“Going green” is all about making choices that minimize your environmental footprint. When it comes to travel, that can mean choosing a destination that prioritizes sustainability – like Grand Rapids.
It can also mean choosing places to meet, stay, dine and play based on their earth-friendly practices. Grand Rapids offers a whole host of options for eco-conscious visitors.
DeVos Place Convention Center, a state-of-the-art facility in the heart of downtown, is certified as a “Green Venue” by the state of Michigan. Its sustainability initiatives include:
- Automated faucets and flushing systems to reduce water consumption
- Membrane-style roof reflects heat away to decrease energy consumption
- Computer-controlled lighting and HVAC for more energy efficiency
- Donating leftover food and composting food waste to reduce landfill use
The Amway Grand Plaza, Curio Collection by Hilton practices a hotel-wide Stay Green program that includes energy-efficient lighting, multiple recycling programs, and continually embracing and researching new green initiatives.
Environmental initiatives at the JW Marriott Grand Rapids include reducing energy and water consumption, increasing recycling and purchasing only green cleaners.
CityFlatsHotel is certified LEED Gold thanks to such green features as cork flooring, hypoallergenic bamboo linens, high-efficiency heating and cooling units, low-flow water fixtures, and locally manufactured furniture and décor.
Holiday Inn Grand Rapids Downtown is an IHG Green Engage Hotel implementing a wide range of green solutions to measure and manage its environmental impact.
Hyatt Place Grand Rapids South became the city’s first LEED-certified hotel in 2009. (LEED is a system that evaluates the sustainability of buildings.)
Peaches Bed & Breakfast has participated in Michigan's Green Lodging Initiative since 2007, when it scored higher than any other property in the state.
Grand Rapids boasts a large concentration of farm-to-fork restaurants that partner with local farmers to promote sustainable agriculture, reduce transportation footprints and support the area economy. Notable eateries include:
Luna, a Latin American eatery, was named the Best Farm-to-Table Restaurant in Michigan by Travel+Leisure magazine.
Margaux in the JW Marriott Grand Rapids supplements its long list of local suppliers with its own Chef's Garden.
The LEED-certified Green Well Gastro Pub sources ingredients from small, local and sustainable farmers.
Reserve Wine & Food embraces the bounty of local farms and artisanal products.
Brewery Vivant, the first LEED Silver certified microbrewery in the U.S., publishes an annual report detailing its sustainability impact.
Grand Rapids Brewing Company, Michigan’s first certified organic brewery, won a “Biggest Loser” award in the Battle of the Buildings competition recognizing energy conservation.
New Holland Brewing - The Knickerbocker complements its award-winning beer menu with a rustic, seasonal menu showcasing local and regional agriculture.
The People’s Cider Co., Sietsema Orchards and Cider Mill and Vander Mill use fresh local apples to craft hard ciders.
Madcap Coffee, an award-winning coffee roaster, runs a Zero Waste program to lessen its environmental impact.
Downtown Market Grand Rapids is a LEED Gold-certified food emporium that showcases local agriculture through on-site restaurants, artisan shops, classes and events.
Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, one of the Midwest’s most popular tourist attractions, earned LEED Silver certification for such features as a reflective rubber roof.
The Grand Rapids Art Museum, the words first LEED Gold-certified art museum, receives 70% of its light from natural sources and reuses on-site rain and grey water.
The Rapid Central Bus Station is the first transportation facility in the U.S. to receive LEED certification.
Clothing Matters, one of Michigan's “Best and Brightest Sustainable Companies,” offers a world-class collection of sustainably manufactured apparel.