Pictured above: Volunteers and City staff sort through waste at Fuller Park during an audit of the zero waste station. The data from this audit will help the Parks Department to assess current signage and sorting instructions at their zero waste stations. Did you know that recyclable materials like plastic, glass, and aluminum should be rinsed before being placed in a recycling bin? A2ZERO and the Dexter-Ann Arbor Run.
The Office of Sustainability and Innovations helped to sponsor the 48th
Annual Dexter-Ann Arbor Run
- a half-marathon, 10k, and 5k event along the scenic Huron River - by helping to make it a zero waste event.
A2ZERO and the Taste of Ann Arbor.
This year, the Office of Sustainability and Innovations joined the Main Street Area Association
for the annual Taste of Ann Arbor event, where local restaurants showcase their flavors through bite-sized offerings. At the OSI booth, attendees learned about how we can make our food system more sustainable before enjoying delicious fare from our local restuarants!
Sustainability Movie Night. OSI and the Ann Arbor District Library hosted a screening of Fantastic Fungi, a family-friendly film that "takes us on an immersive journey through time and scale into the magical earth beneath our feet, an underground network that can heal and save our planet".
Climate, Coffee, and Cats. OSI joined the Humane Society of Huron Valley at the Tiny Lions Lounge & Adoption Center on Jackson Road for a morning event featuring coffee, pastries, and kittens! Attendees were able to chat with OSI staff and A2ZERO Ambassadors about our carbon neutrality work, talk to Humane Society staff about the cat cafe and their work with animals in the Ann Arbor area, and hang out with some adorable and adoptable cats.
Pictured above: Attendees chat with OSI and Humane Society staff while enjoying the antics of adoptable kittens.
Cargo Bike Rally & Bike Repair Clinic. Cargo bike and e-bike owners came by the Ann Arbor Farmer's Market to share their experiences and talk about how they’ve reduced their carbon footprint through biking. Plus, Urban Rider Cargo Bikes had various bike models on hand to test drive, Common Cycle hosted a bike fix-it work shop, and Washtenaw Dairy provided some sweet treats!
Waste Audits at City Parks. Give365, the County's Waste Knot program, and OSI held three events to audit the zero-waste stations at Island, Bandemer, and Fuller Parks. At these events, volunteers and City staff catalogued and photographed the contents of trash, recycling, and compost bins before re-sorting the waste into the appropriate containers. The collected data will help our Parks department to assess the current signage and the quality of the provided sorting instructions.
Local Farm Tour: Steinhauser Farms. Raindance Organic Farm and OSI held a guided tour of Steinhauser Farms, a local family-owned farm that raises high quality farm products using best practices for the environment and their animals. To learn more about the ongoing local farm tour series, please click here.
A Celebration of Local Food: Discussion and Tasting. OSI, Bløm Meadworks, Argus Farm Stop, El Harissa Market Cafe, and Cinnaholic Bakery joined together to host an event celebrating the thriving local and sustainable food system in Southeastern Michigan. Attendees heard from local farmers, chefs, and brewers about why choosing local and sustainable ingredients matters, and how sustainable food and sustainable farming practices are being applied in the region - all while tasting some delicious local and sustainable food! Plus, over $200 in donations were raised for the Washtenaw County Black Farmers Fund, which aims to build a more equitable food system by investing in Black Farmers. Learn more about the Fund at www.wcblackfarmers.fund.
Pictured above: Attendees listen as Lauren from Bløm Meadworks discusses the importance of local and sustainable ingredients in the production of their meads and ciders.
A2ZERO at the Ann Arbor Farmer's Market. OSI hosted an A2ZERO table at the Ann Arbor Farmer's Market for market-goers to learn more about our carbon neutrality goals, the programs we offer, and how residents can get involved. Plus, VegMichigan hosted cooking demonstrations at the Market to showcase delicious, healthy, and sustainable plant-based dishes!
