Celebrate Earth Day in Pure Michigan

With Earth Day coming up this weekend, we wanted to highlight a few of the places around the state of Michigan that are especially earth-friendly.

Besides offering exhibitions and collections that span from Renaissance to Modern art, the Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM) also stands out as a renowned “green” building in the state – and the world. In fact, the museum opened the doors of its current home in 2007 as the first newly-constructed, LEED Gold certified art museum in the world. The GRAM is located in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids, close to many restaurants, parks and entertainment venues.

When visiting the Ford Rogue Factory Tour at The Henry Ford, guests can visit the Legacy Theater, Art of Manufacturing Theater, Observation Deck, Dearborn Truck Plant and the Legacy Gallery during a self-guided tour. While on the factory tour, there are many eco-friendly elements to experience including the “living roof,” which is made up of tens of thousands of tiny sedum plants that decrease energy consumption by 7 percent and improve air quality by as much as 40 percent. In 2003, the factory was awarded a LEED Award from the US Green Building Council (USGBC).

The Dairy Complex at Michigan State University is another LEED certified establishment in our great state. The barn in the pasture-robotic milking system at MSU’s Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) is the first agricultural building in North America to receive the certification. Visitors to campus can take free tours of the facilities and learn first hand how cheese, ice cream and other dairy products are made, then test out delicious homemade ice cream.

If you’re in Ann Arbor, stop by Perpetua Boutique Organique, which offers sustainable, environmentally friendly, organic fashion for women and men. You could also visit the Matthaei Botanical Gardens at the University of Michigan while you’re in the area. There are plenty of other parks in the area as well to experience Michigan’s beautiful landscape.