Living local for the economy and the environment

June 17th, 2016

By Ausma Clappison, GreenUP Store & Resource Centre Coordinator

The world – it’s big. Our country – it’s big, too. My town – it’s a little dot on the map just outside Peterborough, yet I have the world at my fingertips. With the click of a mouse I can shop any place I like and at any time I choose; I can buy functional and beautiful things made anywhere in the world.

Instead, I choose to shop for items made in my community by local entrepreneurs.

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Michael Harrald browses through the children’s section at the GreenUP Store with her son Tobin who picked up the book, Nurdle The Turtle – Lessons in Litter, written by local author, Rochelle Archibald. Harrald explains that she enjoys shopping at the GreenUP Store for its unique local gift choices and for many practical every day times such as lunch containers and cleaning products.

I am proud of where I live and I can make a difference by supporting local business. In-turn, I encourage community growth and development. Did you know that when you spend your money at a local small business that promotes local entrepreneurs, your money returns to the local economy and is spent again locally, often up to seven times? This helps keep local businesses thriving.

A recent study from the Business Development Bank of Canada identified the ‘buy-local movement’ as one of the current consumer trends. Consumers are now shopping closer to home, looking for locally made goods, and are aware that buying Canadian-made items may be a more ethical and environmental choice.

The GreenUP Store and Resource Centre on Aylmer Street actively supports local and sustainable shopping choices in Peterborough. It also operates as a social enterprise of GreenUP providing a variety of choices for those who are looking to embrace a green lifestyle. All proceeds generated from the GreenUP Store go to supporting GreenUP’s community-based, environmental programs.

When the things you purchase don’t have to travel a great distance to get to you, this means that you are participating in environmental and economic sustainability. Less travel for you and less travel for the items you purchase equals less carbon, less pollution, and less traffic congestion.

As a consumer, I am drawn to items that are unique, created by local artists and farmers, and not mass-produced. When deciding upon inventory for the GreenUP Store, I look for these types of items that are the products you can’t find in any national chain store.

In the past year, the GreenUP Store has carried products from forty different local entrepreneurs. Our inventory for the GreenUP Store is carefully considered and sourced to meet or exceed our high environmental standards while respecting ethical trade, labour, and human rights practices. We also carry a variety of products from local entrepreneurs on a consignment basis:

Babar Too products are natural, hand crafted beauty products made with no harsh chemicals and only with local and organic ingredients, sourced in Canada.

Free to Be creates homebrewed luxurious soaps made with quality organic and natural oils, butters and botanicals using the traditional hot process method. These soaps are lovingly made in small batches to honour old-world craftsmanship and to sustain quality and freshness.

Kyoto Coffee provides organic, planet-friendly, chemical-free coffee roasted right here in the Peterborough community.

Necessitea blends organic, natural, and wild-crafted ingredients to make a variety of herbal and medicinal teas.

Hope Mill restoration volunteers make bat houses and mason bee homes from locally grown white cedar, at the historic mill in Keene, Ontario

Jackson Creek Press creates traditional letterpress printed thank-you, seasonal, and greeting cards and other hand-printed pieces.

We carry work from local photographers, artists, jewellery makers, and potters. We keep local honey, beeswax candles, and maple syrup in stock. Locally made natural deodorant, bug spray, and herbal shampoo are favourites for returning customers.

Choosing to shop within the community where you live means you can connect with and support local artists, farmers, and service providers who are the backbone of where you live. Living and working in the Peterborough area provides us with so many shopping opportunities from locally owned stores to farmer’s markets and choices of many unique items from local artisans.

I know that I can have an impact on my future and the future of my children, and children’s children when I actively shop locally. I can help to lessen my carbon footprint, cut down on the amount of toxic substances in our environment, and at the most basic level help keep local money here in the community. I believe that choosing locally produced and ecologically certified products when possible, are small steps that we all can take.

To shop for local and unique items, visit the GreenUP Store & Resource Centre in downtown Peterborough at 378 Aylmer Street North (between Hunter and Simcoe Streets). To become a part of the GreenUP consigner community, you can fill out a form at www.greenup.on.ca/greenup-store/local-artisans. For more information about store product, contact Ausma Clappison at 705-745-3238 or ausma.clappison@www.greenup.on.ca.

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