Let’s shop local
I drove by Target today, and I couldn’t believe how many people were there! It’s early November and it looks like holiday shopping is already in full force. Sometimes I think to myself: a local shop sells natural soaps and other essentials, made by local makers with natural ingredients. Why is this shop empty and Target is packed?
I’m sure the marketing budget has something to do with it, but that’s not the point. Or, is it? Maybe, we need to talk about this more. WE need to be the voice for these small, local shops and makers. Speak up for your local shops!
Getting back on track: why should YOU shop local? For many reasons, but here’s one.
What is the cost?
Cost isn’t just dollars. When we buy from afar, we don’t know the cost. I’ll explain.
Buy something from a faraway land for $10, and it costs you $10. That faraway land could be digging up ancient forests, polluting nearby countries, or taking advantage of people in need of work just to make your thingy. How are we to know? Is it our bad karma for buying the item? I think so. All those problems still happen, whether we know about it or not. Sure, some stories hit the news, but are we really informed about our purchase?
Happy Local Shopping
Let’s talking about buying our thingy from a local shop.
First, it’s more likely to cost $15, but the little lever is steel instead of plastic so it might last longer, if that matters to you. You might get to talk to a nice person who gives you a smile, instead of dealing with a dumb self-checkout machine.
You can ask the person where the thingy was made and how, or how to use it, or for their “review” (much more valuable than online spam). They might not have all the answers, but they have some. It’s easier to judge how trustworthy a person is than a “fair-trade” sticker.
So, you spent $15 instead of $10, but the next day, the nice store person comes into your shop to buy from you. You just got your money back. How much did it cost now? Obviously, this is over simplified, but there’s some truth to keeping the money local.
Shopping local offers that experience, a little education, keeping dollar value in the local economy, and possibly giving your neighbor a job. That’s all good, but would you throw all that away for the unknown outcome of buying from faraway places? Ignorance is bliss… until it comes back around to bite us.
Unfortunately, it is difficult to find local sources for all the necessities, and that’s because local sources have been beat down and pushed out for so many years. More importantly, making the change to shopping local takes time and research to find these great sources. But it’s worth it, and it’s the only way to bring local back.
Tip: Check out local buyers guides during the holidays!