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Posts tagged ‘Community’

Shopping Locally

(I thought I posted this 2 weeks ago… oops! Sorry!)

Let me start by saying that I love online shopping. It’s so easy and convenient! My boss jokes that I should own stock in considering how much I love it (have you used their wishlist feature? I love it! I wish everyone I know had a public wishlist – it’s like a registry for life! If someone has a birthday coming up, I’d way rather get a gift they need/want than something random that I may love but they may hate… or already own!)

However, a local radio station played a PSA around Thanksgiving that really resonated with me and I thought I would share it. It was advocating for the idea of shopping locally and how valuable that can be for a local economy.

I think that’s a really common and basic concept, that shopping at local boutiques and shops legitimately help your neighbors. In my city, most of those local shops close before 6 pm (I get out of work at 6 pm), have no parking, and are so beyond my budget that it’s laughable. However, I don’t know that for certain… because they are inconvenient for me, I have never explored them. But I am determined to try this year. Who knows, I might find something really cool that I can actually afford!

Shop small

Something else the PSA said that I had never thought about was gifting certificates to local restaurants and pizza places. I don’t usually give gift certificates because they are no fun to unwrap… but I love locally owned places. They often are amazingly yummy with great ambiance. If you live in the New England area, I would recommend you check out the Phantom Gourmet‘s website – it can help you find new places to try or give you more information. It’s also helpful if you’re trying to find a place to meet someone in an area you don’t typically visit (ie you’re meeting a friend who lives far away at a place equidistant between you…)

difference in community

Finally, the radio station pointed out that even large chains can help your local economy. Physically shopping at the store is even helpful because that store employs the people in your neighborhood. If they have customers, they need employees, and those people are part of your local community. As opposed to buying something online, where the money goes to a warehouse who knows where… Buying online will help you employ people outside of your community…

The point the radio station was trying to make was that online shopping can be easy but you’re shipping your money into other communities instead of keeping any of it in your own community. That thought really stuck with me.

Community Finances

I’m not trying to preach to you or tell you what to do. But I’m really going to make an effort this year to not buy anything online, to actually visit stores. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to look up prices and sales online, but my wallet will be opening in front of a cashier and not my monitor.

Happy holiday shopping!


We Need More Cowbell!

Before my 9k, the Run to Home Base (ugh… why doesn’t this rhyme!?) I read a really awesome blog post from one of my favorite bloggers, Running Sunflower. I recommend you read it as well, but let me give a quick summary: it’s about how she went to volunteer at a 10k she was not running. The event had plenty of volunteers, so she rang a cowbell and cheered on the runners. It’s really awesome.

I thought a lot about her post while I was running the 9k. There were so few spectators for that run. Ok, that’s not entirely true. There were a ton of spectators, but they were all inside Fenway Park, hanging out at the finish line. Along the actual course, there were very few. It was a bit of a bummer and I was in some major need of cheering along. This was the first race where I hadn’t figured out how to get my loved ones to show up at multiple parts of the course (I’m a big fan of finding ways for them to walk a couple of blocks and see me at around the 1 mile mark and at another mark around the end – I love having their support). 

Although there were so few, there were still some really great spectators at this event (they were clearly volunteers because there were about 50 people wearing the same blue shirt…) scattered along the course with clappers. They were almost all old enough to be my grandmother or grandfather and I loved every single one of them! 

Many of them yelled “thank you for what you’re doing!” (we had to raise money to run) and I yelled back to all of them, “thank you for what you’re doing!” They may not realize it, but their enthusiasm was really important and valuable. No one had a cowbell though!

It really got me thinking. I need to be a spectator more often. And I invite you to do the same. If it’s a 5k or a 10k, you and/or I would only be out there for around an hour. It’s so nice to have people cheering along during the more difficult (and lesser populated) parts of the race. I need to return the favor to people! If you have a race coming up in the Boston area, let me know and if I can, I’ll come out and cheer you on! I’ll even stop by Best Race Signs for some ideas!

Now… to buy a cowbell!

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