A close-up picture of a thermostat with a digital display
Kevin P. Casey / AP Photo

A Portage house with very low net-energy use doesn’t have to be the exception to the rule, say the builders who worked on it. The house recently won the Michigan Energy Efficiency Contractors Association’s Residential Project of the Year award.

A red bus approaches the viewer through a snowy intersection. There are brick buildings in the background.
Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

Kalamazoo pays for its bus service in part through a property tax, and that tax is up for renewal on Tuesday. The county is asking for up to 0.9 mills – a slight increase from the current rate of up to 0.75 mills.

Three trees, with orange, yellow and red autumn leaves, in front of a concrete building at WMU
Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

Western Michigan University hopes to recoup a badge of environmental honor: the distinction of being a Tree Campus, as defined by the nonprofit Arbor Day Foundation.

Closely spaced solar panels tilt upward in a field.
Toby Talbot / AP Photo

Breaking down silos: that's the aim of a meeting in Kalamazoo Township Friday. The guests are officials from local governments – cities, townships and the county. They intend to share plans for fighting climate change, becoming more sustainable and building resiliencey, and perhaps for working together.

A man in a bright yellow jacket stands with a bike, which has a trailer loaded with bins and buckets.
Sehvilla Mann / WMUK


WMUK is listening back to some of its favorite stories from the year, including this one from earlier this month.

Chris Broadbent rides his bike through Kalamazoo’s Vine neighborhood, towing a trailer loaded with buckets. He pulls up behind an apartment building, takes a bucket up the stairs to a back porch, and swaps it for one filled with food scraps. He’ll make a couple more pickups around the city this afternoon. The peels and trimmings are destined for a bin in his backyard.