Michigan Winter

Posted on February 18, 2011

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Winter is not the enemy; it’s just another season with its own ups and downs. Admittedly- for these ups and downs you need four-wheel drive- but still! Michigan has a lot going for it if you take the time to look. We create an amazing variety of products in this sate, and many of them are available year-round. Plus we’ve thought up more ways to get out and enjoy the snow than you can shake a (hockey) stick at. There are many ways to enjoy and savor Michigan’s cold snowy days and dark snowy evenings, and a lot of things we can do to make the downs seem a bit less like getting stuck in the ditch until spring.

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Cabin Fever- Maintaining Morale
•Check out these simple winter safety tips and you’ll have that much less to worry about.
•Keep houseplants. The sight of something green and growing can be really encouraging when everything outside is frozen solid. Bonus: Keep a little indoor herb garden- it looks nice and it’s useful too!
•Play board games, it’s a great chance to turn off the TV and spend time with the people you care about. Bonus: Family time and energy savings all rolled into one.
•Be social. Host a movie night, cookie party, recipe exchange, stuff swap, potluck, or soup exchange. Bonus: A stuff swap helps clean out your house and nets you cool new stuff for free. A soup exchange fills your freezer with a variety of meals, but you only have to cook once.
•Curl up under a warm blanket with some hot coffee, tea or cocoa and make a dent in that unfinished summer reading
list. Bonus: If the blanket is keeping you warm you can turn the heat down and save energy.
•Take a walk. Not every winter day is a blizzard and getting out and about can really make the season more appealing. Just be sure to dress in layers, this is Michigan after all!  Bonus: Walking is free entertainment and great exercise.
•Go downhill or cross-country skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, snow-shoeing or play some hockey. These activities are seasonal, so enjoy them while you can. Bonus: Winter sports provide a great opportunity to make new friends or reconnect with old ones.

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Clear Space- Get Things Done
•Organize. Go through the things you don’t use often and divide them into three piles: 1) Keep, 2) Give away or Donate, 3) Toss or Recycle. Then label the stuff you want to keep and take care of the rest right away. Bonus: You have
more room to enjoy the things you decided to keep.
•Finish projects. We all have those half-finished projects lying around the house. Winter is the perfect time to organize your supplies and get things done. Bonus: The sense of accomplishment you get from finishing things can be a real morale booster.
•Cook ahead. Make a week’s worth of meals in one night (or on your day off) and pop them in the freezer. When you get home late and don’t feel like cooking all you have to do is pop dinner in the oven or microwave. Bonus: If dinner is ready-made you’re not as likely to order a less healthy take-out option.
•Use a crock pot. This is great option for several reasons; it uses up odds and ends to make space in your kitchen, you can make big batches of stuff and save the extra for later, once it’s in the pot all you have to do is wait, and there’s no constant checking and tweaking. Bonus: You can start dinner hours early and work on other projects while your food is cooking.

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Be a Locavore– Invest in Your Community
•Shop locally.  Your local spending may help your neighbors get through the winter too!  According to the 3/50 Project website, “For every $100 spent in locally owned independent stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures. If you spend that in a national chain, only $43 stays here. Spend it online and nothing comes home.”
•Volunteer. You’ll get to meet people, help people, and make the world a better place– all at the same time!
•Take classes. It’s a great way to learn something new, and you’re encouraging skilled individuals to come to (and stay
in) your community. Teachers need students after all!

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So get outside (or get cozy), get cleaning, shoveling, cooking, skiing, crafting, napping or reading.
Get down to your local grocery store or Co-op and enjoy some great Michigan flavors. Create a new Snowy Day tradition of your own. Do a little or do it all, but whatever you do get optimistic about winter in Michigan!

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Posted in: Local