21 Ways to Make an Environmental Difference in Pure Michigan

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Happy Earth Day! In honor of everything that’s being done to keep Pure Michigan beautiful, guest blogger Kerrin O’Brien from the Michigan Recycling Coalition shares a a list of things everyone can do to keep our state environmentally clean.

How many of these tips do you often keep in mind?

Earth Day provides us with an important reminder that recycling has become a critical foundation for environmental action. As the warm spring sun shines on Michigan, it is a day to celebrate the beauty found across the state and to remember that our vibrant and sustainable economy is dependent on upon a healthy and productive environment.we all can do to help keep the Great Lakes State clean.

While recycling has become universal with positive environmental action, it’s not easily accessible for all Michigan residents and businesses. There are economic and environmental benefits to capturing and utilizing the more than 4 million tons of waste that we put in Michigan landfills each year. But, Michiganders must rely on their communities, businesses and organizations to provide them with opportunities to recycle and ultimately contribute to a healthy state.

If you do have a rolling recycling cart to wheel out to your curb on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, you are well-served. Learning as much as you can about your program is not only good for the environment,  it can actually save you money. Find out what’s happening in your neck of the woods. Inquire about municipal services or subscription-based services with your hauler. Recycling is gaining traction as a valued public service and you can add your voice to the choir to ask for even better services.

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An easy way to contribute to a healthy environment and economy is to make recycling a priority in your business and home. What does Earth Day mean to you? A day to enjoy the outdoors? A day to take action against

There are also a variety of other ways to make a difference. Here are 22 ways you can make a difference!waste? A reminder of the importance of conservation?

  • 1. Turn off the water while brushing teeth and shaving
  • 2. Go Vegetarian for one day of every week
  • 3. Try to cut two minutes off of your daily shower
  • 4. Buy food, clothing and other items that are locally produced
  • 5. Adjust your thermostat to be 1-3 degrees lower for the day- each degree can save up to 10% in energy costs!
  • 6. Check that your car’s tires are properly inflated and air filters are clean. Maintaining your car means less used parts in a landfill.
  • 7. Get unsubscribed from constant junk mail that gets tossed away
  • 8. Bring your own reusable bags for shopping and pack your lunch in reused glass or plastic containers
  • 9. Bring your own reusable mug/bottle/cup or start a  BYOC (bring your own cup) initiative at your office
  • 10. Challenge yourself by air drying an entire load of laundry or washing with cold- warm water instead of hot
  • 11. Writing Action Day – Look at the things you use every day or buy often, are those companies using recyclable packaging? Are they using too much packaging? Or at the end of that products life are you able to dispose of it in an environmentally friendly way? If not,  let them know that as a loyal buyer of that product that you care about the end life and recyclability of those objects- write them a letter, go on their website or social media and let them know!
  • 12. Donate items, time or money – Old clothes, electronics and other household objects can often be reused or re-purposed in unique way
  • 13. Unplug everything – Maybe it’s your toaster, T.V., Cellphone charger or even cellphone
  • 14. Unplug yourself. Grab a board game, go on a walk, sports, read book or have a scavenger hunt!
  • 15. Dust the coils underneath or on the back side of the fridge
  • 16. Learn more about organic produce and plant vegetables in your yard
  • 17. Take the bus, ride a bike, carpool, or walk to one of your destinations or daily commute
  • 18. Get to know where you can reuse or recycle almost everything in your community
  • 19. Use less paper. Cloth napkins, e-tickets
  • 20. Use the stairs, open the door manually, open the door for someone else manually! Use a hand can opener, stapler, etc. Whatever could be done without electricity try it out, rake your leaves or yard clippings instead of using a leaf blower, go for a run outside instead of the treadmill
  • 21. Get educated- maybe there is an environmental issue you don’t know all the facts on- today get educated on something you care about

kobrienKerrin O’Brien has worked with the Michigan Recycling Coalition in a variety of capacities since 1993. In addition to managing the organization, her interest lies in building consensus and movement around pro-recycling policies that work for both the public and private sector. As a nonprofit development specialist and facilitator, Kerrin has led many nonprofit organizations through strategic planning and development efforts. She holds a Social Science bachelor from Michigan State University and has completed ICL’s Executive Director Development Program.

Seven Self-Guided Tours You’ll Want to Take in Manistee County

Spring well under way in Pure Michigan, offering endless opportunities to explore the growing and lush outdoors soon to be in full bloom.  To celebrate warm weather and longer days, we put together a list of self-guided tours to experience in Manistee County. If you’re looking to get lost and go off the grid, or maybe just want to have an enriching afternoon, look no further than Manistee County.

hikingManistee County trails: Manistee County is home to 15 trails that allow for biking, cross country skiing and hiking. You can experience picturesque views of Lake Michigan shoreline and surrounding countryside through open fields and forests. The beautiful scenery also can provide solitude to hikers and the chance to spot wildlife.

