"Green Citizen Award" Recipients


April, 2008 = Lakeshore Community Church

Green building is  misunderstood concept that many people shy away from because they feel it is too expensive and not worth the investment. When building or remodeling a business or home, there are hundreds of things one can do that are green, yet cost you less or nothing. Lakeshore found this out during the remodel of the old Moose Lodge that they are turning into their worship center. The building had a dance floor made of a polished hard wood. So, the church decided to re-use the wood to construct multi seating levels in a lounge area. Re-using old materials is a great green building method. What is truly awesome about this wood is that it is the 2nd time it has been re-used. Before becoming a dance floor, it was formerly a bowling lane in a bowling alley that closed down.


March, 2008 = Dan Rinsema-Sybenga

Winter may have slowed him down some, but as soon as the paths were clear, Dan was back on his bike cruising downtown Muskegon. Dan runs all his errands in the day using his bike, rather than jumping in a car, like most people. The post office, library, county buildings, city government and many businesses, including some museums are all within a convenient range that only take minutes to ride to (about the same amount of time it takes to find a parking spot). Anyone who wastes hours in traffic should be jealous. Increased bike use reduces harmful emissions, reduces oil run-off from roads into our water, and reduces the amount of road construction.   

Standing along side his bike, Dan accepts his award from Jennifer outside his office.


February, 2008 = The Youngquist Family

Its easy to recycle at home, but too few take the effort to bring items from other places home to recycle. The Youngquist family of Spring Lake get kudos from us for taking the empty cans from MAP Supperhouse to their home recycle bin. MAP feeds hundreds of people, which produces many large metal cans of fruit, and veggies each week. MAP is not able to recycle these cans at this time, so the cans end up in the trash, unless the Youngquists are on duty. If they are around, they will take all the empty metal cans home, saving them from the landfill.

Jennifer Darling presents award to the Youngquist family at MAP.

One member of this family was also nominated to win this award for wearing green clothing. He's even wearing a t-shirt made of recycled plastic bottles in this picture. Maybe he will win next month.


January, 2008 = Central United Methodist Church

How many places have you been that offer coffee in Styrofoam cups? It makes us cringe, just thinking about it. Central UMC has made the effort to switch to using recycled coffee cups for all their meetings, social events and classes. While the brand of cups they have chosen does cost more, they feel it is worth it in order to be more welcoming to people who are environmentally conscience and to obey God's command to be good stewards of the earth. In some cases, Central UMC even uses ceramic cups, creating a friendlier atmosphere and preventing any cup from filling landfills or the pollution made when producing disposable cups to begin with.

Second Street entrance of Muskegon - Central UMC in winter.



April, 2005 = Subway Shines Light On the Environment

Places like clothing stores and quick food restaurants must keep their stores well lit for long hours for safety and sales.  This can mean high electric bills and burnt out light bulbs continuously being thrown away.

Subway is one of the several businesses in Boerne who have lowered their electric bill by investing in energy bulbs.  A 60w bulb can be replaced by a 13w bulb that produces as much light output and has a longer life. Subway replaced all of its bulbs in the ceiling fans and hanging fixtures, which has earned them the Green Citizen Award for April.

Texas has been fortunate not to experience power outages that California faces.  If more homes and businesses switch to energy bulbs, we hopefully never will.


March, 2005 = Keahi Brown & Joel Luther

With gas prices still rising, traffic congestion getting heavier, and air pollution getting thicker; it makes sense to car pool. Teachers, Keahi Brown and Joel Luther, have taken advantage of this solution long before gas rose to over $2.00 per gallon.

A great number of area residents travel over 40 miles to work each day. We are reluctant to give up the freedom of using our own vehicles, but car pooling even once per week can save over $250 in fuel costs. Plus, you save other costs, such as oil changes, mileage depreciation; and medical bills from environmental illnesses. Consider car pooling and donate that extra cash to charity.

Ms. Brown & Mr. Luther accept award in the hall of Kendal Elementary.


February, 2005 = Catherine Pierce

When you live in the country, it is easy to collect all the brush from your land into a big pile and burn it. Burning wood creates a high amount of carbon dioxide, which results in countless problems for human and environmental health. Plus; large piles put forests, crops and homes at risk of an out of control fire.

Catherine Pierce decided to have her property cleaned up and have the branches hauled to the Kendall County Brush site. They will take the brush and turn it into mulch for residents to use. A $5 donation gets a full truck load of mulch.


January, 2005 = First United Methodist Church

Anytime one uses a commercial coffee pot, or large container for water and tea for people to fill their glasses from, there tends to be a problem of the liquid dripping onto the floor. An employee solved this problem by simply cutting out drip catchers from plastic soda bottles. The catcher is hung on the pour spout, so when a person removes their glass after it is full, the remaining drips collect in the bottom of the bottle.

This is a great example of re-using, one of the 4 R's of environmental stewardship. The others are "reduse", "recycle" and "re-buy."

Former employee, Jodi George, receives award on behalf of FUMC.


