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Aug 14

Working and Living Green: Michele Rowic

Posted on August 14, 2013 at 12:00 AM by Communications Office

Michele RowicIf you are searching for an inspiration to begin biking or taking alternative modes of transportation instead of commuting by car, look no further than Michele Rowic. Michele is a full-time librarian, working at the Seven Trees Branch Library and Community Center.

Michele has been riding her bike everywhere – literally everywhere - since she was a child back in New Jersey. That’s because she has never once owned a car! Michele was not particularly interested in driving, even though she got her driver’s license at age 17. She has always managed to get around with her bike or through public transit. Another big driver for her car independent lifestyle: being able to save money as a frugal college student. Since then, Michele always found jobs that either provided transportation or were commutable by bike. These days, Michele’s commute from her home to the library ranges from four to six miles and takes about 25-35 minutes each way, depending on traffic.

Biking is something that Michele has grown accustomed to and enjoys doing. Being a self proclaimed “eco-groovy” person, she leads a life that is full of environmentally friendly habits. Michele has been a vegetarian since age 21 and has been a vegan for more than 15 years. On days that she’s not working, Michele enjoys her other passion, running. She regularly runs 5K races, 10K races and the occasional half marathon.

Home life for Michele has its environmentally friendly side as well. Michele actively and consciously reduces wastes at home. She shops in bulk at places such as the local farmer’s markets and natural foods markets, buying organic foods as much as possible. She uses sewn bags she buys online as well as bags she makes herself to transport the bulk items and produce from the market to her home. Michele is also very crafty and creative, and shops at local thrift shops for her home goods and clothing.

Recently, Michele joined the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition and received an honorable mention for the 2013 Santa Clara Bicycle Commuter of the Year. She also participated in the latest Bike to Work Day on Thursday, May 9, 2013 and was a part of the energizing station at the Dr. Roberto Cruz Alum Rock Library. There, she was able to meet other bike commuters and contribute to the fun biking community, which includes men and women of all ages.

Michele shared, “San José is a great place to ride; the weather is nice year round for biking and there is a growing infrastructure for bike commuting. I like that the City Council is interested in promoting biking and increasing awareness of alternative forms of transportation.” The next time you see a woman riding a 1980’s sky-blue Miyata road bike down Monterey Road, that’ll be Michele. Give her the right of way and consider ways you can be more green in your life too.

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