Article for Cbus Chic
With a new year comes new opportunity to make (and stick to) new years resolutions. Many of us vow to lose weight, eat healthier, or ditch bad habits and while those are three great resolutions, why not change it up this year and resolve to shop local? Shopping from small independent retailers and local small businesses benefit the community in so many ways I couldn’t possibly list them all. Money spent locally is more than twice as likely to be spent locally and stay in the community, shopping locally helps to create jobs in the community, and let’s be honest…shopping local is cool. Why buy the same thing as your friends, coworkers, and neighbors from big box retailers when the possibility exists to be unique and different? With the heightened popularity of the local movement, one of a kind hand made items are easier to find and are all the rage.
While shopping locally can be a resolution all on its own, here’s a list of resolutions that are best accomplished by shopping locally.
Resolve to read labels
Many of the beauty products on the market contain parabens, PEG compounds, and petrolatum which are linked to endocrine problems and cancer. Almost all the personal care products out there use fragrances (yes, even those marketed as unscented). Of the thousands of chemicals used in fragrances, most have not been tested for toxicity and can cause allergies, asthma, and some can even cause cancer and neurotoxicity. Yikes!
Start off the new year by checking the ingredients in your favorite soaps, lotions, and cosmetics. Are they cruelty free? Do they contain ingredients that can be harmful to your health?
For a locally made, all natural, and organic alternatives to everything in your beauty regimen you can look to local companies like Lulu and Max, Chickenmash Farm, or Eco Assist.
Resolve to cut back
While processed foods may be cheap and convenient, they are addictive, and destructive. Processed foods contain GMO’s (genetically modified organisms) and pesticides, they destroy our digestive systems, and they put us at risk for a long list of health problems that include rapid aging, kidney deterioration and weakened bones, and fertility problems. Cut back on processed foods and instead try a delicious and locally made product like Ganola bars, made with all natural and organic local ingredient.
Grocery stores like Earth Fare and The Fresh Market are great places to shop for anything and everything healthy and wholesome.
Resolve to give back
Giving back is a great resolution but not all of us have the means to donate to our favorite charities. A great alternative is to buy from companies that donate a portion of their proceeds to local charity organizations. Next time your in the market for a candle or need a great gift, consider Candle with a Cause, not only do they promote recycling by making their candles from bottles that would otherwise be thrown away, they work with a long list of non profits providing support to those that need it the most. Clothing company Outfit Good is another local company that donates each time one of their t-shirts is sold. Show off your state pride in a “Legit” t-shirt and Outfit Good will make a $10.00 donation to the Mid-Ohio Food Bank.
For those of you who’ve made resolutions to save money or get our of debt, it’s time to get crafty! Websites like Pinterest and Handmadeology provide inspiration and teach you techniques while websites like Etsy.com make it easy to open your own online shop to sell your handmade products. Local stores like Pure Roots in Westerville, and Glean in the Short North accept locally made products on consignment. There are tons of resources available to help small businesses get started. Look for Facebook groups that can connect you with the handmade community in your city, handmade groups offer support and advice to those just starting out and share opportunities like upcoming craft shows.