Beach Life: Manistee County has more than 35 miles of fresh sand and warm water as beach property. From Lake Michigan, to its numerous inland lakes, you’ll find great locations for fun swimming, boating or just lounging under the sun.  The beaches range from the more secluded experiences to those packed with amenities and people.  There is also great paddling or floating experiences with the Little Manistee River, Big Manistee River and Pine River.

The fishing: Manistee County is home to three fantastic harbors with charters available to take you out for an unforgettable day on the lake.  If you’re more hands-on, launch your own boat for a day of trolling around Lake Michigan’s beautiful  coastal waters.

Shop Manistee’s historic downtowns: Looking for a great made in Michigan item? Come check out the farmer’s markets for locally grown or made foods, or browse the numerous specialty and boutique shops of Manistee’s downtowns. Manistee also has spectacular dining experiences, from fine dining for a special occasion or just grabbing a beer with friends at a local pub.

Manistee_M22Experience M-22: A famous stretch of highway in the United States, M-22 starts in Manistee. Take an afternoon drive or get lost during the weekend by enjoying the beautiful scenery and Lake Michigan shoreline. The historic trunkline’s designation has also become a cultural symbol for the region.

The arts: Manistee County is where you’ll discover gallery shows and theatrical productions year round. Witness a production by the Manistee Civic Players at the historical Ramsdell Theatre or experience regional art that ranges from beautiful paintings to ornate and colorful pieces of pottery.

The history: Manistee County has historical sites and museums that are great for everyone. You can experience the historic Kaleva Train Depot for railroad artifacts and nostalgia, or visit the Manistee County Historical Museum, which contains one of the most extensive collections of Victorian antiques in the United States.

What are some things you are looking forward to doing in Mainstee?

These 8 Stunning Google Maps Street View Images Will Make You Want to Visit Michigan Immediately

From Monroe to Houghton and Niles to Bad Axe, there are endless opportunities to see the incredible beauty and splendor Pure Michigan offers all year long. With some help from Google Trekker, we’ve collected some of our favorite views from around the Great Lakes state. Explore the eight pictures below and start planning your next Pure Michigan getaway.

Lake of the Clouds, located in Ontonagon, Mich, allows visitors the unique ability to see for miles around. This Northern Michigan treasure is a favorite for hikers because of it’s beautiful views and untouched landscapes.

Lake of the Clouds

The Detroit Riverwalk spans 5 ½ miles, from the Ambassador Bridge to Gabriel Richard Park, just east of the Belle Isle Bridge. Visitors often walk along the river and enjoy the sights and sounds of downtown Detroit.Detroit River Walk

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore offers multicolored sandstone cliffs, beaches, sand dunes, waterfalls, inland lakes, streams, forests and wildlife. This iconic Pure Michigan spot is known for its beautiful colors across the nation.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Step back into the Victorian era with a visit to Michigan’s award-winning Capitol Building. This 143-year-old building has stood the test of time hosted some of the state’s most notable leaders.

Lansing State Capitol

The Agate Falls is a 39-foot-high waterfall of the Ontonagon River. These powerful falls are a great place to unwind as you take in the fresh air around you.

Agate Falls

Sugar Loaf Rock is a unique Mackinac Island must see. Sugar Loaf is the largest post-glacial erosion feature in the Straits of Mackinac.

Sugar Loaf Rock

Ocqueoc Falls serves as an ideal spot for a hike or camping trip. Can you pronounce Ocqueoc?

Ocqueoc Falls

Fort Gratiot Lighthouse is the oldest operating lighthouse in the Great Lakes, established in 1825 and rebuilt in 1829 and 1861. It was the first lighthouse on Lake Huron and is the oldest surviving lighthouse in Michigan. It helps keep watch over Lake Huron at the entrance to the St. Clair River.

Fort Gratiot Lighthouse

Travel by horse-drawn carriage, sample famous Mackinac Island fudge or peddle your way around the island as you stop along the way and watch for freighters. Sit in the rocking chair on the Victorian-style Grand Hotel’s 660 foot long porch. Time is at a standstill on Mackinac Island.

Mackinac Island - Main Street

For more information and to view other Michigan destinations on Google Maps Street view, visit michigan.org/GoogleTrekker. What are some of your favorite places in Michigan?