Green Guide to Detroit

It seemed to have started with urban gardens. And now the city of Detroit has created an Office of Sustainability. Big steps are being made by local organizations, businesses and convention centers to make Detroit a greener place. Join Detroit’s green movement, or make your meeting more sustainable with some of our resources.

TCF Center

TCF Center is now a Green Meetings Industry Council ASTM/APEX Standard Certified facility. With TCF Center’s recent redesign, enough natural light comes through during daytime hours to minimize main hallway daytime lighting throughout TCF Center. Also, the exhibit hall lighting uses 40% less electricity. Everyone loves recycling, and TCF Center has placed recycling bins in all high-traffic areas of the building. And on the food side, My Green Michigan provides composting services to TCF Center. And TCF Center’s food and beverage contractor collects unserved, prepared food for pickup by Forgotten Harvest, a local company that delivers food to pantries, soup kitchens and shelters around southeast Michigan. But that’s not all. Learn about all of TCF Center’s green initiatives.

Green Spaces in Detroit

The Green Garage is a former Model T showroom that is now a co-working space and business incubator. The building was designed to be as green as possible, using solar thermal heating and material repurposing. Green Garage uses about a tenth of the energy, water and waste that a traditional office building uses.

Green Garage in Detroit

The Green Garage Building, photo courtesy of Green Garage.

Urban garden in Detroit

Green Garage’s rooftop garden, which supplies vegetables to Motor City Brewing Works. Photo courtesy of Green Garage.

The Michigan Urban Farming Initiative (MUFI) uses urban agriculture to promote education and sustainability to empower the Detroit community and solve its social problems. They also hope to develop a broader model for redeveloping urban communities. MUFI’s main focus is redeveloping Detroit’s North End to demonstrate some of the best practices for sustainable urban agriculture, strategies to increase food security, models for blight deconstruction and innovation in blue and green infrastructure. MUFI grows produce to support 2,000 households. Be sure to check out more of our urban gardens.

Eastern Market has been in Detroit for over 100 years. Aside from offering a weekly Saturday market filled with fresh Michigan produce and Detroit-themed products, the market is passionate about food access, running a food assistance and farm stand program to give the metro Detroit community access to fresh food. And their wholesale program, GROW Eastern Market, creates relationships with local chefs, restaurants, grocery stores and schools with small and emerging local farmers. Learn all about Eastern Market.

Eastern Market on Saturday

Eastern Market on a lively Saturday. Photo by Bill Bowen.

The Detroit Zoo was recognized in 2016 as one of Michigan’s and the nation’s Best and Brightest Sustainable Companies by the National Association for Business Resources. Some of the Zoo’s recent sustainability efforts include discontinuing bottled water sales, building the first zoo-based anaerobic digester in the country, and using 100 percent renewable energy from wind farms.

If you find yourself in one of Detroit’s urban gardens, you may see honey bee hives. Many of these are maintained by Bees in the D, a nonprofit organization whose mission is the conservation and education of honey bees. They maintain 51 hives throughout Detroit, which can also be found on rooftops and in vacant lots throughout the city. Bees in the D hosts classes and educational workshops at the Outdoor Adventure Center, at TCF Center and other areas of Detroit. They also have an educational apiary on the Dequindre Cut, Detroit’s favorite bike trail.

Bees in the D on TCF Center Roof

Bees in the D workshop on the roof of TCF Center. Photo courtesy of Bees in the D.

Green Meetings in Detroit

In 2017, Detroit hosted the Sustainable Brands conference at TCF Center. Sustainable Brands is the largest community of global business leaders dedicated to brand value creation through sustainability-led innovation. The group decided that Detroit was the perfect location to launch their global initiative, Redefining the Good Life, which is a push for businesses to position themselves for success while addressing changing societal needs. With all of Detroit’s businesses focused on sustainability and helping the community, it’s no question why they launched this initiative in The D.

Contact a member of our sales team today to learn how you can make your conference or meeting in Detroit more sustainable.

Transportation

Detroit offers these public transportation options to get you around town instead of driving your car.

Detroit People Mover

The Detroit People Mover, an elevated and automated light-rail system, can help you get around downtown quickly, easily and safely. The 2.9-mile looped system has 13 stations, with automatic stops at key downtown locations.

The QLine

A 3.3-mile circulating streetcar running along Woodward Avenue between Congress Street and West Grand Boulevard in downtown Detroit. The streetcar route has 20 stations serving 12 locations.

MoGo Bike Share

Detroit’s bike share system has 430 bikes and 43 stations in 10 Detroit neighborhoods. Designed for quick trips around town.

Biking in Detroit

Use MoGo bikes to make your way around Detroit. Photo courtesy of Bill Bowen.

Scooter Rentals

If you’re staying within downtown Detroit, there are three scooter rental options for you to get around on your own time. Pick up a Bird, Lime or Spin scooter, use their respective apps to activate the scooter, and ride to your hearts desire. These scooters are mainly found in downtown, Corktown, Greektown and Midtown.

DDOT & SMART Bus Systems

DDOT operates within the city of Detroit. You can catch DDOT at the Rosa Parks Transit Center. Regional passes available to allow riders to use both DDOT and SMART buses, which connect Detroit to the suburbs.

SMART has also launched the FAST bus service to get you from downtown Detroit to Detroit Metro Airport. The service runs every 15-30 minutes, and the stop is conveniently located close to TCF Center – near the corner of Fort St. and Washington.

Detroit Sustainable Donation Network

Below is a list of organizations that accept donations in the city of Detroit.

Reusable Personal & Home Items

Goodwill Industries of Detroit
3111 Grand River Avenue, Detroit, MI
313-964-3900

Heart to Hart Detroit
31420 Northwestern Highway, Farmington Hills, MI
248-884-4434

John W. Dingell VA Medical Center
Vietnam Veterans of America
4646 John R. Street, Detroit MI
313-576-3332.

Salvation Army
1627 Fort Street, Detroit, MI 48216
313-965-7760

St. Vincent De Paul
3000 Gratiot, Detroit, MI
313-567-0154

Reusable Materials, Signage & Paper

Arts and Scraps
16135 Harper Avenue, Detroit, MI 48224
313-640-4411

Reusable Office Supplies, Books & Activity Items

Detroit Public Schools
3011 W Grand Blvd., Detroit, MI 48202
313-873-3348

John W. Dingell VA Medical Center
Vietnam Veterans of America
4646 John R Street, Detroit MI
313-576-3332.

Food Surplus Donations

Forgotten Harvest
21800 Greenfield Rd, Oak Park, MI
248-967-1500

Heart to Hart Detroit
31420 Northwestern Highway, Farmington Hills, MI
248-884-4434

Recycle Electronic Devices

Great Lakes Electronic Corporation
6635 Sterling Drive South, Sterling Heights, MI
888-392-7831

Recycle Metal Scraps

City Recycling Inc.
1943 Mack Avenue, Detroit, MI 48227
313-831-3696

Additional Resources

Learn more about the green efforts of Detroit:

 

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Mentioned Attractions And Venues





  1. 1
    TCF Center
    One Washington Blvd., Detroit, MI 48226
    313-877-8777
  2. 2
    Eastern Market
    Russell Street between Mack Avenue and Gratiot Avenue, 2934 Russell St., Detroit, MI 48207
    313-833-9300
  3. 3
    Detroit People Mover (Detroit Transportation Corp.)
    535 Griswold St., Suite 400, Detroit, MI 48226
    313-224-2160
  4. 4
    Green Garage
    4444 2nd Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201, United States
    313-444-4054