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Organic, Shop Local

The Unquantifiable Benefits of Shopping Locally


Many of us are feeling the impact of economic recession. I know that I am pausing before deciding whether or not to buy certain foods or whether I really need to pay $3.50 for a cappucino that I could make at home, and I am more concerned with the cost of food and books and gas, things I used to purchase without much thought to cost. I’m sure many of you are too.

So how do we weigh the benefits of shopping locally and buying organic food and earth-friendly products against rising panic about the economy? What do we do when people around us are afraid and cautioning to save our pennies and spreading their fear of the future? How do we make the best decisions that will give us the greatest health, stamina and buoyant outlook that will pull us through the coming tightening of economic belts?

I see eating organic food and fortifying my body with the best supplements as part of my own health care plan for myself and my family. I see it as a long-term investment that is essential. And lately I have come to believe that shopping locally, and buying locally produced products as essential not only because it supports local economic infrastructure, but also because I’m noticing that it is essential to my mental well-being, which is ultimately the source of my drive and motivation and creativity that will lead me through hardship.

These benefits of shopping locally and buying locally produced goods are somewhat unquantifiable. And they are incredibly important. I’ll give you an anecdotal description of my week to illustrate. Thursday and Friday of last week were incredibly busy, following on the heels of several 60 hour work weeks to help launch Kevin and Annmarie Gianni’s Renegade Health Road Tour and their new book, High Raw; organizing an opening for John Diamond‘s Healing Art; and helping to coordinate eco-packaging for TABLE Local Market. Add to that the daily demands of motherhood, the needs of a start-up business, and my grandmother having a major stroke and needing to spend a couple of days in the hospital with her. By last Thursday I was exhausted and feeling pretty low and not seeing much potential for KatonahGreen.com nor my own business ideas. I knew that my inspiration was failing, and wasn’t sure what to do about it. And work was piling up. Friday I was more gloomy and trudged through my work in a rather robotic manner.

On Saturday morning I forced myself to head over to the South Salem Farmer’s Market. I walked in while there was a lull in foot traffic, and was greeted warmly by Randall from Red Barn Bakery, and Pat from New England Farms, and by Madura Farms. They all wanted to chat and catch up, as did Tom Gosset who hosts the Farmer’s Market. After an hour of slowly shopping and chatting, I was feeling a bit more light-hearted. The sun was shining and I decided to put off work and go do local errands.

I headed in to Katonah, to buy some avocadoes (something I couldn’t find at the farmer’s market of course) and saw a friend outside of Mrs. Green’s. We chatted for a while and she told me the latest about her family and really encouraged me about KatonahGreen.com. I headed in to the store where I greeted several employees who I’ve really connected with, which raised my spirits even more. Now I was feeling lighter and more inspired than I had in a while. I walked over to Noka Joe’s and had an organic coffee and chatted with the owner, Jennifer about possible collaborations. On a roll now, I stopped in at the Greener Cleaners and we talked about eco-cleaning products and local green initiatives.

By now I was feeling inspired, connected to the community, involved and energized. I headed home, and as I drove along a back road, I saw Jim Nordgren of the Bedford Audobon Society standing in the afternoon sunshine chatting with some friends. I pulled over and joined them. We all talked about some possible collaborations and discussed getting together for an organic beer. I headed home feeling a whole lot better, clearer and motivated than in the morning. This sense has stayed with me now for five days.

To me, the benefit of this drastically improved state of mind far outweighs the .25 savings I may have found for a box store avocado (if you can find them organic), or the .75 savings I may have found by brewing my own coffee at home or at a cheap coffee chain.

In these times of economic recession I am finding that the real richness of live interaction with neighbors and local businesses is fortifying me in the rest of my life. I feel like I’m part of a team that can face these economic and environmental problems together.
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Here is an offer from Anthony at Greener Cleaners for 30% off any eco-friendly dry cleaning job between now and the end of April. If you haven’t already, try it out!:

From Katonah Green

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Check out the Katonah Green Calendar on the left hand side of the blog!

If you want to contribute resources or articles, drop me a line at editor [@] katonahgreen.com

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About Heather Flournoy

I am a writer, social media connoisseur, environmentalist and professional marketer. My personal blog is KatonahGreen.com and my professional website is ReallySocialStrategies.com. I love people's stories, and a passionate cultivator of connections, both for myself and helping others to connect. Tell me who you are, what your story is, and I'll tell you who you should talk to. In my own view, I know some of the most interesting, colorful and profound people in the world. You know who you are. Besides all the above, I am proud to say I am a working class single mother who raised a beautiful daughter. I connect deeply with animals, especially horses. I love music, coffee shops, farmer's markets, growing my own food, sustainable agriculture, broad thinkers, the healing arts, and dive diners.

Discussion

2 thoughts on “The Unquantifiable Benefits of Shopping Locally

  1. HEATHER!!!!

    Miss you guys and the whole Brewster crew. I moved south down to NC and am loving it. Wishing you the very best.

    Posted by Lovingraw | March 26, 2009, 12:41 am
  2. Well said. I’m glad I found your blog. I definitely hope you keep it up!!!

    Posted by Robin | March 26, 2009, 12:47 am

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