The best resource for great local shopping!

There is amazing stuff close by – local artisans and independently owned retailers, cool things to do and eat, and great charities to support. It’s good for the economy, the environment and the soul.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Shopping Local - a complicated topic?

A few weeks ago at book club someone asked me how the website was doing and it lead to discussion of shopping locally. I've been thinking about it ever since. Oddly enough it can be a really complicated issue. I know that for many reasons shopping locally is the right thing to do. Not necessarily the only way to shop, but it is definitely a factor that influences how I spend my money.

Obviously I believe in shopping local. For God's sake, Susan and I started a local shopping website! I want to support local artisans, I want to support local farmers. I want to support my neighbourhood businesses. I want to reduce my carbon footprint. I truly believe that part of supporting the global economy is by making sure that your own local economy is strong. There are a ton of good reasons to shop locally. Really though the website came about not so much because we were local activists but simply because we realized that there was this incredible array local talent around and it was really hard to find out about it! We just wanted to let local customers know about all the amazing local talent that is available.

Since Susan came up with the idea for 100 mile finds and we made the commitment to develop a website and introduce it to the public, the learning curve has been almost totally vertical! I find though that the more I learn, the more I realize what I don't know! Inspiring and scary all at the same time. There are so many things to consider when we are going to spend our hard earned dollars.

One of those the things we really need to consider is the importance of a local sustainable food chain. I didn't realize how important it is to have a local sustainable food chain, honestly 2 years ago I didn't even know what one was. I still can't debate the point very well, as book club well knows, (they also know that after a couple of glasses of wine I'll give it a shot anyways) but I can send you in the direction of people who can. People who have convinced me that this is true. I've added some great links at the bottom if you are interested.

I now know that buying local produce isn't just about lowering our carbon footprint, it's about supporting local farmers, it's about knowing who is growing our food and being able to hold them accountable, it's about the fact that every minute after the produce is harvested it loses nutrients. Most importantly, I've learned that it is in our power to change what the supermarkets carry in their produce sections. We need to ask our produce managers to carry more locally grown fruits and vegetables. 

The deal is the death of the local economy, heard that one? Stay tuned...

The Locavore by Sarah Elton


  1. Great post Shirley! More and more people are realizing that this is really the best way!
    It's also a wonderful feeling to know the people who you buy from and know your helping to keep your community alive!

  2. amazingly said..Thanks for being advocates! You guys are the warm parents that everyone loves for the local scene!

  3. Great article! I recently moved to Durham Region from Hastings County area where buying local is very much a movement the community is involved in… great to hear the idea has made it out this way as well! :o)