop shop’. For as many different ventive ways to pull us forward on a trajectory of fresh and
personalities, as many varied lifestyles, there will be always good fashioned resourcefulness.
another shade of green. It is that very difference, though,
that will inspire and inform us to begin the conversation, We invite you to open the pages of Green Book: Creative
to write the article, to organize the event, to capture the Sustainable Action. Get curious. Find inspiration. Share
photo. It will call to action the voices that will engage, it. Then, by all means, go do it. Be the change that makes
hedge, quibble and eventually opt for paper or plastic, the difference.
solar or wind, print or digital, reused or fresh scrubbed,
catch or release.
It is that same difference that will bring our projects to Mike Glowacki,
fruition. They will join the thinker, the builder, the artist, Graphic Arts Instructor | Layout / Design Manager
the father or mother, the poet, the chemist, the writer, the
gardener, the photographer, the student, and the designer Linda Petee,
to transform the collection of worn shoes into a new play Sustainability Coordinator | Project Coordinator / Writer
surface, to mutate food waste into rich and valuable garden
feed, or to discover art among the refuse, junk, and jumble.
Between the pages of Green Book, you’ll uncover small
triumphs, big projects, singular voices, starry nights, short
stories, and even a recipe. And, hopefully, inspiration.
When you come across a ‘Question of Curiosity’, ask how
you, too, can be as inquisitive. When you turn the page to
Dr. JEan Goodn0w
President, Delta College I enthusiastically applaud the contributors who filled the
pages of Green Book: Creative Sustainable Action with their
voices, their art, their stories, and their spirit of volunteer-
ism. Their energies illustrate a sound commitment to make
a difference in the way we live and work mindful of the
interconnectedness of people, profit, and the planet— the
triple bottom line of sustainability.
Green Book: Creative Sustainable Action was launched with
an invitation to students and faculty across the disciplines
to utilize the campus and our communities as a learning
lab for sustainability. What they found were projects that
were helping to chart our carbon footprint, volunteers who
were building efficiencies through alternative energies, and
others who were tracking food waste from the kitchen to
They were encouraged to create dialogue to artistically re-
flect on the ways in which they could bring those ideas
and activities to this book so they could be shared as an
inspiration to others. As you’ll discover among these pages,
there are many ways to connect the dots between people,
planet, and profit. You’ll find that sustainability stretches
far beyond solar panels and wind farms to embrace many
forms of expression including poetry, descriptive narrative,
painting, and photography. Sustainability has many voices
and belongs to everyone in every discipline, neighborhood,
career path, and landscape.
I’m hopeful you’ll find that Green Book: Creative Sustainable
Action serves to educate and inspire you to find your own
path toward a more sustainable future.
Q: Finish this Julian Keniry
Diary, If only…….’ National Wildlife Federation,
Senior Director of Campus and Community Leadership
….we could accomplish three things. First, to find a way for
any college student, anywhere, at any time to find inspira-
tion, guidance, recognition and support for their hopes and
aspirations for a healthy, resilient future. And for that matter,
for their aspirations to attend college at all.
I wish that every college student could be inspired to help
innovate the solutions needed on all levels from transforming
campus operations, to making needed shifts in the curricu-
lum across disciplines, to building stronger relationships—in
ways that honor their own unique leadership styles and talents
and that encourage physical, mental and emotional health.
I would wish for them the same support and nurturing for
their goals and aspirations as I received as a student. Second,
I wish for better support systems for graduates to bridge to
roles of leadership and service in their wider communities,
with guidance to help each of us map and navigate our
communities, and to play a meaningful part in ways that
avoid burn-out and encourage compassion, connection, joy
and ultimately, sustainability.
ART 284 Typography
Wood Block Print
8 Learning outside of the traditional
classroom promotes student leader-
Reuse ship and citizenship while providing
RTAeKcINyGcTlHeE valuable service to the Great Lakes
RCLeAcSRlOaOiMm Bay region and beyond. The mobile
RTOeTinHEvent alternative energy unit incorporates
sustainable building concepts into
all phases of planning and design.
The student-designed and construct-
ed project will feature residential
solar, wind, alternative energy sys-
tems, and Energy Star appliances.
Demonstration stations will moni-
tor energy use to make comparative
studies. It will serve both as a cam-
pus laboratory and as a community
Helping to install the roof top solar panels was really The natural resources we enjoy so carelessly are finite
satisfying. It was my first hands-on involvement with and will not last forever. I feel the weight of uninformed
a solar installation. My learning experience with the past decision-making and I’m ready to dedicate myself
alternative energy mobile unit has directly influenced as a change-maker in my community. I’m fortunate
my personal lifestyle, too. Remodeling my living space to have been a part of several student philanthropy
has been the perfect platform to apply sustainable projects which were reality checks for the way I viewed
building practices. and interacted with my community. They were the
impetus to becoming a more selfless and compas-
- student Dale Brown
1100 Saginaw Grow | A Field Guide for Creative Sustianability
1. A salvaged mobile home base creates the foundation 6. White roofs reflect summer heat to reduce cooling de-
for the classroom-to-community unit. mand. They reduce the amount of surface thermal shock
because they don’t expand and contract with hot and cold
2. Structural steel makes up the 100% recycled framing or absorb as many ultraviolet rays. These factors result in
a longer life and less retired roofing for landfilling.
7. Low energy insulated glass in the door is efficient
3. Exterior structural insulated sheeting (SSI) contains
whether hot or cold. The glass reflects winter short-wave
80% post-consumer recycled content and is highly energy heat energy to the interior and reflects a high percentage
efficient. Each sheet combines three functions— structural of long-wave energy to keep summer heat out.
shear bracing, significant insulation performance, and a
water-resistant barrier. 8. Interior walls are constructed of lightweight, low cost
4. Reclaimed windows are high performance to reduce heat birch plywood panels trimmed in repurposed wood from
the replacement of campus gymnasium bleachers.
loss in cooler climates and heat gain in warmer climates.
