It has always been a passion of ours here at Recycling Perks to support local small businesses. So as you can assume, hearing that Small Business Saturday broke records this year warmed our hearts. According to American Express, the creators of the Shop Small movement, over $19 billion dollars was spent at small businesses across the country during Small Business Saturday 2019–the most in its 10-year history! We want to encourage you to keep that going, not just one day a year but all year long!
Small businesses are such influential and beneficial parts of our communities. They sponsor our kids’ t-ball teams, host local fundraisers, encourage collaboration, and support the arts. But we are not the only ones that see this; large corporations understand the importance of supporting the communities they are in as well. They have made company policies driving community outreach. But how real is that? Employees and managers at these large corporations have outreach quotas to meet; small businesses do it naturally because of the appreciation they feel toward their community.
Sometimes shopping local at these disconnected big box stores instead of shopping at small businesses means we may not find exactly what we are looking for. It’s an idea that is very hard for most consumers to come to terms with. Consumer thinking needs to shift if we are to live more sustainable lives. Not finding those plaid pumps with sequin details or deciding to have them delivered to your door in two days is not a bad thing; think of it more like an exercise in creativity. Opening your mind to something new and different from your original idea could lead to something better!
If we as consumers can unlearn the habits that stores like Amazon have instilled in us, then sustainability and shopping small might become the norm once again. It’s important not just for the community or economic impact but also for nourishing creativity, i.e., the creativity to find not what you want but what you need while discovering local artisans who design extraordinarily creative items not available through mass production.
By the time you’ve read this email, you will have already received all the “last chance for shipping” emails from the big box stores. Don’t panic; remember it’s an opportunity to go find your loved ones something even more special. So head downtown (it’s decorated beautifully this time of year) or find a pop-up holiday market and continue to shop small!
More and more plastic is being found in places that it doesn’t belong. Overall, we need to start encouraging people to see that the main place plastic doesn’t belong is on our Earth! Cutting out the 3 items above won’t solve our world problems but they are a big step to reducing them. And speaking of reducing, make sure to take another look at the 6Rs. They include some of the tips above as well as others to help eliminate unwanted contaminants, like microplastics, that are endangering our Earth.
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