December, 2004 = Hill Country Montessori School

Rather than pave their parking lot and contribute to the flood problems of the Hill Country, this school chose to use gravel. The negative part is that pot holes develop a little quicker than they would with asphalt. However, they are easier to fix than ones in asphalt. Also, the fact that rain is allowed to sink into the ground, rather than run down the road causing flooding and eventually bringing oil into the creeks, equals positives that out-way any negatives.


November, 2004 = PammiJo Jones

To help keep the environment safe for her children and to keep them hydrated, PammiJo Jones buys Gatorade in the powder form and refills plastic bottles. With three active children, any parent has difficulty keeping the refrigerator stocked with enough beverages to get them through the week. "It takes time, but saves money," says Jones.

When properly washed between use, plastic bottles can be reused a number of times before their structure begins to break down. Purchasing beverages in large containers or in powder form saves consumers lots of money and prevents un-necessary pollution from filling our air that is created from bottle production.


Jennifer Darling presents award to PammiJo Jones.



October, 2004 = Judy Edmondson

Realizing the need to preserve the natural beauty of a town that is in the middle of rapid growth, Judy Edmondson spearheaded the creation of Keep Boerne Beautiful, an affiliate of Keep Texas Beautiful. It is through this organization that Judy implemented two clean-up events during the year. The latest event called Cibolo Creek Cleanup was on October 23rd in conjunction with Make a Difference Day. 

The Cibolo Creek is a major tributary that winds through Boerne. Many houses and numerous businesses have been developed along its banks. This has lead to an unhealthy amount of run-off and debris. The Cibolo Creek Cleanup brought volunteers from the community together to clean the debris along the creek in several areas, so wildlife would have a better place to live and humans would have a prettier place to take work breaks or fish. DARLING CETACEANS took part in this event, along with members of the Cub scouts, JROTC and KLEAN Team.

Board member, Janet Sheppard, presents award to Judy Edmondson.


September, 2004 = The Podlutsky Family

While walking through a Boerne neighborhood, people from DARLING CETACEANS noticed a beautifully done walk-way that has a series of solar powered lights. Most builders in central Texas do not include green building practices in their designs. Especially those, like KB Homes, which produce homes in mass quantities. However, it is easy to add a few economical green methods once you have purchased your home. As the Podlutsky family knows, little touches, like solar power walk-way lighting is a great way to make your home more welcoming, while not increasing your electric bill. 

As solar power becomes more affordable, it can be used to power everything in the home. Unfortunately, Texas does not offer the rebates that some states do to encourage installation of larger panels for general electrical use.

Jennifer Darling, of DARLING CETACEANS; with Andry, Natalia & Viktorija Podlutsky.


August, 2004 = Silverado Sales

At Silverado Sales' ribbon cutting ceremony, DARLING CETACEANS was surprised to see the plates being used were real, not disposable. We are always pleased to see people use paper, rather than Styrofoam, when serving food to guests. Silverado Sales went a wonderful step further. Chris Christianson, owner of the vehicle dealership, informed us that they installed a dishwasher in the break room in order to wash everything from the plates to coffee mugs. "Using a dishwasher is easy and means we do not have to serve customers coffee in Styrofoam cups." At the ribbon cutting, Silverado Sales also took advantage of an advertising opportunity by offering reusable plastic cups with their company name printed on them, instead of cups that would be thrown away.

Jennifer Darling, of DARLING CETACEANS; with Chris Christianson, of Silverado Sales.


Honorable Mentions

These are people or places that we would like to acknowledge, even though they do not qualify to for our Green Citizens Award.

Students of Wadsworth, Ohio

Next to the town's gazebo is a tree decorated for Christmas. In this town, a beautiful Christmas tree would typically blend in to the holiday display along the streets. However, the decorations on this one caught our attention. All the ornaments were recycled. Students used CDs, scrap paper and other items to create new ornaments to hang, making it a magnificent icon.

Jean Brooks of Harker Heights, TX

There is no point in spending labor gardening to make your yard look better, if you are going to destroy the earth in the process. That is why Jean Brooks uses home-made herbicides that are non toxic and safe. When installing sheeting under her flower beds, she also uses biodegradable stakes to hold the sheeting in place until the mulch is spread.

Venice, Florida

Beach-goers of Venice Beach can feel good about depositing recyclables from their picnic in the bins located right on the beach. This leaves the sand open for those seeking shells or shark teeth.

Chicago Ohare International Airport

Passengers traveling through Chicago's Ohare International Airport are able to deposit empty beverage cans and newspapers in any of a number of recycle bins placed through-out the terminals. Customers need to have this ability wherever they travel. Thank you Chicago for taking this step!

Crystal River FUMC, Florida

First United Methodist Church- Crystal River knows the responsibility God has given them to care for our environment. Large aluminum and paper collection bins are located behind the church, out of site from the main entrance, but easy to find.

City of Fonthill, Ontario

The amount of trash entering the landfill in Fonthill, Ontario is minimal thanks to an extensive recycling program. Every week residents place several bins by the curb, along with a small bags of trash. There are 3 containers to fill, 1 for paper products, 1 for an array of recyclables an 1 for compost materials.