How Shopping Local Benefits A Community
Large retailers are industrializing third world countries. If you haven't already read the headline from a few years back where 112 factory workers were killed in a Bangledesh factory fire shortly after Walmart refused to contract safety upgrades. Here is a link.
What is the big deal??
The big deal is that until as recently as 2010, countries like South Africa, Mexico and India were still considered third world countries and eligible for assistance from the United Nations, now these countries are among several categoriezed as "newly industrialized." Most large companies argue that they pay a higher wage then factory workers could make at any other profession in their own country. However, the wide spread problem is that these large companies are industrializing third world nations often times before the nations infustructure is prepared to be industrialized. That means, proper roads, safety laws and regulations and modern buildings that prevent disasters like what happened in Bangladesh.
We cannot continue to allow large companies to be the leader in Globalization.
We must change the way we shop. It is not about requiring better made goods, but patronizing small, ethical companies. It doesn't have to be everyday, and every item, but we have to start somewhere.
It is estimated that for every $100 dollars you spend shopping local, $68 of that will stay in the community versus shopping at chain retailers where virtually all the proceeds are dispersed internationally.
Here in Cheyenne, wares are sometimes hard to find, and local goods and services are not always up to my standards, but we are learning to love our town, and make due with what we can find. We know we always have the option to drive an hour or two or order online, but in the two years that we have lived here, we have only found the need to do that twice because we just don't make it a habit. And that is what I am suggesting to you, change your habits. We don't have to be rigid and never buy anywhere but home or a big box store, however if we get in the habit of looking local first, we can influence our world for change.
Little Changes for Shopping Small and Local
- Visit your town's Chamber or Commerce for a local business listing and find a few you love.
- If you must order online, try a website like Etsy first.
- Familiarize yourself with your local farmer's market times and pay a visit. Many of these businesses will have websites where you can order at your convenience.
- Follow a pattern of looking in town, in state, and then online if you must.
- Finally, become mindful of your purchasing habits.
I am not suggesting that we can never patronize large companies, just that we must become aware of how much we spend and what we are buying. Large companies like Wal-mart and Target have made good improvements to their supply chain over the past few years, partly due to customer demand. These large chains as well as many large grocery chains have started carrying locally made products and produce, and simply by purchasing those products we send a message.
If you are in Cheyenne, Wyoming this summer, here is a list of my local favorites (much of our disposable income is spent here! lol):
Paramount Cafe - I like the Mary Poppin's! And they just opened the Paramount Ballroom next door!
Coffee Depot - You must try the biscuits and gravy!
Danielmark's Brewery - I like dark Irish stouts, the Angle Iron is my favorite!
On the Hook Fish and Chips - Parked at Danielmark's usually on Saturday, but check their Facebook.
Ernie November - Just a fun place to hang out! They have skateboards, vinyl, t-shirts and more.
Eclectic Elephant - Great variety of antiques and the best prices!