Posts tagged ‘car free’

Small Business Saturday


It’s that time of year again. Holiday season is upon us! But while you’re looking for the perfect gift for your loved ones, are you considering where your money is going?

According to UC-San Diego, buying from locally owned stores not only reduces carbon emissions but can benefit the local economy as well. When you spend $100 at a chain store, only $43 goes back into the local community. However, if you spend the same amount at a local store, $68 stays in the community. This means more money is going to people in your neighborhood rather than chains across the country. Other studies have shown that the money spent at local stores is more likely to be spent at other local businesses, which helps to strengthen the economic base of the community. Local businesses are also more likely to hire local residents and support other local businesses as well.

Buying local is also more sustainable and can lower your carbon footprint. Many local stores have products that were made or grown locally, meaning that less fuel was used to bring that product to the store. Many chain stores ship their inventory from large warehouses across the country, which can use large amounts of fuel and release many harmful emissions. Products found in chain stores are typically made in bulk and the creation process can produce a lot of excess material and waste. In addition, typically local stores are more centrally located in a community than chain stores since they usually require less space. This makes it easier to walk or ride your bike to the store, further cutting down your carbon footprint.

Supporting local businesses also keeps the community unique. Where we shop, eat, and spend our free time helps to make our community our home. Frequenting a local business allows you to meet and establish a relationship with the owner and employees. This can lead to better service and assurance of quality products since we are more likely to help those we have relationships with. Local businesses also help create a distinct character in the community and can attract tourists that will help strengthen the local economy as well.

Local businesses are important for keeping our community unique and economically strong. Support your community this holiday season by buying local. Instead of participating in Black Friday shopping this year, participate in Small Business Saturday! For a list of local Madison businesses, go here.


November 17, 2014 at 12:54 pm Leave a comment

Take the bus, save $10 grand each year

It’s rather ironic that I’m blogging about taking public transportation, since this is the environmental change with which I struggle the most.

This year I made a commitment to take the bus to work at least once a week. I’m keeping that vow, but only barely. All the usual excuses…it’s hard to coordinate my schedule, I have to carry outreach supplies with me, I’ve got stuff to do before and after work, blah, blah, blah. None of them are as important as the reasons why I should.

Today’s story in Tree Hugger is just one more reason why:

…The average American who takes public transit saves a staggering $9,240 a year….The finding comes from a recent study by the American Public Transportation Association, which compiled the average costs of parking, gas, and tolls each year. They’ve come up with a comprehensive savings report that shows how much a rider saves in the 20 top cities for public transit….

We had an EnAct orientation this past weekend at the Orchard Ridge United Church of Christ on Madison’s west side. We asked people what environmental actions they do that make them proud, and which ones they’d like to improve. I was inspired yet again by folks who have gone to one car or who regularly use public transportation, and I admitted my own failings. Confession, church, it just felt right.

Anyway, it isn’t always easy being green, as Kermit the Frog told us so many years ago. (Hey, did you know that there is a Muppet Wiki? But I digress.)

I’m going to keep trying to get my butt on the bus. Because, really, couldn’t we all use an extra $10 grand in our pocket at the end of the year? I thought so.

Be green. Have fun. Get on the dang bus! (That last sentence is directed to me.)


January 26, 2010 at 11:19 am Leave a comment

CNN asks: Could you go car free?

Today CNN posted a link to asking people to go car-free for one day. Could you do it? WOULD you do it?

We all know that Americans love their cars. But did you know that the average car spends 95% of its time parked? Seems like a big waste of money!

Today CNN posted a link to asking people to share stories about their car-free life. As you’ll see, lots of people can and do live a car-free (or at least car-lite!) life.

Here’s my story: I started working for EnAct 3 weeks ago and decided to try commuting by bike. I haven’t been on a bike in many years and I’m not a very confident rider. But our office is close to my home and there is a bike path most of the way, so I’m giving it a whirl. My co-workers made it easier by showing me the optimal route through the streets surrounding the capitol, which is where our office is located. I’m pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoy it—the fresh air, the slow pace, even that final push up the hill are all good. AND I’m saving on gas, wear and tear on my car, and parking fees. Trust me when I say that if I can do it, ANYONE can.

EnAct, Madison Environmental Group, and Community Car will celebrate World Car Free Day on September 22. Drop by if you are in the neighborhood! And if you have a car-free story to tell, post it on…let’s represent Madison!

– Maria

September 2, 2009 at 6:18 am Leave a comment

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