At the end of April, I partnered with Toyota to spend some time exploring the greater Milwaukee area and checking out some cool, eco-friendly businesses and attractions. To make sure I was in an eco-friendly state of mind, Toyota loaned me a 2021 Sienna Hybrid to use on my explorations. I fell in love with it immediately. (Check out my video highlighting the ten features it has that make it a MUST for busy moms.)
Check out these eco-friendly businesses and attractions in the Milwaukee area:
Milwaukee’s coop-owned natural food and organic grocery store, featuring quality organics, and vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and other specialty diet foods. Many of the produce items, baked goods and meats are from local providers. You can also purchase fresh bakery items, coffee drinks and fresh juice to enjoy on their comfortable patio seating. Be sure to grab a copy of Graze magazine on your way out of one of their many Milwaukee area locations.
Café Manna is one of the first 100% vegetarian restaurants in Southeastern Wisconsin. They are committed to bringing you fresh, “made from scratch” delicious food. Produce is delivered daily to ensure their dishes are fresh and full-flavored. Many of the ingredients are locally grown and chosen for seasonality. Cafe Manna has won awards from Shepherd’s Express, Diner’s Choice, and Carol Deptolla. It is Green Restaurant Certified by Dinegreen.com.
One of our favorite farm-to-table restaurants is Parkside 23. They offer a variety of fresh, innovative dishes made with locally sourced ingredients from Wisconsin farms & businesses. Many of their seasonal ingredients come from their own 10,000 sq foot farm. Experience one of their “farm suppers” where you’ll get a tour of the farm, speak with the head chef and learn from a local brewer. Tickets are required.
Looking for a place to unwind and reconnect with nature? The Preserve is 510 acres in size and has over five miles of trails, an observation tower, a natural play space, and an education center. Contained within the 510 acres is geography including emerging forests, natural wetlands and a restored prairie. The education center boasts a green roof of sedum plants!
Most people know that The Pfister Hotel is one of the top-rated hotels in the Midwest and is Milwaukee’s only 4 Star Full Service Hotel with Luxury Accommodations. What fewer people are aware of is that it is also a leading green hotel and is a member of Travel Green Wisconsin.
The Glass Pantry is a zero-waste, bulk store located in Milwaukee, WI. Customers bring their own containers, weigh them, and then fill them making their purchases zero waste. The store aims to offer all your household and pantry items in one place while also helping local suppliers reach a larger audience. Be sure to check their hours before planning your visit or take advantage of online shopping with delivery or pick-up.
How can a wood furniture store be eco-friendly? La Lune has it down to a science! From their website: La Lune harvests only fast growing and invasive wood species such as poplar and willow for the production of all its products. All woods are harvested near the factory in Wisconsin, thereby reducing the negative impact and inefficiency of transportation and eliminating any impact on the rainforests of the world where much lumber is harvested by the furniture industry. All harvesting is done by hand by La Lune employees in order to maintain complete control and supervision of the harvesting process. La Lune’s unique yet low-tech and low-processing manufacturing methods are eco-friendly and efficient. The turn of the century La Lune factory buildings and machinery have been carefully re-cycled and re-stored incorporating high efficient use of energy. La Lune carries no inventory of furniture and manufactures “just in time” as items are sold. All La Lune finishes are non-polluting, non-toxic, non-flammable, water-based finishes which are locally manufactured exclusively for La Lune. La Lune furniture is designed and constructed to last for generations, will become tomorrow’s valuable antiques, and thereby will reduce negative environmental impact and landfill waste associated with cheaply made, disposable, non-degradable furniture. La Lune’s human sustainability is an important part of its environmental sustainability; in 1986, La Lune relocated its operations to an abandoned factory building in a central city neighborhood now called Riverwest. La Lune’s furniture, factory, and company history provide a perfect educational tool to teach others about eco-friendly manufacturing.
If you are near Milwaukee or visit in the future, I hope you will check out some of these eco-friendly businesses and attractions. Otherwise, why not do a little exploring in your own area and make a list of eco-friendly businesses around your city.