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Monroe Street Framing
- Leader
Reduce, reuse, recycle. While those three words are the mantra of sustainable businesses everywhere, Michelle Waldeck, the owner of Monroe Street Framing in Madison, also thinks of them as something more.

“We’re always mindful of working to reduce our carbon footprint, but we also consider it a fun challenge to come up with smarter, better ways to address the inherent wastefulness of framing.”

For instance, the shop’s staff like to create window displays using recycled frame stock, mat board and packaging, and recently sealed off exterior windows by using leftover framing glass and wood. “That cut our heating bill by half,” Waldeck said. “Our monthly bill the year before was roughly $800 a month and this year with our ‘new’ windows, it was about $380—plus, those materials didn’t end up in a landfill.”

Other earth-friendly changes have included a programmable thermostat, an update to LED lighting and motion detector lights in the parking lots and shop basement. The shop also boasts a bike-loving staff and on-site installation for customers. “Instead of having customers travel to our store, we encourage them to take advantage of our delivery and installation services,” Waldeck said. “That means one vehicle on the road and one tank of gas.”

Monroe Street Framing also recycles by donating its leftover framing materials to schools and non-profits—for up-cycling into various projects—and its glass scraps which can’t be recycled to an artist who uses them in his sculptures.

Waldeck recently decided to take another important step to reduce the shop’s carbon footprint: joining MGE’s Green Power Tomorrow program. “I saw that our neighbors at Bloom Bake Shop had it and decided to learn more. Using renewable energy sources seemed like a perfect fit given our commitment to conservation.”

Waldeck opted to join the program at the Leader Level, which means the business now gets 100% of its electricity from green power. This choice will offset roughly 25 tons of carbon dioxide and over 37,000 pounds of coal a year. The additional cost? About $45 a month. “To me, that’s a small price to pay to make such a big difference,” said Waldeck. “We are going to run out of resources at some point unless we all start making changes. Joining Green Power Tomorrow is an easy one."

Thank you,
Monroe Street Framing
, for supporting Green Power Tomorrow.

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