What three things can we all do to help improve Michigan? Marisa Gaggino is a designer and antique dealer in metro Detroit. She’s the owner of Heritage Co. II. Marisa feels strongly about reusing the stuff we have and building community by buying local.
To download this MP3 or listen on a smartphone that doesn’t allow flash, click here.
As a designer and antique dealer, Marisa Gaggino knows all about the value of recycling and repurposing old objects for new uses. From reusing Ziploc bags to saving bottle caps for art projects, Gaggino is passionate about reducing her family’s waste.
While her first suggestion for helping the state of Michigan is to reuse, recycle, and repurpose, she focuses on consumerism as a key problem. Ms. Gaggino explains, “We are buying new things that are so poorly made. You know, Target comes up with something new every fifteen minutes and we think we need it because it’s so pretty, shiny, and new.” She adds, “If you think you need an end table by your bed, have you really looked around at what is already in your house?”
For her second piece of advice for Michigan residents, Gaggino goes beyond simply suggesting that citizens shop locally. While Gaggino acknowledges that buying from local businesses is an important part of strengthening a community, she says that community networking is powerful as well.
Gaggino explains what she means with an anecdote about purchasing a lawnmower at a higher price from a neighbor rather than shopping at a large appliance store. She says, “The man that I bought it from has been such a good neighbor to me.” From plowing her snow to helping her with other projects around the house, Gaggino’s neighbor has provided services that Sears or Home Depot never could. She adds, “So start doing the math. So, how much does snow plowing cost… He basically gave me the lawn mower and then some.”
Ms. Gaggino’s third suggestion for state residents involves taking on the problem of obesity and related health concerns. She suggests Michiganders cook and eat at home, saying, “People don’t know what they’re putting in their bodies. They don’t know where their food comes from. They are so removed from it.”
Beyond the peace of mind provided by knowing the source of our food, Gaggino adds, “We miss the reward of preparing food with your [sic] family.” And when it comes to how healthier diets could benefit the state of Michigan, Gaggino finishes by saying, “I think that healthy people are productive people.”
- By Eliot Johnson