environment

GVL / Sheila Babbitt

Sustainability week celebrates environmental accomplishments

The entire first week of October at Grand Valley State University was dedicated to the many sustainability efforts on and off campus. Hosted by various GV departments including the Office of Sustainability, the week of events included an energy competition, a garden dedication, tree plantings and many more activities. These events, which were held Oct. 1 through 8, gave the GV community the opportunity to look back on its environmental accomplishments.

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Courtesy / Tony Packer

GVSU professor turns attention to Great Lakes plastic pollution

As many people enjoy swimming, boating and fishing on the lakes, a new threat has emerged, endangering the long-term health and prosperity of the expansive bodies of water. Man-made micro-plastics, created from the degradation of plastic waste in water, is becoming a major concern within the Great Lakes. Fish and other organisms consume the plastics, which then makes its way into the food chain, endangering other organisms and disrupting the existing ecosystems. Alan Steinman, professor and director of the Annis Water Research Institute (AWRI) is conducting research on which organisms are attracted to in micro-plastics. Doing so will provide a better understanding of how these plastics interact with the base of the food chain, illustrating their negative effects within the Great Lakes. 

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Tri-county economic impact report reaches new heights

Grand Valley State University’s economic impact report on the region has been released at the total of $849 million. The total sales in the region marks the increased sales for all businesses including Kent, Ottawa and Muskegon. Moreover, 11,970 of these employees are Grand Valley State University graduates working in the West Michigan area.  Areas of employment for GVSU alumni, which now up to approximately 117,000 graduates, include business and public administration, teaching, nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, physician assistants and more. They have found careers in Amway, Deloitte LLC, Flat Chrysler Automobiles, General Motors, Gentex Corporation, Herman Miller Incorporated, Hope Network, Kellogg Company, Meijer Inc., Mercy Health, Quicken Loans, Spectrum Health, the State of Michigan and Steelcase Inc. 

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Courtesy / Green Team  Green Team volunteers sort waste from campus dining facilities.

GVSU places top ten in national recycling competition

Each year, universities from all over the United States compete in the nationally recognized competition known as "RecycleMania". This past season, Grand Valley State University took eighth place in the recycling category as well as 12th in overall diversion rates. In 2001, RecycleMania began as a contest between Miami University and Ohio University as a way to promote recycling efforts on each school’s campus. The competition saw an increase in campus recycling participation and has since expanded to more than 150 colleges and universities. 

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'Ditch the Bed': Local salon provides safe alternative to tanning beds, campaigns for change

With no end in sight to Michigan’s winter weather, many people find themselves reminiscing on warmer days and missing their suntanned skin. This desire to look tan is particularly prevalent among college-aged women, many of whom turn to tanning beds to achieve that bronzy glow.  However common tanning may be, there are many proven negative effects associated with using tanning beds. 

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GVL / Archive 
Student puts out a cigarette outside of the Connection Commons on Saturday November 14, 2014.

GVSU Wellness looking for student support of smoking ban

Grand Valley State University is just one of two public institutions in Michigan that has yet to go tobacco-free.  In late March, GVSU student senate voted against supporting a proposal that would implement a tobacco ban on the university's campuses. The proposed ban wasn't just limited to traditional cigarettes: Vaporizers and e-cigarettes also fell under the proposal.

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GVL / Courtesy - Professor Riemersma

GVSU students teach geology lessons at local high school

At Grand Valley State University, the "Laker Effect" can be described as an ongoing effort where students and staff work to positively impact the community, the state and the world. Recently, one of the ways the Laker Effect has been impacting the local community is through the GVSU Ambassadors of Environmental Education project.  

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