10.26.2011

Shop Local this Holiday Season


With the upcoming holiday season it’s more important now than ever to buy local.

Supporting your local business helps keep everyone more sustainable. When you buy from an independent, locally owned business, rather than nationally owned businesses, significantly more of your money is used to make purchases from other local businesses, service providers and farms. This helps strengthen the economic base of the community.
When we buy local, local businesses are more likely to donate to local charities, because our support has enabled them to do so.

Supporting local business also helps reduce the impact on our environment. Buy locally keep those daily deliveries from online purchases from crowding our streets. The same goes for making purchases at the mall, millions of trucks delivery daily and weekly to department stores. Why not buy hand made, locally supplied goods?
Buying local also creates more jobs. In this tough economy it’s very important to contribute to the greater good.

This year before shopping, ask yourself a few questions.
1.             What do I really need?
2.             Can I make something for my loved ones instead of purchasing?
3.             Do I really need worthless plastic crap made in China, just to fill a stocking?

About 4 years ago I made a pledge to myself, and my family to stop the consumer nonsense. I’ve banned WalMart from my life, I make many of my gifts, when buying books I always buy used. We are very blessed in this little town of Bethlehem, not only with amazing shops in the Historic District but we have an eclectic Southside with handmade goods lining the streets. We also have very talented artists to purchase original heartfelt gifts from. Besides that Bethlehem has plenty of shops and restaurants off the beaten path that would add a surprise to your kids stocking.

A really important step is to talk to your children about consumerism. After all, they are our future. I’ve talked to Lily about the importance of shopping local, and why we don’t have mounds of unnecessary gifts under our tree. She has actually said to me while shopping, ‘Mommy, is that a want or a need?’ TEACH YOUR CHILDREN, so they can teach you in return. Take the time to make presents for people. Three hours trolling the malls can be better spent knitting a scarf or painting a picture for someone. Gift cards to local businesses are a great way to keep local business alive. I encourage local businesses to respond to this blog with their information and Holiday specials so we can all work together to BUY LOCAL!

"Going local does not mean walling off the outside world. It Means nurturing locally owned businesses which use local resources sustainably, employ local workers at decent wages and serve primarily local consumers. It means becoming more self-sufficient and less dependant on imports. Control moves from the boardrooms of distant corporations and back into the community where it belongs."
-                Michael H. Shuman, author of the book Going Local.

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