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Posts Tagged ‘Blog Action Day: Traverse City-style’

Today is Blog Action Day and the topic is Climate Change. You might be wondering (especially since we had a super cold summer and where the heck did fall go…is it winter already?) if global warming is really happening here in northern Michigan. In Traverse City, there is a rather large  indicator that points us in the yes-global-warming-is-really-happening direction. It’s the Bay (you know the big body of water that we all love.) For over 130 years, the Bay had reliably frozen over for seven out of ten winters (in 1874, it was frozen solid from Jan. 13 to May 8, and from 1883 and 1902 it froze every winter) but during the 1990s it only froze three times, and most recently, it froze in 2003 and 2009. So, global warming is happening, what can I do about it?

9 Bean Rows Wk 12 (4)

Consider your impact. Some of the major contributors to climate change is the increase in carbon dioxide levels from fossil fuels. So… shop local. Buying groceries from a local farmers market or fruit stand has a lesser environmental impact than the grocery store who may truck their produce in from California, Florida or Central America. Or even better yet, take the risk with your neighbor farmer and join a farm share and enjoy fruits and vegetables that are locally grown and in-season. Your carbon footprint is minimal when you are eating food that is grown just miles from your own front porch. Grow your own vegetables and enjoy the fruits of your labor and the savor in the first-hand knowledge that your veggies were never sprayed with chemicals.

Also, consider shopping at resale or consignment shops. I’ve read that some clothiers have coined the term ‘upcycled’ instead of resale, which is a great way to think about gently used goods. There are some great finds out there! You just need to be patient.

We enjoy a good cup of coffee and have fallen in love with Higher Grounds fair trade, organic, and shade-grown coffee. Higher Grounds is a coffee bar and roastery located in the Grand Traverse Commons. If you want your java to-go, make sure you bring your own mug because Higher Grounds doesn’t carry paper products. They do, however, have some donated mugs that you may take your beverage away in. We buy our coffee in bulk and have it delivered to our doorstep. They deliver “Beans by Bike” within the city limits by bicycle and had a special bike-delivery system custom built to accomodate their needs! It doesn’t get any greener than that. (They even have t-shirts for sale at the shop that say “I get mine by bike”… how cute!)

Higher Grounds (3)

There are many other local Traverse City area establishments from restaurants, clothing boutiques to speciality stores who are making conscious decisions about how they do business whether they have founded their business on sustainable principles or are changing the way they do business in a way that takes the environment into account. Choose to patronize businesses who share your values and who understand that there is a cost to being socially and environmentally responsible. Make sure you tell the owner that you applaud their decision to go green and let them know that you are willing to pay a little bit more to ensure a greener planet. 

And finally, Traverse City has its own currency, Bay Bucks, which ensures that dollars stay local. With Bay Bucks you can pay a handyman, buy food at the local organic food co-op, pay your cab fare, indulge with some designer chocolates, take a yoga class or hire a lawyer. There’s quite the directory of participating individuals and businesses who accept Bay Bucks as currency.

Yes, you can make a difference to prevent climate change even in Traverse City. Start small at first. Once you’ve made a few trips to the farmer’s market and know the farmers by name, you’ll be hooked. It will snowball from there. Enjoy.

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