Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Speaking of buying local...

Yesterday, I talked about some of the benefits of buying local. Then, as I was reading the November issue of abouTown Press, a local news magazine that comes free in the mail each month, I came across an article talking about just that.

The article, "Local Businesses Bigger than Big Box," reports on several studies that have shown that shopping at a locally owned business translates into "a positive economic impact on the surrounding community and state." One of these studies reported that "every $100 spent at a locally owned business generated $45 in return revenue to the community and state. In comparison, every $100 spent at a bix-box retailer returned $14 to the local economy." Also noting that "five other studies show the same findings in spite of geographical population changes."

So is this news? Not really, but I'm encouraged by the fact that a local news magazine is interested in the data. I think on some level, we know that buying locally is good (think of all the "Made in the USA" labels), but we don't think so much about it when we go to those big box stores. They're just so darn convenient. 

But the more we think about it, or the more mindful we are (there's that "M" word again), the better choices we can make. And I sure am glad that there will be 150,000 people receiving this article. Who knows. Maybe some of them take it to heart and become more aware of how their purchases affect their community. Mindfulness can be a powerful thing. Go local!


Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

I love how you distinguish yourself by using the word "mindful", I think that is the perfect word for how you and many of us in this virtual community are trying to live. It helps when you find a word that so accurately describes what you are trying to do.

It is wonderful that there is an article like that in your local publication. These things may seem like no-brainers to us, but it may not be so obvious to others who aren't nearly as far along the path to sustainability and living consciously and mindfully. Anytime we can "get the word out" no matter how simplistic it is, to the body politic as a whole, I think there is the potential for positive change.

And this is just another reminder as to the virtues of buying local, and buying mindfully - 'cause just because it is local, doesn't mean you need it.

Good post.

Heather @ SGF said...

jennifer - True. Good point - "just because it is local, doesn't mean you need it." The bottom line is to really think about what we consume (be it food, makeup, cars, furniture, clothes, etc). And once we think about it, to make an informed choice about what's best for us, what's best for the environment, what's best for the economy and our communities. More often than not, it's the same thing.