Meet Your Neighbor: Lisa Kastanya

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Lisa Kastanya, 44, lives in Midland with her husband, Bill Schueneman. They have been married for 14 years. They met in Jakarata, Indonesia, through a mutual friend. She is originally from Jakarta. There, she attended 110 State High School and went on to earn a BA in Political Science from Michigan State University. Bill teaches computer science at Delta College. He is also a graduate of MSU.

1. How long have you lived in Midland and what brought you here?

Three years. My work.

2. What is your profession and why?

Secretary at Dow, three years. I like to support people. I like to organize events. I like the efficiency of the processes.

3. What are some of your interests and hobbies?

Singing, enjoying nature and a sustainable way of life. I grew up in Indonesia, at a time when the rivers were heavily polluted and the country perhaps received the pollution from the garbage of the rich countries. I remember seeing the desperation in the eyes of the community. The government is doing nothing, local businesses were overwhelmed, people did not know where to start. These memories inspire me to continue to keep Midland beautiful, to live a sustainable lifestyle. I am new to this understanding, but I study hard and put what I have studied into practice.



I have succeeded in reducing our household waste by 75%. It’s a lot of work, a lot of learning, a lot of learned mistakes, it’s still a long journey. I am still in the process of modifying my process. But, I hurry.

I talk to people and encourage recycling the right way. This includes cleaning, emptying, sorting and fiercely protecting the value of all recycling items in your recycling bin. Not cleaning, emptying and sorting is converting the value of recycling items to zero.

I promote visiting over 70 parks in Midland County via Facebook and have inspired hundreds. My family have visited over 30 parks, Plymouth Park, Chippewassee Park / dog-skate, Emerson, Stratford Woods Parks.

I like to sing. If you hear singing while walking in the parks, it might be me.

I received the Outstanding Scientific Directors Industry Mentorship Award from SVSU STEM, for my support of the Northeast Middle School CSO Student Team Retraining Project.

I worked with Midland Parks and Recreation to apply for a grant from Keep America Beautiful to provide recycling bins in parks in Midland. We wait patiently and with optimism.

I donated a chalk drawing of Keep Midland Beautiful to the Farmers Market and Plymouth Park as a campaign for the Midlanders to value the cleanliness and natural beauty of Midland. I plan to continue other chalk drawings at other public sites in Midland.

I volunteer and recruit local volunteers for Midland Recyclers. I’m trying to get churches in Midland to get more involved in recycling in the right way and their members to volunteer.

I am campaigning on diversity and inclusion by hosting an international picnic last week.

From my family’s last trips to Florida, by car and Seattle, by plane, we’ve learned that 5% of the rest areas along I-75 have recycling bins. We also learned that at some airports at the end of the day cleaning staff put all recycling items in the trash and unfortunately those items will end up in the landfill. I’m making a plan to do something about it. I believe in being the agent of positive change.

4. What are your favorite things to do in Midland?

The latest effort is trying to recruit entities, pro nature, in Midland, to encourage Midland residences to embrace the idea of ​​planting native wildflowers in their backyards and vacant lots near their homes. Good for bees.

5. What do you like about life in Midland?

The people are very smart, very passionate about the beauty of Midland. People support what I do. We are all convinced that it is doable, we all have a role to play and we can all do something about it.

6. What message would you like to send to the community?

Keep Midland beautiful.


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