Meet Sustainable Coffee Sleeves by Sleeveless

Sleeveless Coffee Sleeves from in Grand Rapids, Michigan

It is a typical early morning. You head to the coffee shop and order a hot caffeinated beverage to go. After preparing your drink, the barista slides a cardboard coffee sleeve onto the cup so your hands don’t burn. This is a common occurrence for the four-hundred million cups of coffee consumed every day in Michigan and […]

How You Can Celebrate Earth Day in Michigan

Prepping for Earth Day in Michigan - The Awesome Mitten

Earth Day, an annual celebration since 1970, honors the planet’s environment each April 22nd. You will find many events that demonstrate, support, celebrate, and provide education concerning the environment and how we can help protect it. Starting in the United States as a grass-roots movement, Earth Day has grown to be observed world-wide. Outside of […]

Celebrating World Water Day in the Great Lakes State

March 22 marks the United Nations’ World Water Day celebration, designed as an opportunity to learn more about water related issues from around the world – and why water conservation is so important. Water is always on Michiganders’ minds (we’re the Great Lakes State, after all!) and with the Flint water crisis dominating the headlines, […]

Brody Square Dining Hall: Don’t Call It a Cafeteria

During my Mitten Trip around Lansing, I enjoyed a surplus of incredible options for meals, snacks, desserts, and any type of food I could imagine. I saw duck fat fries and crack fries; breakfast for dinner and dinner for breakfast; every mouth-watering shape and variety of pizza, coffee and, of all things, popcorn. One location […]

Great Lakes Invasive Species: Is There Hope?

Sea lamprey and dreissenid mussels and round gobies, oh my! Invasive species have been in the Great Lakes since early alterations to the system in the late 1800s. These canal systems were designed to circumvent rapids and Niagara Falls to more easily facilitate trade. An unintended consequence, with long-reaching impacts, has been the introduction and […]

An Emerging Threat to the Great Lakes

The Great Lakes are a unique ecosystem, home to thousands of plant and animal species and contain more than 20% of the world’s surface freshwater, which is less than 1% of all the water in the world. Also within the basin are more than 40 million people that rely on the lakes for water, food, […]

5 Expert Tips on How to Prep Your Garden for Fall

As the leaves begin to fall and our plates pile up with more squash than berries, the time has come to consider putting your plants to bed. “Fall is not the time to quit gardening,” explains Jeff Moyer, farm director at the Rodale Institute, an experimental organic farm in Pennsylvania. “Putting a farm or a […]

Brewers Giving Back- the “Tree Beer”

Anyone who has gotten swept up in the homebrew/craft beer/brewery tour/Beer City wave knows that the brewing industry is about as collaborative as it gets. Head brewers achieved a piece of celebrity as Grand Rapids was awarded the title of Beer City 2013: a boon to local business and area hotels as beer tourists began […]

Cladophora and Botulism in Lake Michigan

Cladophora and botulism are both naturally existing organisms found in the Great Lakes, including Lake Michigan. A commonly held belief is that all native organisms are good and all non-native organisms are bad; however, native species can also be considered a nuisance. As invasive species continue to be introduced into the Great Lakes, the ecosystem […]

The Clean Water Act: 40 Years Later

The first major US law to address water pollution was the 1948 Federal Water Pollution Control Act. Amid growing public awareness and concern for the environment, the law was radically amended, resulting in the 1972, Clean Water Act. The new CWA implemented diverse pollution control programs that addressed pollution from both point sources and non-point […]

Pharmaceutical Pollution in the Great Lakes


Pharmaceutical and personal care product (PPCP) pollution is an emerging concern within the Great Lakes basin. Increased use combined with increased awareness of health impacts stemming from chemical exposure have brought this issue into focus. When we take medications, the cells in our body utilize the molecules of the medicine. Once the necessary biochemical reactions […]