9. To allow for comparative analysis of efficiency, three
5. Solar power holds great potential for reducing our de-
separate lighting fixtures (compact florescent, LED, and
pendence on fossil fuels. Two roof-top solar arrays convert incandescent bulbs) are installed. LED bulbs will eventually
sunlight to into electricity to power the trailer.
English | Creative Writing 1111
replace incandescent bulbs while CFLs are a temporary 13. Bamboo flooring offers strength and hardness. As a
solution to energy-efficient lighting.
building material it is rapidly renewable, some species grow
10. Benches and cabinets are constructed of wood salvaged as much as three feet a day. Bamboo is harvested as a
grass rather than a hardwood and reaches maturity in about
from the replacement of the Pioneer Gym bleachers and five years unlike the 40-50 years for trees. It can thrive on
remnants of bamboo flooring hillsides and in poor soil where other vegetation may fail
and requires far less energy to harvest and produce than
11. Repurposed shelves will hold electronic devices to most traditional lumber products. Growing and harvesting
provides reliable income to farmers in impoverished areas.
monitor and compare energy use and create ‘what if’ sce-
narios. 14. An exposed wall visually demonstrates the application
12. The sub floor is a six inch, energy-efficient foam sand- of spray foam insulation. Airtight to prevent heat loss,
spray foam typically provides as much as 50% greater
wich. Structurally insulated panels (SIPs) consist of an insulation than traditional materials.
insulating foam core layered between facings called ori-
ented strand board, or OSB.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY AARON CIANEK
Salvaged Stereo Parts,
Wood, and Paint
The collective actions
of individuals can be impressive.
What if Delta’s students and faculty pledged to personal sustainabil-
ity? What could this mean to the institution and the community?
Personalizing sustainability is an individual action undertaken to
integrate positive change and willingness for individuals to proclaim
the intention to do better. It can be anything from a commitment to
recycle, to eating healthier, becoming more knowledgeable about
sustainability, community enrichment, or making more
environmentally friendly purchases.
Students in an Introduction to Business course were asked
“What Does Sustainability Mean to You?”
ILLUSTRATION BY DELTA COLLEGE STUDENT
CAMERON KLINGENBERG, ART 277 Digital Illustration
English | Creative Writing 1155
By BrandoN Hodgins
Our little white house sits on a half-acre
lot in Bangor Township. A summer day
shows sprigs of dill hanging to dry from
the weathered boards of our back porch.
The smell of fresh parsley, cilantro and
sage greet you instantly as you step from
the kitchen door. Fresh tomatoes can be
picked just an arm’s reach away from the
herb bed we call “Flavor Town.”
My wife Becky and I live here together with our toddler
daughter, Bella. Our philosophy for sustainability is simple.
We grow our own food and buy local to be comfortable about
what we are feeding our family. Food is fuel, our bodies are
the machine. We get out of our bodies what we put into
them. For us, it all comes back to the food we eat. It’s what
keeps us going through long days of work and studies. It’s
what brings us together at the dinner table after long days.
It’s the quality time we spend together in the garden on
warm summer evenings.
We are always trying to take small steps toward leading a “Buying local meat and
more sustainable lifestyle. It all starts at home with our produce is another
hands in the dirt each spring. Our small piece of land holds step we’ve taken
a long list of vegetables and herbs each growing season. toward sustainability.”
We’ve built three raised planter boxes, each with its own
purpose. Flavor Town is where you can find our dill, parsley, Buying local meat and produce is another step we’ve taken
cilantro, basil, sage, oregano, thyme and rosemary. Not toward sustainability. What we can’t grow or didn’t grow
far from Flavor Town is a bed full of heirloom tomatoes of enough of can be found in our own neighborhood. There
varying sizes and colors. In the third raised bed, we keep are fruit and vegetable stands popping up all over our
our onions, shallots, leeks, garlic and red hot chili pep- community. Taking advantage of these local resources is
pers. The back corner of our little lot holds the rest of our a great way to minimize your impact on the environment.
vegetables. In the big garden we grow sweet corn, squash, A tomato that travels two miles from the ground to your
zucchini, bell peppers, green beans, peas, cucumbers, plate uses much less resources than a tomato that travels
watermelon, cabbage, broccoli, celery, carrots, pumpkins 1,000 miles to your plate. Less gas is burned to get it to
and potatoes. This wide variety of herbs and vegetables you. Your money stays in the community and supports a
keeps us going for most of the year. In fact, we often have neighbor or local small business. Not to mention the tomato
a surplus of fresh vegetables and herbs. will be much fresher and taste a lot better. There are no
negatives in buying local.
What we do with this surplus is yet another step we’ve
taken toward being sustainable. We dry and jar herbs like
dill and oregano to be used all winter. We freeze other
herbs like basil and parsley to be used in soups for months
to come. We preserve extra tomatoes to make salsas and
sauces that taste far better than anything we’ve found in
a supermarket. Whatever’s left from our harvest we sell at
the local farmer’s market or give away to family members
and neighbors. One taste of our fresh, home grown produce
has a way of inspiring others to get their hands dirty, too.
ILLUSTRATIONS BY DELTA COLLEGE STUDENT JIM CURTIS,
ART 277 Digital Illustration
The service is much better at your neighborhood meat “The biggest step we will
or produce market. The people are friendly, and not shy ever take toward leading a
about telling you exactly where the food comes from. If you more sustainable lifestyle
ask, you will usually find it came from a farm not far from is passing the tradition and
home. Buying minimally processed meat is the latest step knowledge down to our
we’ve taken toward sustainability. Our local meat market young daughter.”
just two miles from the house is a great place to do that.