Rain Garden Workday at Buhr Park. Volunteers and City staff joined the Washtenaw County Water Resources Office to help care for the public rain gardens and Children’s Wet Meadows in Buhr Park, by removing invasive species and planting native ones. These large rain gardens and wet meadows fill up with rain water, which helps slow down the flow of water to our rivers. When water slows down, it can soak into the ground where it is naturally filtered clean. And these hard-working gardens are full of native plants, which have deep root systems and are great wildlife habitat!
Pictured above: Volunteers and City staff work in one of the Children's Wet Meadows in Buhr Park.
A2ZERO Night on Main Street, Dance Party for the Planet, and Climate-Altered Beer Unveiling & Tasting. OSI hosted a walkable, family-friendly, and informative night all about A2ZERO on Main Street! The celebrations included a dance party for the planet (with a local DJ powered by a solar generator) and the unveiling of "Fail of the Earth," a limited-time pale ale brewed by Earthen Ales. Brewed using climate-stressed ingredients, this limited-batch bitter ale simulated the beer of a climate-impacted future.
Climate Trivia with the Citizens' Climate Lobby and OSI. The Citizens' Climate Lobby and OSI partnered with Conor O'Neill's to host a trivia showdown, featuring various climate-related questions, including a final round of questions all about sustainability and climate action!
Mayor's Green Fair and Electric Vehicle Demonstration. Downtown Main Street and the Library Lane Lot were open to pedestrians for the annual Mayor's Green Fair, a chance for attendees to explore a multitude of exhibits showcasing local green businesses and non-profits, along with A2ZERO collaborators. Plus, OSI hosted an electric vehicle demonstration for attendees to learn about and test drive green commuting options like electric vehicles, e-bikes, cargo bikes, and electric scooters.
A2ZERO Day at Top of the Park. The Office of Sustainability and Innovations and Live Zero Waste hosted a zero-waste extravaganza at the Ann Arbor Summer Festival's annual Top of the Park. This event included stations and interactive exhibits such as t-shirt screen printing, making tote bags from old shirts, appliance repair help, and more!
Share your Feedback on the Proposed Ann Arbor SEU
The City of Ann Arbor is seeking feedback on the creation of the Ann Arbor Sustainable Energy Utility (SEU), a utility designed to provide reliable, 100% clean, affordable, locally built, and community-owned power. The SEU would provide electricity from local solar and battery storage systems installed on homes and businesses throughout the city, advancing the goal of public ownership and 100% clean power without wasting money, energy, and time trying to buy the current aging, vulnerable, and unreliable energy infrastructure. Learn more and provide your feedback at www.a2gov.org/a2seu.
Take the A2ZERO Pledge
Do you want to be part of the community working to achieve a more just, sustainable, healthy, safe, and comfortable future for all? Then join us by taking the
A2ZERO Pledge and committing to one or more sustainability-focused actions. And if you need help achieving your commitment to any of these actions, staff from the Office of Sustainability and Innovations are happy to help! You can reach us at
[email protected] or reach out to a specific
Reduce, Reuse, Return
Want to help reduce the amount of waste entering our landfills, while enjoying delicious takeout from a local restaurant? Check out the Ann Arbor Reduce, Reuse, Return (A2R3) Returnable Container Program! This program is a collaboration between OSI, Live Zero Waste, and local restaurants Zingerman's Next Door Cafe, El Harissa Market Cafe, and Ginger Deli. Simply join the program, receive your takeout meal in a reusable container, enjoy your food, wash the container, and then return it to a participating restaurant!
Become an Ambassador
A2ZERO Ambassador Program provides an opportunity for interested individuals to take a deep dive into pathways for advancing local sustainability, resilience, and carbon neutrality. A2ZERO Ambassadors take part in a training program that explores multiple aspects of what it takes to truly become a sustainable and carbon neutral community. Ambassadors will leave this training with the knowledge, tools, and resources to discuss climate change and the specific actions that their community can begin implementing to advance carbon neutrality. You can register your interest in becoming an Ambassador
by emailing Galen Hardy.
Get Sustainability Updates
Stay up to date and get more involved by signing up for The Charging Station, our
bi-monthly A2ZERO Newsletter! Sign up here.