However, one of the greatest contributions to her community is The Greener Delta Program, which she pioneered in 1990 in order to help protect the environment.
Vedder was first inspired to start the program when she saw an event her son-in-law created in Huron County. His green program resulted in one of his associates applying for and receiving a grant for used wind turbines from California, which provided 80 percent of the energy for a school in Huron County. Two of Michigan’s largest wind fields are now located in Huron County, and the community has become increasingly environmentally conscientious. So Vedder teamed up with schools in her area to start the Greener Delta Program.
“Greener Delta is an opportunity to educate the public and the kids,” Vedder said, “to emphasize the importance of our environment and the use of energy-saving products.”
What started out as a couple of recycling containers sitting in the Township’s parking lot has evolved into a permanent recycling center on Millet Highway that is free for anyone to use. A de-junking program was also developed, where once a year residents of Delta Township can bring in used furniture, mattresses, scrap metal, propane and other recyclable or reusable items.
With energy conservation in mind, Vedder extended her eco-friendly ideas into the workplace. The Township has saved more than 300,000 watts of energy since the changes were made.
“We have been recycling office paper for many years. Recently, we went through our buildings and replaced the lights with CFLs. We eliminated 60 light fixtures and started using motion sensors,” Vedder said.
Greener Delta was the 2009 Tri-County Waste Reduction awards program winner and, according to Vedder, people are beginning to count on the program. Vedder expects more people than ever at this year’s Greener Delta event in April.
The day-long event featured more than 60 vendors displaying eco-friendly products, photography and essay contests, solar car races, a “Green Earth Magic Show” and several different solar panel, wind turbine and tankless water heater displays. Those in attendance will receive free CFL light bulbs and reusable Greener Delta bags, and will have the opportunity to recycle paper and drugs that are difficult to dispose of properly.
“We’re a very creative country, and people are always coming up with new ideas,” Vedder said. “This gives them an opportunity to become educated on environmental issues and to see in one central location a lot of the new products available out there.”