Last Minute Shopping Frenzy, Anyone?

December 15, 2009 at 4:07 pm Leave a comment

I made a deal with my parents this year: I am to come home with a bottle of wine, cook them a delicious holiday meal, and consider that my gift to them. Off the hook and breathing a sigh of relief. I love giving presents, but December kills me every year. Except that this year, student loans are knocking at my door. But then again, I understand if, for the rest of you, your family has higher material expectations. Here at EnAct, we encourage you to buy local. Here are some Madison ideas:

  1. Family with a long list of ailments? Do some research on different herbal teas that treat their specific condition, then head over to Community Pharmacy to pick up a bag of tea for each of them.
  2. Love to eat? Pick up a gift certificate to local Downtown/State Street Dining Establishments, or find your favorite local restaurant and ask for one.
  3. Love to cook? Buy them a Willy St. Co-op membership.
  4. Support the arts by sending your loved ones off to a show at a local theater. Overture Center, for example, is selling tickets for The Lion King Broadway, which I hear is absolutely amazing. Also try The Nutcracker by Madison Ballet, or some music at the Barrymore Theater.
  5. Is your cousin a geology nerd? Then Burnie’s Rock Shop is just your place to pick up cool rocks and jewelry.

For a comprehensive list of local stores, restaurants and services, check out Dane Buy Local and browse through their directory.

For more gift ideas, pick from our list of Green Holiday Gifts.


Why Buy Local?

For lots of reasons, really. If you love your community for its vibrant and diverse businesses, that’s the first reason you should buy local. Economically, your dollars help these stores keep their doors open. In fact, a dollar spent at a local establishment typically stays in the community three times over before it leaves — that’s like supporting three local businesses, for the price of one! (Source: Dane Buy Local)

Not only that, your dollars go where they should when you buy local. And we mean really local, from production to distribution. Read this scary statistic:

“… in 1900, 40 percent of every dollar spent on food went to the farmer or rancher while the rest was split between inputs and distribution. Now? 7 cents on the dollar goes to the producer and 73 cents goes just to distribution.” (Source: Grist — read article here)
And 73% of your money goes to huge corporations like Wal-Mart that is designed to out compete and eliminate small local businesses. Doesn’t make cents (sorry, that was too easy), does it?

We shouldn’t forget that “sustainability” doesn’t just mean reducing our impact. It first means being self-sufficient, and we can keep-on if we encourage a local economy.

Use the holidays to support your community — buy local!

– Isabella

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Entry filed under: businesses, consumption, sustainability. Tags: , , .

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