Janet Day " Supporting Grand County businesses " a blossoming idea | SkyHiNews.com

Janet Day " Supporting Grand County businesses " a blossoming idea

Janet Day / Talk of the Valley
Grand County, Colorado

Big Isn’t Always Better. I went back East last week to visit my parents, annoy a couple brothers and embarrass a niece, and was once again disturbed by the big-box, national-franchise, chain-store command of most parts of this country. It reminded me how fortunate we are to still have small independently run businesses and how important it is to patronize them.

I’ve prattled on recently about going out to eat or drink to help local restaurants through the recession, but ” as I was reminded recently ” there’s more to supporting the community than cocktails. With Valentine’s Day coming up, forget 800 numbers and Web sites. Instead, visit our local florists.

Giving flowers doesn’t have to be an expensive, dozen-red-roses affair. Margaret’s Gardens in Tabernash will sell a single stem. One flower, given by the right person in the right way at the right time can mean more than even the biggest bouquet.

And don’t limit it to Valentine’s Day. Fresh flowers or a new houseplant brighten any day.

Bag It. I love the Colorado Association of Ski Town’s Bring Your Own Bag Challenge and I’m heartened to see our local communities rise to the challenge. The idea is to see which community can most reduce its use of single-use, disposable plastic bags. The challenge will run from March 1 through Sept. 1. While it’s always fun to compete, the bigger message is about reducing consumer waste.

There are plenty of ways to carry groceries without using the thin, non-biodegradable plastic bags supplied by stores: heavy canvas bags, web bags, hand-made decorative bags or any other tote you’ve got around the house. I keep a few in my truck and one in the bottom of my backpack, but the trick is to remember to use them. They don’t do me any good sitting in the truck or the backpack at home when I run into a store. And I suppose that’s the idea behind the challenge ” make something a game and people are more likely to participate.

Big County, Many Voices. I love opinionated people, perhaps because I am one. I don’t agree with what everyone has to say, but I believe that sharing thoughtful opinions in a respectful manner is what keeps communities vibrant and governments alert.

So it can be entertaining and informative when I get plenty of e-mail week after week agreeing with or criticizing the opinions I express. But one columnist can’t be the voice of the whole county nor the platform for all of those opinions.

Grand County is a big place, an area more vast than the land mass of the state of Rhode Island. And that is why this newspaper has columnists and correspondents throughout the county, from Gore Pass to Jim Creek. My column is called Talk of the Valley because it focuses on the valley, the Fraser Valley, the stretch between Red Dirt Hill and Berthoud Pass that includes Tabernash, Fraser and Winter Park. I occasionally have something to pass along from Grand Lake, Granby, even Hot Sulphur and Kremmling, but can’t cover everything. If a tip is out of my reach, be sure that I’ll pass it along to others.

Keep in Touch: What’s got your attention around the area? Let me know. I’ll try to find the answer or spread the news. Send it all to JDayQuilts@msn.com.

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