For example, we’ve decided to buy only whole chickens The biggest step we will ever take toward leading a more
instead of chickens that have already been processed. This sustainable lifestyle is passing the tradition and knowledge
is a small step, but it makes a difference. We also strive down to our young daughter. We will teach her where her
to use every last bit of that chicken, making sure nothing food comes from and how to grow it herself. We will teach
goes to waste. When the meat is gone, we boil the carcass her to support her community by buying local. We will teach
with our fresh onions, herbs and carrots to make homemade her to ask questions about what she’s eating and the impact
chicken stock. This chicken stock can be frozen for months it has on her environment. We will guide her through the
to be used in soups and stews. You can’t get that kind of years as she learns to take these steps on her own.
quality from a carton.
We’ve taken a lot of steps already and we plan to take many DELTA COLLEGE STUDENT BRANDON HODGINS
more. We hope to have free range chickens soon to keep
the egg cartons full. Happy chickens lay delicious eggs.
We will keep learning and living this way for the better of
our family. These steps keep the grocery bill down and
doctor visits to a minimum. It’s good for our health and our
environment. The unmatched, amazing flavor of what we
can cook at home makes these steps easier all the time.
20” x 50”
Pigment Ink on Exhibition Fiber
Bold Bread & Butter
One of the most important steps you can take toward
leading a more sustainable lifestyle is growing your
own food and preparing it at home. Every time you
avoid super stores and opt to make it yourself is a
small victory on the path to healthier living. Canning
and pickling your own vegetables are both great ways
to achieve these victories. With a little know-how,
some time well spent and good old fashioned elbow
grease, you can make a recipe at home that will put
to shame any supermarket brand. Along with the
flavor factor comes the satisfaction of knowing you
made a good decision for your family by feeding
them homemade, minimally-processed food. Start
taking these steps today with this recipe for bold
and delicious bread and butter refrigerator pickles.
English | Creative Writing 2211
What You Need
4 Cups apple cider vinegar
4 Cups sugar
1/3 Cup salt
4 Tablespoons pickling spice
12 Pickling cucumbers
6 Mild banana peppers (optional but recommended)
6 Small-medium onions (optional but recommended)
12 pint sized canning jars and lids
Note - It’s always best to use vegetables from your own home garden.
If homegrown veg gies aren’t available, be sure to get your goods from your LOCAL fruit or farmer’s market.
What To Do
1. Pour vinegar, sugar, salt and pickling spice into a me- 4. When jars are full of spice mixture and water, put the
dium saucepan and bring to a boil. Let the mixture boil lids and rings onto the jar. Shake the jar lightly so that
for five minutes. everything is mixed well. Let the jars cool on the counter
for about an hour.
2. Slice your cucumbers into round chips between 1/8
and 1/4 inch thick. Thickness is based on preference; 5. When jars have cooled to the touch, go straight to the
so, if you want a thicker pickle, make a thicker slice. Cut refrigerator with them. The pickles will be ready to eat in
your peppers in the same manner and quarter your onions. 48 hours and will keep in the fridge for up to one year.
When all veggies are sliced, stuff them into clean, sterile
canning jars. Into each jar goes one cucumber, half of a 6. You just made 12 pints of the best bread and butter
pepper, and half of an onion. pickles you will likely ever taste. You now have up to one
year to enjoy the fruits of your labor by including these
3. Ladle your already boiled mixture into the jar full of homemade pickles into any type of meal you choose. You
freshly cut vegetables. Fill the jar only half way. Fill the have made the decision to do what’s right for your family by
jar the rest of the way with water, making a 50/50 mix of providing them with homemade, locally-grown, minimally-
water and boiled spice mixture. processed food. You can feel good about that.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY DELTA COLLEGE STUDENT BRANDON HODGINS
Q: What idea first Marian Brown
prompted you to con-
sider and take notice Director of the Sustainability Leadership Program,
of the environment? Ithaca College
As a farm kid in rural upstate New York, my folks encouraged
us to play outdoors. Time and again, I found myself drawn
to the unkempt and mysterious woodlots, places where we
could create forts, shelters, and teepees of downed limbs
One solitary play day, I set up a rustic shelter in a low-lying
area under a grove of trees. In spring and fall it would be
knee-deep in water; but, on this summer day, it offered a
cool, shady oasis. An old rope held my holey, makeshift
blanket-cum-tent. I cleared the crunchy leaf litter from the
base of the tree to expose a thick layer of fine, soft, dark
brown humus beneath. I ran the cool, dry mass of rich soil
through my fingers, amazed at the depth of humus that had
collected and how many tiny insects and worms populated it.
I was drawn to lie down to marvel at the sunlight dappling
through the leaves overhead, some shafts of sunlight mak-
ing their way through to the ground to warm my earthen
bed. Quietly, I communed with the natural elements around
me. I inhaled the rich, organic aroma of the soil, the gentle
breeze rocking the treetops, the rustlings of small animals,
and the calls of birds overhead.
Years later in recall, my heart rate slows and my breathing
deepens in sympathetic memory. I become more relaxed as
I once again commune with and attune myself to those half-
remembered but ever-present, steadying, deeply grounding
natural forces. That single transformative experience of deep
interconnectedness to my world has guided my work and
led me to regain and preserve the linkage and wholeness
of being “one” with my environment.
ART 284 Typography
Wood Block Print
24 Students in Delta College’s Fundamentals of Public
Speaking class eschewed their platform to contra-
WHEN dict the course description under which they had
enrolled ‘training in the fundamental processes of
SACPTEIOANKS oral expression with an emphasis on speaking and
listening’. Rather they chose to demonstrate the
LTOHUADENR proverbial ‘actions speak louder than words’ by join-
ing the global neighborhood to bring about change.
