Posts tagged ‘dane county’

Small Business Saturday

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.

Image: www.smallbusinesscomputing.com

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

10 Fall Activities to Enjoy Before Winter

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Fall is a great time to get outside and enjoy the colors and beauty of Wisconsin.  Before those cold winter months arrive, check out these fall activities with your family and friends!

  1. Go to an apple orchard. Fall is the best time to head over to an orchard for some fresh fruit! Apple picking is a fun activity for the whole family and supports local farms and orchards.  Plus, you can take home baskets full of fresh, healthy fruit!  The Cooking Mom has some great apple recipes to make the most out of your haul.
  2. Go on a hike. Wisconsin has over 2,500 miles of beautiful trails to explore!  Travel Wisconsin has a great list of trails all over the state, from lake shores and forests to prairies.  Looking to stay local?  Head over to the Lakeshore Nature Preserve near UW-Madison for a great view of Lake Mendota.  The UW-Madison Arboretum is also full of gorgeous colors during the fall and has numerous trails for your family to explore.
  3. Make some fall crafts. Stock up on fall leaves, acorns, and other trinkets while you’re on a hike so you can spend those colder fall days indoors making fun crafts with your kids.  Check out our Pinterest page for some ideas!
  4. Go on a bike ride. The League of American Bicyclists has repeatedly ranked Wisconsin as one of the top bicycling destinations in the nation.  Its numerous bike trails are perfect for a sunny fall afternoon with some family or friends.  Get outside and enjoy the beauty of Wisconsin while getting exercise as well!
  5. Visit your local zoo. Fall is a great time to take one last visit to your local zoo before the cold weather settles in.  The cooler fall temperatures are perfect for most animals to be outside and easily viewable for visitors, and the fall leaves will add a little more color to your trip.
  6. Visit a farmer’s market. Support local farmers by purchasing locally grown fruits, vegetables, baked goods, and other products at a farmer’s market.  The Dane County Farmer’s Market occurs every Saturday morning from 6:00 am until 2:00 pm around The Wisconsin State Capitol Square.  After November 8th, the market will move indoors to Monona Terrace.
  7. Play football. We’re in the heart of football season!  Grab your family and friends and head outside for a friendly game of football.  It’s a great way to get exercise, enjoy the outdoors, and spend time with those you love.
  8. Go horseback riding. Fall is the perfect time for horseback riding because the trails are full of color and the temperature is perfect for wearing pants and boots.  Many farms and ranches have kid-friendly options and will teach you everything you need to know for a great experience.  Check out Travel Wisconsin for a list of horseback riding locations.
  9. Take some friends and family on a hayride. Madison Parks offers special event hayrides in November for $2 a person. The hay wagon will take you on a scenic tour of one of Madison’s parks and will even include a view of the holiday lights in November.  For more information, head over to the Madison Parks website.
  10. Spend a night under the stars. Grab some friends, a blanket, some pillows, and snacks and find an open spot in your backyard for some stargazing.  It’s a great way to spend quality time with your friends while viewing constellations that are only viewable in the fall.

What other fun activities do you like to do in the fall? Leave a comment below!

Image: mywisconsin.blogspot.com

October 29, 2014 at 12:53 pm Leave a comment

Neighbors Helping Neighbors

Dane County TimeBank

“The Dane County TimeBank (DCTB), established in 2005, is a network of over 2000 individuals and organizations who exchange services and skills to build community, build capacity, and come together to help each other to build a better world.” As explained on their website, with timebanking, “everyone’s time is valued equally – one hour equals one hour – and services exchanged include helping neighbors cover basis needs, skilled services and skill building, and other creative connections.”

Dane County Timebank works to uphold five core values of “assets, reciprocity, social networks, respect, and redefining work.” Assets require viewing every human being as having something to offer within a collaborative environment that only works through reciprocity and understanding that “helping works better as a two way street”.  Social networking and respect are important values because they reaffirm that members of our community can and should be able to rely on each other for certain things and that all of us matter equally. Redefining work as whatever it takes to make the community as a whole better by supporting its members is also crucial to building strong families, neighborhoods, and ultimately the entire world.

The main goal of the Dane County TimeBank is to provide “a mechanism to facilitate the sharing and exchange of resources among organizations that are often put in a position of competing for limited resources” within our county.  This approach to community building helps reduce some strain on municipal budgets and human service providers and offers a chance for partnerships with local organizations to meet local needs.

Joining the TimeBank is open to individuals and organizations in Dane County and some of the current projects include “The Wellness Project,” “Neighborhood Care Teams,” and “Inclusive Community,” just to name a few. All of these projects along with the many others which Dane County Timebank helps facilitate really are making our community stronger and thereby enhancing the lives of citizens of Dane County.  For more information, please visit http://danecountytimebank.org

Image: http://danecountytimebank.org/

June 30, 2014 at 2:08 pm Leave a comment

Clean Sweep

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Not sure what to do with your old electronics and batteries? Are you uncertain of where to dispose of unused pesticides and poisons? Well, look no further! Dane County Clean Sweep is here to help. For a nominal fee, residents of Dane County have the opportunity to safely dispose of unwanted chemicals, paint, and other hazardous materials and eliminate the environmental risks that are associated with their improper disposal.

Located at 7102 US Hwy 12/18 across from the Yahara Hills Golf Course, residents and businesses alike can bring a wide range of materials to the facility to be properly disposed of. For a full list of accepted items, visit www.danecountycleansweep.com.

To prepare for your visit, waste materials should be packaged in boxes or rigid totes to keep products upright and prevent spillage during transportation to the facility. Make sure to keep all materials in their original packaging and do not co-mingle products together in plastic bags.

While the program does accept items from both residents and businesses, the associated fees vary. Dane County households and farms will be charged $10.00 per trip for hazardous wastes and electronics (The first CRT TV or CRT computer monitor is free with paid trip fee!) For businesses, fees are based on weight and the type of waste being disposed of. Electronics are not accepted from businesses. Businesses must also qualify as Very Small Quantity Generators (VSQG’s) as well as schedule an appointment prior to bringing wastes to the collection facility. Out-of-county businesses are welcome. Out-of-county households and farms will be charged $75.00 per trip and are unable to bring latex paints and electronics.

The facility also offers a product exchange program which features a large area devoted to product reuse. If items are received in good condition, they are stocked on the shelves of the product exchange room for redistribution to the public. The program is free and Dane County residents are allowed a single entry to the room per week. For more details on the product exchange program, visit danecountycleansweep.com.

Once you arrive at the Clean Sweep facility, you will have to provide proof of residency and pay accordingly in the form of cash or credit card (MasterCard or Visa only).

If you didn’t have a chance to finish up your spring cleaning, now is the time to round up all of those last lingering items and dispose of them in an environmentally friendly way!

Image: http://www.danecountycleansweep.com/

May 28, 2014 at 4:17 pm Leave a comment


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