Monday, October 17, 2011

Idea #1: Shop More Wisely

This was the first image that grabbed my brains and shook 'em all around.  Not just the squint-making colour scheme, but the idea that being part of the Occupy Movement might be something I could do without living in a tent next to a portapotty downtown.  And that meant that this was the first thing that gave me hope that I might in fact, become part of the change. 
One thing I've learned about trying to do something different is that I have to make it possible.  And I can guarantee you that moving all of my shopping to local, independent merchants is unlikely. I like Thrifty's too much, and Costco still feels necessary to justify paying more for that good service back at said Thrifty's. I also just figured out that Banana Republic jeans fit me and are reasonable with the 40% coupon they seem to email me every other week.

But I can start... adjusting.  I can start moving my money towards independent retailers and vendors who may just be feeding their own families but are probably also feeding a few others.  I can afford to pay a bit more (5% more? 10% more? I don't know, but more. I can afford more.) for the privilege of saying Yes to the hard work and risk those merchants are investing in my community.

Puddlegear, Buddhakind Coffee Co., Norquip... these are my people who are working hard to provide something a bit better.  They feed their own families with this work, and then they feed a few others.  

IDEA #1 Response:
Who else do we know who we can support? How much more can you afford?


  1. Liking the blog. When we moved to then economically depressed Whalley almost 10 yrs ago, we began shopping locally, as in within a 20 min walk of our house. I go out of my way to purchase cat food from the local purveyor, not a big box store. We've visited every single restaurant around us and shop locally about 90% of the time. We now live in downtown Surrey, which has sprung up around us and has become the fastest growing city in Canada. I shop locally so as to attract more local business. Find out what's around you and try them out.

  2. is a local, single owner/operator business providing handmade bath and body products (also locally sourced ingredients wherever possible) and massage - and it's not more expensive than the bigger companies! is a newer restaurant in Kits that uses locally sourced food for all their menu items and even makes their own bread and ketchup. Not more expensive and for a good evening out.

    I also love the farmer's markets whenever and wherever I can find them - for organics and finding more of the local merchants and their offerings.

    Just a few ideas that came to mind initially...I'm sure there will be many more.

  3. @Kimmer, that's a win on so many levels. You attract more business, that builds more employment, that creates more income that promotes neighbourhood stability. And on top of that, you're not driving all over creation burning up fossil fuels. I have a lot of local businesses I like and I'm going to find more. And for the record, your own post about hotel rooms and Sesame Street was part of my inspiration. Thank you.

    @Kelly - I like the idea of not just choosing close by, but of putting my money in the pockets of people who are trying to be their own change in the doing of what they can do. Thank you for the links and the reminder that there are a lot of different industries to practice this in.

  4. Liking this logo...

  5. Just spent a few days relaxing near Sooke at Point-No-Point Resort. Your blog didn't seem to leave my mind because every time I encountered a member of staff I felt the urge to ask them about their job (ie living wage etc). I feared the answers because if the resort didn't treat the staff fairly, then I would be inclined not to go back (which would be awful really because i love it so much).

    Good news! The Staff's wage, while not being enough to buy a house on the west coast of Vancouver Island, is higher at Point No Point than other local "resorts". Nobody gets laid off during the slow periods, instead the owners find meaningful work for folk to do around the property. The chefs use seasonal, local ingredients when available, the wine list is almost entirely BC wines...Clearly I'm a fan.

    My point is that you've entered my conciousness, there's no getting away. Although I like to think I was a concious consumer before, clearly I haven't been. Never have I queried staff members so much about how they're treated...

    This time it worked out (Thank goodness, I'm not ready to give up a private hot tub on deck overlooking the ocean). Next time though, am I prepared to give up something that brings me so much happiness if I find the answers unacceptable to me?