• Cecilia Ridgeway

Come One, Come all to these Local Businesses

When describing Madison many would say “Madison is a big little city,” While we do have many brand name stores, we also have many small local businesses and stores that we should support.

As we deal with the growing effects of climate change, it is even more important that we be more environmentally friendly. “The single bottom line is the financial bottom line. Businesses exist to create a profit. But the argument for sustainability says, ‘Yes, focus on that, but not at the cost of environmental and social responsibility,’” Thomas Eggert a school of business UW Madison professor said in an interview with the Wisconsin State journal.

Many stores in our area have slowly been allowing the use of reusable bags. Walmart, Woodman’s and Target are just a few of them. “It’s important for stores to use reusable bags and materials because they have a big impact on the earth. If every store used reusable materials, there would be less plastic and it wouldn’t be as big of a problem as it is now. It would be a huge step for a more sustainable world! I think it’s very important to expose people to the truth, and the truth is there’s no future in plastic bags, or the one use materials,” Aviaja Mikkelsen (11) said.

Willy Street Co-op is a great small grocery store to go to. It is customer owned and has been in business since 1974. “We view offering sustainable products and using sustainable practices as one way we can show our concern for the community. Sustainability helps maintain (or improve) the quality of our air, water, and soil. We consider our focus on local and organic products to also help with sustainability - local products travel less, which means less packaging and (in some cases) less fuel used. Buying local helps our local economy. Organic foods drastically reduce pesticides used and antibiotics in livestock,” Brendon Smith the communication director at Willy street co-op said.

One of our small coffee shops here in Madison is Java Cat. Java Cat is a small local coffee shop that is a great place to eat, drink coffee, and eat gelato. It has been in business for ten years so far and uses, as their all about us page on their website states, “100% fair trade, organic, locally roasted gourmet coffee and handcrafted, on-site authentic Italian gelato.”

Supporting your local stores is important for the environment, and a good way for you to give back to your community.

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