Michelle Putz - Increasing The Use of Reusable Bags - to Speak at Chamber Luncheon
Weekly luncheons are held every Wednesday at noon. Enjoy great food, dynamic speakers, and exciting networking opportunities. Chamber luncheons are open to the public. Chamber members receive special member-only pricing.
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Michelle Putz -
Michelle K. Putz was born in a suburb of Chicago to German immigrants, Heinz and Waltraud Putz. Michelle studied wildlife biology at The Ohio State University and graduated with a B.S. While attending The OSU, Michelle volunteered for the Forest Service on Prince of Wales Island in 1989 doing fisheries and wildlife work. This led to temporary and finally permanent jobs doing wildlife, fisheries, and eventually environmental planning with the Forest Service in states across the West. Michelle loves the agency’s mission – helping people to find ways to use renewable resources while sustaining them for future generations. After watching the movie, “An Inconvenient Truth,” , Michelle felt compelled to do something more. Michelle started volunteering with the Sitka Global Warming Group (SGWG) in 2007. As a volunteer and later leader of SGWG, Michelle assisted with or led projects ranging from the conversion of 2 vehicles from gas to electric to reusable bag libraries to 10 years of recognizing and thanking sustainability efforts at local businesses through the Sitka Green Business Awards. Michelle’s desire to reduce Sitka’s carbon footprint led her to become a board member and vegetable gardening educator with the Sitka Local Foods Network and most recently, a volunteer with Sitka’s chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL) and CO2 reducers group. Michelle is particularly proud of the group that started a carbon offset program for Sitka travelers (www.sitkacarbonoffset.com) to support lower income families in Sitka. Michelle was elected to a one-year term on the Sitka Assembly in 2012 and later appointed to a second nearly-one year term. Since 2011 Michelle has also provided end-of life support with Brave Heart Volunteers and starting in 2018 serves on the Sitka Community Land Trust board. Currently Michelle is working with other volunteers who are concerned about the effects of plastic on the environment and on people. The group, Bags for Change, provides reusable bags and teaches Sitkans about alternatives to one-time-use plastics. Michelle says her goal is to try to find creative, workable solutions to the problems she sees in the world.
Sitkans interested in increasing the use of reusable bags and reducing the use of disposable bags are working to bring a ballot measure to Sitka's voters asking them if they support a plastic bag ban in Sitka (official ballot question below). We will present information and answer questions about the 2019 "Disposable Plastic Shopping Bag Prohibition" ballot initiative and ordinance. 20 Sitka citizens have proposed this ordinance to reduce the the generation of waste from disposable plastic shopping bags and address the environmental problems associated with disposable bags. We will provide some of the history of plastic bag legislation in Sitka, explain the ordinance we've presented to the Assembly including definitions, exemptions, exceptions, and implementation, and answer questions from the audience.