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Climate Ride Northern Michigan Spotlight | Jacquie Gettling

Jacquie has always felt called to make a difference in our collective future. With the arrival of her granddaughter, her drive to be the change she wants to see has only grown. Her granddaughter is one year old and Jacquie wants to ensure she can live a better life with fewer pollutants and without the threat of losing our planet. “I am riding for my children’s children and their children,” she said, “I am riding for a better future.” Through bringing more awareness to this increasing problem and what we can be doing to make a change, she hopes to encourage even just one person to do better through her efforts so that we will be one more step closer to making a difference in saving our planet. Jacquie sees climate change in what she describes as “a very clear and obvious shift in our seasons. Growing up in a time where there were four very definitive seasons…Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. You could always rely on the calendar and be confident in the seasons reflecting what time of year it is. Today this has changed. We have seen snow in April(spring) and 70-degree weather in December(winter). The weather has become more and more unpredictable.” According to LiveScience, Jacquie’s observations about seasonal changes are backed by science. Shifts in seasonal weather patterns are impacting the whole world. Weather change has become reliable in its unpredictability, leading to shifting migratory patterns that were once regular. In Alaska, moose populations no longer migrate during hunting season, threatening the livelihood of native peoples. Across the globe, as far as species are concerned, spring is arriving earlier and earlier, and plants that routinely die or fall into stasis come fall are continuing to stay green into November. Bee populations in North America come out of hibernation earlier, and the migratory patterns of butterflies and birds are shifting to follow changes in the emergence of flowers. These changes cascade across ecological systems in ways so complicated that science struggles to understand them.

While shorter winters and the rest of the seasons warming might sound nice to some, these changes mean less agricultural production, more extreme heat waves and storms, dryer forests that burn hotter and more frequently, and many other devastating shifts.

Jacquie has been fortunate to be working with Eileen Fisher for the past 11 years. She describes this Bcorp as amazing. Because of Eileen Fisher’s commitment to being a sustainable company, she is more informed about climate change as well as educated on how she can make a difference both personally and professionally. According to Jacquie, “this company not only talks the talk but walks the walk.” They are constantly looking for ways in which they can actually go and be a part of the bigger community that is working so hard in bringing about awareness and change for our planet. Eileen Fisher believes in paying attention to what happens in the field, the dye house, and their customers’ washing machines. Their goal is to design out negative impacts and design in positive change. This a major shift to how the textile industry has traditionally run. That industry leaves one of the biggest ecological footprints on our planet, and it’s companies like Eileen Fisher leading the shift in doing business for good. Part of how Eileen Fisher leads the way is by supporting employees who decide to take on a Climate Ride. Employees can apply to receive a company sponsorship. Jacquie said that after she found out she had been chosen for the sponsorship, “after leaping for joy I quickly realized that I did not even own a bike. Through my excitement, I began to tell every one of the amazing journey I would be embarking upon. When I shared with my spin instructor she generously offered to loan me a bike. I have been riding as much as I can to prepare for the ride.” Jacquie has chosen to support Climate Ride because she believes the experience Climate Ride offers helps people to raise their voice and have a true impact on their communities, workplaces, and in their homes.

“I know this will be an experience I will NEVER forget.”

Making changes in our homes, companies, and local communities may be the only way to bring the seasons back to normal. Through preparing for her upcoming Climate Ride, Jacquie and her family took a closer look at what they can do to help the environment as a family. They have reduced their water consumption wherever possible by not running the water while brushing their teeth, and not taking long showers. Jacquie has joined the Sustainable Business Council of Long Island, where they work to get laws changed around sustainability in the area. She hopes to someday be a part of Eileen Fishers’ Sustainability Ambassadors program and to learn in depth about what the company is doing in the garment industry to lessen their footprint on the environment. It’s actions like these that will hopefully inspire others to do more and create a future where her grandkids will know the joy of calmer weather and predictable seasonal change.