In an act of building awareness for the greater good,
the students grandstanded the college campus and
local elementary schools to collect worn and retired
athletic shoes. Their message was delivered with an
element of pun–diverting footwear materials from
landfills reduces our environmental footprint.
Recycling athletic shoes produces reusable by-
products. Rubber from the outsole, foam from the
midsole, and fabric from the upper shoe are milled
and used by companies in sport and play surfaces,
apparel, footwear and equipment products. The
recovered materials are used in the installation of
outdoor basketball and tennis courts, soccer fields,
running tracks, and playgrounds. Even the fabric
can be utilized for indoor wood and synthetic bas-
The student campaign to put a bit of ‘sole’ into
new play surfaces kept over 1,000 pairs of worn
out athletic shoes from our local landfills. Their
actions were an investment in a long-term sustain-
able solution. Their influence may have created a
new legion of conscious consumers who might act
rather than only speaking of action.
Internationally, footwear collection programs have
recycled more than 28 million pairs of athletic shoes
and have contributed to hundreds of safe and sus-
tainable play surfaces.
When I’m asked why I spend my
time volunteering, I say “why
not”? The shoe collection project
opened my eyes to the many local
programs in which I can help to
make a difference. Our actions,
even as a small student advocacy
group, helped to divert rubber
from landfilling and to put it to
practical use. Investing time and
energy locally can create good in
our global community, too.
~ Nick Kalkman, Student
ART 284 Typography
Wood Block Print
Q: What early event MIKE Kelly
may have led you to
your life’s work? The Conservation Fund, Great Lakes Office Director
As a kid, I could be found fishing the Kawkawlin River by
boat. Exploring areas affected by different land uses showed
me that individual actions on the land can have a dramatic
impact on water quality and habitat. My first recollection of
taking environmental action was by creating a new habitat
area with neighborhood friends. Fish relate better to struc-
ture in the river rather than a flat, mud bottom. We used old
concrete and bricks in our construction-improvements that
would require a permit today. We certainly caught more fish!
As adults, there are steps we can all take, individually,
to improve and conserve our environment. Don’t do it for
yourself. Do it for your kids.
Accumulation 30 Days
Cast plaster and concrete
“In your own words
what does sustainability mean to you?”
Sustainability is in every choice we make as humans. Sustainability
can lead us to become the best version of ourselves and can create
a healthier planet. We can choose to order fast food, cook a meal,
or bring our own lunch. There are opportunities to be active or to sit
on the couch. We can choose to recycle plastic or throw it on the
ground. Of these choices, one will lead us to become a better version
of ourselves. The other will not. The more conscious we become of
the healthier choice, the better we can feel and the better the world
will become. If everyone strived toward that better version, the world
would grow healthier and less polluted.
– Rachel Skrocki, Student, Introduction to Business (MGT-153W)
30 Saginaw Grow | A Field Guide for Creative Sustianability
I used to be the
stinky kid in class!
By Crystal Starkey
I can still hear my mom sternly, maybe even a little loudly
of any kids say those words to me. There was no compromise here;
that was sure. I was not to join my crowd of peers when
in your class! it came to the ‘stinky kids’. Although she’s been dead
for nearly a decade now, mom’s lessons course through
She used to tell me about her sisters having to use the
same bath water— a system determined by age, and
thus, seniority in sisterly ranks. My mother, the young-
est girl at the time, was the last to bathe in the already-
been-used bath water. She never complained. None of
my grandparents’ seven children did. They were happy
to have enough food to eat and a sturdy structure with
heat to call home in a post-depression Detroit when many
families did not have such luxuries.
My grandfather, Nino, was a factory worker and my grand-
mother a stay-at-home mom; they both worked extremely
hard. And they were frugal. After doing dishes, my grand-
mother would use the remaining dirty water to water her
plants. And they flourished. My grandmother, Helen, saved
every carry out container she was given. The children’s
lunches were sometimes packed in these—my mother
embarrassingly would recall years later.
The single car my grandparents
shared was originally green but
had sort of graduated to half green
and half rust. It was affection-
ately known as the ‘Green Beast’.
The passenger door barely shut
and on occasion had been known
to swing open on a sharp curve.
The door was always locked and
the family crawled in and out
of the driver’s side door. All the
children were allowed to fix their
own plates of food, so no one was
ever allowed to leave the table
until they had cleared their plate.
Helen cut Nino’s hair, all of their
children’s, as well as her own.
The heat was never above 60 in
the winter, and air conditioning
wasn’t even a consideration on my
grandparent’s radar. For the Vi-
viano family, opening windows at
night and turning on fans cooled
the house more than adequately.
Helen was a garbage picker. And
a rummage sale frequenter. Every
Thursday, the evening prior to gar-
bage pick up, my grandmother
would take a few of the children ILLUSTRATION BY DELTA COLLEGE STUDENT MONICA SPENCER, ART 271 Digital Imaging
(only the ones who had completed
all of their chores, all of their homework, and had been well My grandmother clipped coupons and only purchased items
behaved for the week were allowed to go on these exciting that were either on sale or for which she had a coupon. My
trips) in the Green Beast to scour the neighborhood for mother used to recall “We never knew what we would find
garbage treasures. They picked up furniture, home décor in the cupboards.” Helen cleaned out and re-used every
items, and other little odds and ends for which children container she could—peanut butter jars, butter tubs, jam
can find various uses. For example, a broken vase—after jars she never purchased Tupperware. She used her grocery
Helen glued and painted it—became a utensil holder on my bags for garbage bags and never purchased garbage bags
aunt Caroline’s shelf. A cracked 5 gallon bucket became either. She reused bread bags for lunch baggies, too. And
my Uncle Salvatore’s frog, bat, snake, and lizard home. she reused actual baggies too. If the children didn’t bring
The list was endless. home their baggies and paper sacks from their lunches
they received some mild punishment like having to mow understanding the modern world and all of the waste she
the lawn, do the dishes, or shovel the drive when it wasn’t sees daily, hourly. If she were my age and raising her family
their turn. now, people would have called her cheap. My friends and I
think of her and Nino as considerate. Right. Spot on. The
They walked everywhere. If they wanted ice cream, they more I read about sustainability, the more I understand my
walked to the parlor; if they wanted a soda, they walked to grandmother’s frustrations. People Helen’s age were far,
the store; if they wanted to visit friends, they walked there. far, far ahead of my generation when it comes to reducing,
They shopped only at second hand retail places such as reusing, and recycling. We have made tremendous advances
the Goodwill, Value Village, Salvation Army. Clothes were in the last 30 years, undoubtedly. But there is much, much
passed down among siblings and were sewn when they we can stand to learn from generations past.
