It’s one thing to say, “Buy Local”, but it actually means more than just going down to the local store and buying it there.
Of course, the preference is to support local businesses because that keeps local people employed, ya da, ya da. BUT… think about the next step. Buying locally produced items.
Buying something Made in China, but purchased locally, is sometimes unavoidable. The USA has stopped making most things. It can be a real challenge to find stuff not made overseas. Sometimes we can find those items and then comes the next crisis. Actually, we have a hard time paying USA prices.
We want to have our cake, and eat it too. Inexpensive (or a very modest increase in price) and locally produced; at least produced in the USA. If you factor in a decent wage and a small profit for the business owner (so he can stay in business)… you have to think at least $20/hr wage + benefits = not a trivial cost. It IS the REAL cost, though. Not one produced by slave labor at $1-5/hr.
I went down to Target to buy some pillowcases. Looking for organic cotton. Hmmm, would you believe it? THEY HAD THEM. $38 for a pair of king pillowcases? OMG, the budget could not handle that one. Guess I’ll have to do without organic. The next feasible option, reuse… Goodwill, here I come. If I have to save my dollars for organic, it will be organic food.
As Americans, at the top of the pyramid, we have been terribly spoiled. Only 10% of our income channeled to food purchases, unlike most of the rest of the world.
How can we rewrite the story? The Grange will begin to offer a “service directory” for it’s members (and maybe for others?) that list services & items that can be purchased, bartered, or traded. To buy local, we need to find out just what IS local, and where to get it. The Locastore run by Susan Butler (Grange Member) is an awesome step along the path of relocalizing. She provides a venue for local producers to vend their products at a convenient crossroads, Hwy 116 & Bloomfield Rd., Sebastopol, CA