Want to save the world? Buy local

Posted: 10/03/2021 14:16:50 PM This column is the first in a series celebrating small businesses in western Massachusetts. Do you h...



Posted: 10/03/2021 14:16:50 PM

This column is the first in a series celebrating small businesses in western Massachusetts. Do you have a favorite you want me to highlight? Let me know at chelseasundaykline@gmail.com.

I must have been about 3 years old, on a day trip from my home in Vermont with my parents, when I fell in love with western Massachusetts.

I remember walking down Main Street in Northampton, my “tinybaby” doll tightly wrapped under my arm, marveling at the cool old buildings and interesting characters passing by. We stopped by the candy store Candies (yes, they’ve been around for over 30 years) and have reveled in discovering the chocolate coated pretzels (salty, sweet and crunchy) and the trendy magic of cherry red wax lips.

We made our way up Thornes market, with creaky wooden floors and so many interesting shops and restaurants tucked inside. Of course we visited Herrell‘s Ice Cream, and a glorious two-tiered cone was the thing that would convince me to peel off my new wax lips for a few moments. Standing just under the awning in the front was a barefoot farm kid in overalls, handing out kittens in a cardboard box. For some reason my mom kept me from adopting the whole box, and I’m still not sure why.

Next, we explored the Smith Campus, where topless women on horseback wandered nearby, reinforcing my new awareness that Northampton was indeed the most spectacular place in the universe.

These memories not only led me to build my life in Western Massachusetts, but also shaped my appreciation and respect for small businesses and independent local flavors, not to mention my love for creative riding apparel. (hum). With online shopping posing ever-growing threats to small businesses, and the economic impacts of the past two years, it’s up to each of us to spend our money locally to keep our small towns unique and prosperous.

Now that I have lived here for over 20 years, I have heard similar love stories, as many of us have found, returned or sometimes never left the area. So now that we see the continued impacts of increased online shopping, coupled with decreased overall spending, it’s critical that we keep love stories alive by buying local with purpose and passion this holiday season. and beyond.

Buying from local businesses not only makes our region stand out, but also helps the planet. The emissions, cardboard and plastic waste generated by shipments associated with online retailing are tragic. Delivery packaging clogs not only our landfills, but our oceans as well, and truck emissions continue to damage our atmosphere. When we buy locally, items are shipped to the store in bulk with less packaging, or better yet, made near us from locally sourced materials.

Buying local is also good for our communities by creating jobs, encouraging start-ups and building community support. Our friends and neighbors who own and operate local businesses are the ones who support our local nonprofits, teams, charities and events. much more than national channels. When we invest locally, those dollars stay around nearby and keep our communities strong and vibrant.

Additionally, when it comes to providing jobs to our residents, up to 90% of new jobs are created by local businesses. Additionally, having a variety of strong local businesses directly correlates with more attractive and interesting city centers and main streets, filling storefronts, attracting tourists, and encouraging people to wander, stop, do. impulse buy and meet store owners and workers.

When it comes to product diversity, local businesses are much more responsive to what their repeat customers want. Our nearby stores tend to stock unique items instead of serving general interests, and often feature locally made and purchased items that further strengthen our communities.

As another holiday season approaches, please join me in making every effort to keep our dollars circulating at home, instead of helping toss billionaires on frivolous and unnecessary rides around the world. ‘atmosphere.

I may have gone from wax lips to a strong red lipstick, and the Tinybaby doll has been replaced by my rowdy sophomore, but I’m still the happiest while enjoying all my favorites in the house. western Massachusetts. I always know that we live in the most wonderful part of the universe, right here. So please tell me which local shops, restaurants and gems you like to support and why, and I hope I feature them in future columns. Contact me at chelseasundaykline@gmail.com. Bonus points for BIPOC, non-binary, queer, trans and owned by women.

Chelsea Kline is a social justice advocate in western Massachusetts and a mother of three. She writes a monthly column for the Gazette.



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Newsrust - US Top News: Want to save the world? Buy local
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