tore. And sewn again. And again— until the clothes were
reduced to mere threads. Even then, however, they were “People Helen’s age were far,
not thrown away. Nino cut the clothes in squares and used far, far ahead of my generation
them in the garage as rags. Some of the nicer ones Helen when it comes to reducing,
used in the kitchen for cleaning. When they didn’t have reusing, and recycling.”
money for feminine napkins, they used washcloths, and my
grandmother scrubbed then bleached and scrubbed then
bleached them. And, of course, re-used them. She rarely
bought cleaning solutions but rather used combinations
like vinegar and baking soda to scrub tubs and sinks.
Their lawnmower was a manual one with no motor—a dif- And, for the record, I never made fun of any kids in any of
ficult manual labor job, indeed, but it avoided the cost my classes. My mom used to say “I was the ugly duckling;
of gas or electricity. While Nino mowed, Helen edged her look at me now.” And I’ve never forgotten that. It seems
lawn with a kitchen knife. Her hands were bloodied and natural to me to look past surface level presentation from
raw all during the warm months as proof. For a long time, all sides of the tracks in search of a person’s true poten-
my mother used to tell me, the clothes washer they owned tial—something that cannot be found with money. Or waste.
was one that hooked up to the kitchen sink and had a Something that is ingrained in us—a consideration for eve-
manual spin cycle. Years later when my grandfather finally rything around us to have an equal opportunity to live and
purchased a used (of course) electric washing machine, thrive on earth. Maybe I feel this way because my mother
my grandmother shed tears of joy. But, my mother said she did many of the things my grandparents did or because I
never once heard Helen complain about having to wash continue doing many of those same things. Whatever the
clothes for a family of nine by hand. They never owned a reason, I am thankful to have been raised with an acute
dryer. During the warmer months the clothes dried on the feeling of being part of something much larger than myself
line outside, and in the winter (since they obviously did not and my family. I continue to feel grateful for the resources
own a humidifier) they hung the clothes in various places conveniently at my disposal, and I continue to, in these
around the house—from curtain rods, doors, and railings. small ways I’ve learned from two generations of my fam-
The evaporating water kept the moisture in the house. ily, try to preserve and conserve them. It warms me to see
my son engage in many of these activities. It fills me with
My grandmother is still alive at 89 years old. She has buried hope that maybe, someday, his generation will come full
three of her children and her husband. She has difficulty circle and learn from the Helen and Nino’s in the world.
ANDREW RIEDER, Deal, Mixed Media Panel, 2012
Q: What is your Juliana Goodlaw-Morris
tion of making Campus Field Manager,
an eco-choice? Campus Ecology National Wildlife Federation
As a preschooler, my mom took me to an edible living pro-
gram at our city park. We scoured the hills for wild greens
that looked to me to be weeds. After collecting our ‘food’,
we gathered on a bluff overlooking the valley and cooked
them with other veggies over an open fire. It was a very
different, but yummy, lunch. I will always remember the
experience especially because those hills are now home to
Mc-Mansions and those wild, edible greens are long gone.
When I left home for college, my concern for the environ-
mental effect of U.S. meat processing prompted me to
become a vegetarian. This was my first adult eco-decision
and it has been my choice for the past 16 years.
ART 284 Typography
Wood Block Print
Neighborhoods across the nation
are digging in to transform vacant
lots into bountiful shared gardens.
A community garden has the
magic to bring people together
at the table. Many times, more
nourishing than the abundance
of food or the rows of eye-candy
blossoms, is the potential for
growing a spirit of cooperation
for a common good.
“Students who helped to launch
the program were honored as
National Wildlife Federation
Campus Ecology Fellows”
A community compost project, launched by Delta College
Eco Reps in 2011, was seeded by a generous grant from
the National Wildlife Federation. The funds allowed for
the purchase of kitchen composting containers, bio bag
liners, and transportation bins.
“When we started the program, we contacted community
garden organizers asking if they might have an interest in
the college’s kitchen food waste. The timing couldn’t have
been better”, said Stephanie Lobsinger, a former student
who helped to organize the effort.
Growers for the Jefferson Street Garden in Bay City had “The garden growers pile the scraps in heaps and
come up short in their plan to use compost in their garden. wait for natural occurring bacteria to do its job.”
Their compost bins were ready early in the season but it
had quickly become apparent they weren’t going to have close, tight conditions. And they have the capacity to eat
enough food materials to support the entire growing sea- nearly half of their weight in food every day.
son. “They we’re really excited to partner with us!” says
another former student, Samantha Langston. “It wasn’t After the first season, the Jefferson Street Garden had
long before Grow Saginaw joined us, too.” enough compost for each of their eight rows of fruits and
vegetables. Their crop was so plentiful they shared it with
It’s a simple process. Delta’s Food Service saves prep the college and the Eco Reps hosted ‘Celebrate the Harvest’.
food called pre-consumer waste. These are materials like
vegetable peelings, egg shells, coffee grounds, and salad Students who helped to launch the program were honored
bar remains. They collect the materials in mini compost as National Wildlife Federation Campus Ecology Fellows.
buckets made from recycled plastic and lined with biode- They joined other young leaders in Washington, D.C. where
gradable bags. Full bags are placed in larger bins which they shared their experience in building community.
are then delivered to the local gardens.
