Lately, I feel like I live my life on the run and out of a suitcase. As soon as I unpack my bags, I am filling them up for the next adventure. Despite my travels and my love for roaming around the world, I always try my best to keep it local. My passion for supporting local business stems from childhood memories of my beloved B-Town lined with boarded up storefronts. As I ran through the streets of Bethlehem as a teenager, I remember the Hotel Bethlehem and many other of my favorite locations boarded up with no sign of life, hope or Christmas City Sparkle. As this changed, so did I. I knew I never wanted the sight of despair to return to the place I called my home.
Whenever I am home, you will see me roaming the streets of Bethlehem buying all my goods, gifts, veggies and gadgets and you will always see me at the Farmers’ Markets supporting local farmers. When I travel, I scope out the mom and pop shops, local health food stores and farmers’ markets.
If you still need convincing, here are my top reasons why I think you should join me in supporting those that surround you.
Pay More, Get More
I know items tend to be slightly more expensive when you buy local, but remember you are buying more than the item. When you shop local, you are helping maintain the value of your community, paying for convenience, much better service and often a higher quality product.
Keep it Clean
Farmers’ Markets are one my favorite places to shop and often have much more than veggies. Locally made soups, jewelry, household products, healthy snacks and local bands often fill Farmers’ Markets. As big corporations begin to genetically modify our food, supporting local farmers is more important than ever. Talk to the vendors and find out where all the ingredients are from and what chemicals or pesticides are used, if any. One of the best parts about keeping it local, you can talk to the source and often try samples!
Reduce Your Carbon Foot Print
I know we love having access to products from all around the world, but don’t ignore the amazing products you have available to you right down the street. While visiting Cape May, I laughed when I noticed that Acme carried Michigan Blueberries despite New Jersey Blueberries being in season and some of the best on the East Coast. Those blueberries must have spent days in a truck to get here, but they could have been picked a few miles down the road. Before you buy, consider how far the product has traveled and how your purchase will impact the environment!
I know it’s hard and the Internet has provided us with global easy access shopping, but before you push the “Check Out” button, check in and ask if you can buy the same product from a local vendor. If you can, tie up those sneakers and walk, jog or bike to the store and get some exercise while you change the world and your neighborhood for the better!
Sending Health and Happiness!
XO – Laurel