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sustainability : Featured Stories

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Motor City Free Geek Reclaims Yesterday's Technology

There's an awful lot of discarded technology out there. There's got to be a better place for it than the trash, right? The Royal Oak non-profit Motor City Free Geeks marshals hundreds of tech volunteers to refurbish computers and laptops, outfitting them with free software and selling them to the public for hugely discounted prices. It's like the Circle of Life for technology.

Can Southgate Become an Anchor for Regional Sustainability and Affordability?

The Michigan Suburbs Alliance is piloting Green Anchors, an innovative program that takes a holistic approach to affordable housing, green building and community engagment. The plan is to turn the tenants of newly renovated Southgate homes into neighborhood evangelists for energy efficiency. Think of it as a 'Domino Effect' of sustainability. 

A Tern for the Better: The Detroit River Comeback

Oh, the difference a couple of tern chicks make. For decades the Detroit River was a repository for industrial pollution and waste. Now, through both international cooperation and private-public partnerships the health of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge is slowly but steadily rebounding.

Guest Bloggers: Lucas Morrison, Ji Yoon Gook, Mackenzie Carlsen

It's said history repeats itself, but our legacy of burning fossil fuels for energy isn't renewable. A team of U-M students working with SolarYpsi, a volunteer-based solar power organization gaining national prominence, gets at the root of our conservation issues.

A Local Response to Climate Change

Talking about climate change and doing something about it are two very different things. But for Southgate, Ypsilanti, and Hazel Park, community organizations and city leaders are turning such discussions into a joint committment to shrink their carbon footprint.

Wyandotte Gives A Watt!

Unlike most Michigan municipalities, Wyandotte provides power to its residents. You'd think in this age of ever-climbing energy costs that'd be a liability. Think again. Instead the community-owned utility has found creative ways to increase sustainability with both its businesses and homeowners.

Better Living Through Better Buildings

Unless you've been living in a cave you've probably heard the many green-minded arguments for why you should make your home more energy efficient. But what you might not realize is that there are compelling reasons beyond reducing the size of your carbon footprint. How about comfort? Better living has inspired one Ferndale resident to become an envangelist for Michigan's BetterBuildings program.

The Blue Oval Goes Green: A Q & A with Ford's David Berdish

David Berdish has been called the sustainability guru of the Ford Motor Company and, no, that's not an oxymoronic title. The car company's green advocate discusses why better public transportation leadership is needed in Metro Detroit and how a member of the Big Three can promote sustainable practices, champion mass transit, and still hold true to its business mission.

Metro Detroit's Institutes Of Greener Learning

New and better ideas. Innovation. These are the things we associate with our institutes of higher learning. So, now that green technology and practices are becoming a way of life, how do Metro Detroit's universities and colleges fare when it comes to sustainability? Metromode's Kim North Shine checks out who's doing what to reduce their collective carbon footprint.

Michigan's Next Step: A Conversation with Bruce Katz

Bruce Katz of the Brookings Institute has strong opinions about what will help to push Michigan forward. Our colleagues at Lansing's Capital Gains chat with him about cities, transportation, and the strengths of manufacturing in the new economy.

Purpose Driven: A Q&A with Whole Foods CEO Walter Robb

Whole Foods CEO Walter Robb is an unabashed entrepreneur, a true believer that business is the ultimate engine for change. He also believes that corporations must have a deeper purpose than just profit. Metromode's Jeff Meyers chats with Robb about the way those seemingly disconnected impulses come together and why the next generation of business leaders should embrace them.

Service And Sustenance

April Meyers is from here, wanted to stay here, and wanted to make a difference. But that's harder than it sounds when you're a recent college grad in search of work. Luckily, VISTA offered her an opportunity to do good and do it in Metro Detroit. Now, Meyers is helping establish a food pantry and community garden program at Schoolcraft College.

Beer Is Fun! Q&A with entrepreneur Mike Plesz

Beer here now! If anyone knows the meaning of those word it's Mike Plesz. The serial brewpreneur has been launching local microbrew pubs since 1994. His latest endeavor --Rochester's Mind Body & Spirits-- is a successful sustainability-oriented restaurant. Plesz talks with Metromode about beer, local food production, green practices, and more beer. Bottoms up!

Macomb Innovates Too!

Let's spread the love and deliver the good word: Macomb County is no slouch when it comes to embracing new economy initiatives. From trade missions to China to the Education City Initiative to the Anton Art Center, the county that too often lives in Oakland and Wayne's economic shadow is no stranger to innovation.

Danotek Knows Which Way The Wind Blows

If you want to know which way the alternative energy market is blowing consider this: wind power installations grew 40% last year. Canton-based Danotek is certainly paying attention. The clean tech company recently recruited a new CEO from Chicago and is aggressively developing, producing, and marketing its cutting edge turbine technology.
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