To date, over 3,000 pounds of pre-consumer food materials
The garden growers pile the scraps in heaps and wait for have been collected and shared. The community garden
natural occurring bacteria to do its job. The end result is a is a perfect example of the Triple Bottom Line of sustain-
dark earthy substance called humus that provides nutrients ability which considers the economic, environmental, and
for their plants to thrive. It’s a natural fertilizer, packed with social aspects of our actions. The gardens grew and fed
vitamins and minerals. It helps to retain water so plants their neighborhoods. The college reduced its waste and the
don’t need to be watered as often. cost to landfill it. And everyone felt like a good neighbor.
In the off season, the Saginaw Valley State University green-
house accepts the food waste to assimilate into their ver-
miculture program. Red wigglers eat the food waste and
produce worm juice, a natural liquid fertilizer. Red wigglers
are ideal for compost operations because they live well in
“In your own words
what does sustainability mean to you?”
Sustainability means that you are not damaging the environment now
or in the future with the things you are doing. It means creating an
economic system that provides for quality of life while conserving the
environment’s resources. Sustainability means that we have to look
at the long term effect of our decisions. How will your decision effect
future generations? Conscientious decision making will help from
affecting the environment in a negative way.
– Rachelle West, Student, Introduction to Business (MGT-153W)
“When the stars at night shimmer down at my face,
BONNIE LALLEY, Excerpt from “Song to the Invisible World”, Watercolor on Paper, 2013 41
do my eyes send sparkles back up to space?”
Chemistry is a tool for sustainability and student chem- Preserving Water
ists skilled in green methods are a vehicle for change. The
transition to a more earth-friendly process reflects what’s Student chemists are testing a number of methods to con-
happening in industry as enterprising companies develop serve water during the drying process including the use
products that create less waste during manufacturing. of microwave ovens. After the solid sample is dried on a
vacuum aspirator for five minutes, it is sandwiched between
Green chemistry strives to conserve energy, to reuse and filter paper and paper towels. It is then placed in the mi-
recycle materials, and to prevent unnecessary harm to crowave where it is subjected to three cycles of drying and
our environment. Today most organic chemistry courses, cooling for 15 seconds each. The students concluded this
including those offered at Delta College, use microscale method to be quick, convenient, and economical.
glassware, equipment, and methods to reduce chemical
use and waste product, and to improve lab safety. Scaling Electric Conservation
down equipment while achieving the same results saves
considerable money and resources. As students perform simultaneous heating experiments, a
significant amount of electricity is expended. As a measure
Green chemistry generally focuses on reducing chemicals of conservation, a series of microscale experiments using
and replacing organic solvents. To expand on this approach, microwave technology were modified for use in the organic
Delta students are evaluating another ‘less is more’ practice chemistry lab. Standard kitchen microwaves are operated
by reducing the consumption of water and electricity in inside a fume hood under a closed sash. Reactions can
their lab experiments. be completed in a microwave in less than three minutes,
a significant savings compared to operating a hotplate for
The Challenge up to two hours.
Compared to a traditional classroom activity, an average
campus chemistry laboratory can demand up to five times
more energy and water. Student researchers found that
when a solid product is dried using a traditional water
vacuum aspirator, the apparatus used a gallon of water each
minute. Considering the standard drying time of up to an
hour, that translates into 60 gallons of water per student,
Many experiments involve warming reactants on a hot plate
or heating well during which large amounts of electricity are
spent. Most heated experiments require a flux condenser
to prevent reaction solvent loss. This, too, consumes a
large quantity of water. When the students calculated the
amount of water needed to complete a single experiment
for an entire class, water use climbed quickly—to nearly
“In your own words
what does sustainability mean to you?”
To me, sustainability is not just an action or belief someone takes on.
It has to be a change of lifestyle. There are too many harmful things
going into our surroundings. We are wasting so many natural
resources and energy because we cannot seem to come up with any
logical solutions to help the situation. Of course, there are steps
individuals can take to reduce their carbon footprints that may take
a little more effort or money. No doubt the economy is rough, time
is limited, and people hesitate to spend extra for an energy efﬁcient
light bulb or take time to sort recyclables from trash. That’s why
sustainability, to me, cannot just be an idea. It has to be a change
each person is willing to make to inﬂuence others to want similar
choices. Sustainability in your life is as big as you want it to be.
No one is asking one person to save the world; but, if every person
makes a decision to be a little more sustainable, then maybe we
could save a part of the world together.
– Toni Claerhout, Student, Introduction to Business (MGT-153W)
Silence of the Slip
46 Saginaw Grow | A Field Guide for Creative Sustianability
Walt was always reading something. Standing with the Dipping the glove through the surface, he’d hold the fish
current of the Au Sable’s South Branch moving around while gently removing the hook with his forceps. He pinched
his thighs, he read the river. The stretch ahead was wide his barbs flat, so his hooks slipped out easily. Balancing
and flat and without riffles. The small, lazy rises near the his catch lightly between his thumb and fingers, he’d set
edges were probably just creek chubs. Fifty yards later, the it just below the surface in a calm part of the river. He’d
river narrowed at a bend, and the surface began to flash stand stooped until the fish would find its bearings and
white with its roughening before it turned out of sight. Just swim out of his palm. It’s what he’d done with the brookie
beyond the bend there was a tree down in the water on the the year before. It’s what he’d do with any fish. He didn’t
left bank and beyond the scum line of the tree a nice hole. come to the river to keep fish. He came to forget, even if
He’d finessed a thirteen-inch brookie out of the hole the only for just a few hours.
year before. Thinking of the fish, he pulled his heavy feet
from the mucky bottom where they’d settled. For others, the river had become a battleground. He couldn’t
help but read about it. It was in all the fly fishing magazines.
He carried a cloth glove to handle each fish, having read Some company in Traverse City owned the mineral rights to
that it was less likely to strip away its protective mucous. the land around the river. They wanted to drill for natural gas
and other resources. Fly fishing organizations were fighting A Mepps spinner dangled and dripped at the end of his line.
it. They called the area sacred and wrote lengthy arguments He looked at Walt and started to grin sheepishly.
and raised money. They won the first court battle, but as
recently as six months ago it looked likely that the ruling “This is flies only,” Walt said, pointing at the river.
might be overturned in the company’s favor. Walt started
ignoring articles that dealt with the controversy. After all, The other man was bigger than Walt, thicker. Some of the
the company owned the mineral rights. It struck him as a color came back into his face. He stiffened his jaw. “So,”
no-brainer. Fighting. Politics. It wasn’t what he wanted on he returned.
his mind when he came to the river.
Walt stepped over to the bank and laid his rod in the grass.
He rubbed his eyes, took a long breath, and then started He came back to the man. Both of his hands were free,
downstream. The sun was close to moving below the trees and he knotted them into fists and kept them steady at his
in the west. The day was cooling. Walt cast to some likely sides. “So,” he repeated back to the man. “So, I’ll take
spots and felt the way the rituals of fishing filled his con- you apart right here.”
sciousness. Rises. Cover. Hatches. Riffles. They were simple
thoughts, but they held off everything else. The river moved around the legs of the men. A wind pushed
through the higher branches of the trees. It stirred nothing
He’d only moved a short distance when he noticed another at their level.
fisherman at the bend below. A footpath ran along the
river, and fishermen could pop in anywhere. Walt forced “You’re serious,” the man said. He blinked. “You’re seri-
his disappointment down. The new man had as much right ous?”
to the water as he did. The stranger might be bringing his
own heaviness to the river, his own need to forget. Walt didn’t release his fists. “This is flies only.”
After a moment, the new man wristed his first cast. Walt’s The other man couldn’t keep any kind of eye contact. Paling
disappointment welled up again and soon became anger. again, he released his line and groped for his spinner. His
He hooked his fly into the hook keeper, wound up his slack, voice was an octave higher when he spoke. “I mean, I just
and marched toward the man. Walt had read a bout such wanted to take a fish home. No big deal.” He set one of
men in different fly fishing magazines. This was the first the treble hooks into the biggest eye on his pole and gave
time he’d seen one. the reel a few turns. The tip of the pole bent. “It’s just that
I don’t live far from here. It’s easy to get to after work.”
The new man turned, and his face blanched. Looking Walt
over for a few seconds, he tried to smile.He touched his “It’s not right. It’s illegal.”
palm to his chest. “Man, scared me,” he said. “Thought
you were maybe DNR.” “All right,” the other man said, holding up an apologetic
palm. He started toward the bank, beyond which was the
Walt looked at the open-faced spinning reel on the other footpath. “Well, good luck fishing,” he said awkwardly.
man’s pole. He then turned his stare up into the man’s
face. “What kind of fly do you have on?” Walt retrieved his rod and watched the other man flash here
and there through the woods until he was gone. His heart
The other man turned his hand and looked at his reel. writhed in his ribs like a dying fish in a creel.
He was a different man from what he’d ever been. Just the over a year and a half. His dying was losing some of its
week before, in the middle of a sales call, he looked across strength as an excuse.
the desk at the young man who was studying a contract
that Walt had given him. “Can’t really afford a television Walt had read somewhere that few marriages survive the
ad,” the young man said, “but this seems reasonable.” He death of a child. Knowing that what he and his wife had
owned a new bookstore, and he was wearing a t-shirt with gone through was typical didn’t bring him any comfort.
the name of the store on it. It had been open for a month He was alone. She was gone, living in a spare room in the
and a half, and he’d already had t-shirts printed up. Walt basement of her parents’ place. Sometimes he’d talk to her
had talked him into a month’s worth of radio spots. Prob- on the phone. There was so little of her left that he’d sob
ably could have talked him into a year’s worth. “You know,” after hanging up. He’d lost them both. He stood in the river
Walt confessed, “our listeners aren’t really book people. going numb, the water pushing against his legs as though
We’ve surveyed them, and they don’t read.” The young man they were two rotted trunks ready to fall.
set his pen down. His smile faded. “Then I shouldn’t do
this?” Walt shook his head. “You shouldn’t.” Downstream, just past a long stretch of riffled water, a trout
rose in the crook of one of the river’s elbows. It was a slow,
He had a meeting coming up with the radio station’s man- confident rise in the kind of bend where a big trout might
ager and guessed that they would be talking about his linger, waiting for the fast water to wash in feed. The surface
miserable sales numbers. Walt’s son had been dead for where the fish had risen turned in a slow eddy. Perfect.
The fish came up three more times before Walt was able sentence, “I went to the woods to live forgetfully.” He’d
to get within casting distance. They were so consistent, always liked putting words together and had once used the
he could almost time the rises. He studied the surface. skill to write radio spots.
There didn’t seem to be a hatch going on. He stayed with
his blue-winged olive – a trustworthy fly for almost any Living forgetfully. It was a bliss, a reprieve. The water swirl-
Michigan river. Casting upstream of the hole, he let the fly ing around his thighs might well have been the Lethe River,
drift naturally across the surface of it. given the merciful amnesia it cast over him.
Nothing. In the current at times like this he sometimes felt some-
thing around him – something bigger than the trees and
Not wanting to spook the fish, he waited until the fly and the river. Something bigger than him, something he had
his line had drifted well past the hole before he tried an- never been able to name with any confidence, and yet a
other cast. The first cast might have been too far from the presence. It was the something that for the longest time
bank. Hadn’t the fish been feeding closer to the partially he’d blamed for his son’s death. It was the something, too,
submerged rock? Walt wasn’t sure. He cast again. And that he thanked on nights like this for making water move.
again. “What the hell do you want me to do,” he said ten
minutes later, “put steak sauce on the damn thing?” Walt tied on a new leader and a new fly -- a pattern of his
own making. He used a size 8 hook, black thread and dub-
He tried two other flies before abandoning the hole. The bing for a body, dun hackle, and finally deer tail to make
fish had been seemingly going after anything. And then a a large, white parachute wing. He squeezed fly dressing
blue-winged olive, a mosquito, and a royal coachman drifted between his thumb and forefinger and pinched it over the
right over it within a twenty-minute span. Why wouldn’t it hackle. The fly glinted with the floatant. For a short time
come up? How did it know? Leaving the hole, Walt felt a it would be easier for Walt to see without the glare of the
tickling of anger. He suppressed it. The frustrated ques- setting sun on the surface. Then it would get dark. It was
tions he was posing about the nature of fish were gentle coming into the time when he often caught a better-sized
compared to others he could ask about the nature of life. fish. He worked the stretches along the bank.
He’d fished for two hours already and hadn’t seen a cabin. Something glowed orange on his left. A man was sitting
The Mason Tract -- nothing but wilderness and river. He on a log smoking a cigar. He was gray-haired and had a
had read about George Mason and the donation of property fly rod and wicker creel. Walt smiled when the older man
the auto executive had made to the state of Michigan. nodded. The other man’s waders were shiny with water.
Fourteen miles of river and the adjacent land given over Smoke drifted up.
for public use.
“Just getting in?” Walt asked above the talking of the river.
Walt looked around. The river. The trees. The sky above.
All of it was darkening toward night. He remembered a The other man brought the cigar to his mouth, took a puff,
book, an old book – maybe even the Bible – which he’d and shook his head. “Been here since noon. Just getting
been made to read as a teenager. There was something in it done.”
about going to the woods to live deliberately. Something too
about quiet desperation. His own desperation felt anything “Can’t find your car?” Walt asked, smiling.
but quiet. It pleased him when his mind put together the
The other man grinned, and the tip of his cigar flared in waterlogged body? How many times had the boy called up
front of his face. He exhaled languorously. “Just not ready the shaft of the well, and heard as a reply only the echo of
to go home yet.” his voice coming off the wooden curbing? Treading in the
cold, Tommy knew he was going to die.
Walt nodded, knowing the feeling. He waved a mosquito
from his face. “Fishing good?” Walt dropped to his knees and cried into his palms. He
lived in the sobbing like he had lived in the fishing. It
“Fishing’s always good.” consumed everything.
“Yeah,” Walt said. In time, he held out a hand and steadied his shaking body
against a wooden beam. His fingers found something. Some-
He fished on and soon had trouble seeing. Fishing at night one had carved something deep into the wood. He traced his
took from him one of his favorite aspects of fly fishing. He fingers along what turned out to be letters and spelled out
liked to watch his fly. He liked to see it when a fish rose and the word faith. Searching above the word, he touched along
pulled it under. It was a part of the everything that made more jack-knifed Braille and found the other word. Have.
fishing good for him. With the darkness fading in around
him, he became aware of the dark thoughts crowding into Have faith. How many times had he read it in sympathy
his mind. He didn’t want them. The Fisherman’s Chapel cards or heard it as consolation from family and friends?
was just around the next bend. He would get out of the Have faith. In what? In the cruelty of life? In its ephemeral
water there. nature? Have faith that in the end our lot is suffering and
that everything we build up and come to cherish will be
There was no moon. Walt caught his breath after climbing slowly or quickly taken from us? He fought these black
the flight of stairs. The inside of the chapel was like a cave. thoughts. Tonight, having found the words, he wanted them
What he’d read only a few days before was haunting him to mean something. He recalled the peace he’d felt on the
again. The article had been in one of the magazines in the river, the cleansing. Staying on his knees for a long time, he
radio station’s lobby. He had tried to abandon the words turned the phrase over in his mind, waiting for something.
when he could see where they were going. It was no use.
He couldn’t stop reading. It related that by nine years old Walt stepped out of the chapel. Releasing his tears had
children understand death and can anticipate their own. done him good, and he felt loosened. Above the blackness,
They can live their last hour in the terrifying fear of know- in the spaces between the trees, he found the sky speckled
ing that it will be their last hour. like a trout. And, listening for it, he heard the river whis-
pering in the valley below. They were things he could trust
Standing in the blackness of the chapel, he imagined his and the sight and sound of them buoyed him. He still had
son, his little Tommy, treading water in the bottom of the the wade upstream through the darkness toward the car.
well. It was Walt’s idea to move the family to the country. The river would be at his legs. It seemed a small burden
He had wanted the old property and had even found the considering what the water had given him that night.
ancient well charming . . . as charming as the skeletal re-
mains of the old Nash rusting to nothingness in the woods While he stood in the darkness, another sound came to
behind the property. He and his wife had warned Tommy him when he stopped straining to hear the river. It was
about the well so many times. How could it have been that a noise that he’d been dimly aware of earlier. It wasn’t
after two days of searching that’s where they’d found his like any sound he’d heard before in the woods. It droned