Buying Local is Sweeping the Nation Like a Holiday Storm!

Remember the movie, Support Your Local Sheriff? Well, it’s your turn and time to consider joining the thousands of Americans who have decided to Support their Local Businesses.

Local Shopping is not just a regionalized trend, but an increasingly popular phenomenon that is sweeping across America as consumers are turning their backs on big business (franchises and chains) and are shopping at small, local brick and mortar businesses, restaurants and boutiques shops.

The Levitch family from Scottsdale, Arizona made a decision to stay away from national retailers and restaurants for an entire year – no more Costco, Old Navy or franchised food shops.  Can you imagine what a huge commitment that is?  Applause, please.  You can visit the Levitch blog as they post updates on their experiences discussing the impact both positive and negative of only “shopping local.”

Why Shop Local?

There is a trend toward buying more natural, less processed, more locally grown foods from local farmers you will find at Farmers Markets, Food Fairs and small corner grocery stores.  Mindful consumers want to know where their meat, eggs and vegetables come from.  What’s in them?  How was it grown?  Who grew it?  What did the cows and chickens eat?  Can I safely consume this?

When we shop local we

  • Keep money and jobs in our community.
  • Create more tax revenue for the city and state.
  • Have more choices of higher quality products and services.
  • Have access to fresher produce, more natural and less processed, locally grown vegetables, fruits and meats.
  • Are able to ask for details on product manufacturer and production conditions.
  • Meet the owners and growers of your food products; we can even visit their farm!
  • Infuse pride, creativity and passion back into our communities.
  • Have quality shopping experiences with polite, friendly people.  Business owners have a lot more at stake than a clerk in a multi-million dollar chain where they are just another face and employee ID number.

In this holiday shopping season isn’t it good to know that if you shop local, your money (largely) stays in the local economy bolstering businesses on your street and small shopping centers near your neighborhood.  Isn’t it great to know you are helping somebody’s mother, father, brother, son or daughter earn a living and provide local jobs for others?  Just think, somebody may get to “keep” their job because you care enough to shop local.

The impact of big business on our communities can be seen as local job losses occur.  Whenever a national retailer brings in two new jobs, three jobs are lost when a local business closes down.  (2)   Shopping locally owned businesses causes money to be recirculated over and over again creating up to 75% more tax revenue for your city and state.

On Small Business Saturday, President Obama said, “From the mom-and-pop storefront shops that anchor Main Street to the high-tech startups that keep America on the cutting edge, small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the cornerstones of our Nation’s promise.  These businesses create two out of every three new jobs in America…”

According to BuyLocalMN.com when Minnesota shoppers patronize small businesses [shop local] 63 cents of every dollar stays in the local economy as compared to 43 cents when customers shopped at major chain stores. (1)

In Arizona, for every $100 spent at a locally owned business, $73 remains in the local economy, and $27 leaves. For every $100 spent at a non-locally owned business, $43 remains in the local economy, and $57 leaves. (2)

Sew Much More employee Mary Kay Schwartz said. “We understand that if we buy local we benefit ourselves as residents and as business owners.”

Business alliances have now formed in about 140 cities and collectively organizations like Stay Local in New Orleans, the Metro Independent Business Alliance in Minneapolis- St. Paul, and Arizona Local First in Phoenix, have over 30,000 business members. (2)

Where to Shop Local in the Phoenix- Metropolitan Area

One can always find unique and imaginative apparel and  furnishing at local arts and crafts fairs, boutique shops and small brick and mortar businesses.

Local businesses like Shop to be Green can be found at the local farmer’s markets.  Shop to be green is a small green products eboutique that was born out of a love of organic, natural and sustainable products that promote a healthy lifestyle.  Visit them at their booth at the North Scottsdale Farmers Market on Saturdays, between 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM and on Sundays starting on January, 8, 2012 at the Scottsdale Street Fair from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

Visit the Glendale shop of  Healthy Baby Happy Earth  Safe, healthy choices for your little ones.  Both Online Store & Retail Store. Healthy Baby Happy Earth is truly a family oriented business owned and operated by a mom and her daughter.

Get the best hand-pattied, all-beef juice burgers, sweet potato fries and all around best cheese steaks from Mike’s Burger and Cheese Steaks in Gilbert.  You’re in for a surprise in this Fifties style diner.

Sound Packaging LLC in Chandler can help you with your packaging needs!  As a manufacturer of custom packaging with state-of-the art equipment, Sound Packaging has the ability to produce the highest quality products with the shortest turn-around time in the industry.

Need help but can’t afford a full-time employee.  Need web research, secretarial/admin services, transcription services, marketing assistance, event planning or a writer?  Hire Your Virtual Assistant Services.

Stressed out from holiday shopping and need a relaxing massage?  Hire Live Well Therapeutic Massage to get the kinks worked our of your neck and your life.  Relax into the holiday and the new year.

For a complete listing of Local Arizona Business owners, see Arizona Local First.

So you can see, it’s a little like “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood,” brought to life.  Do you know who the local businesses are in your neighborhood?  Would you like to support them so they can stay in business and provide you with quality products and services?

There is a richness to be obtained in getting to “know” the corner grocery store owner or the manager of the local clothing boutique.  What about the local butcher shop?  Are there any of those left?  The impact that local shopping provides is inestimable.  Shopping local will build stronger, more supportive local communities bringing creativity and passion back into our local economies and into our lives.

Shop local, be seen, be green, give green.

Magazines not only for Kitty Litter …earn a dime too.

International Recycle Symbol

Image via Wikipedia

12 Fun and Creative Tips for Recycling Your Magazines

 

By shoptobegreen.com

I love magazines for many reasons, I love the way they smell, I am mesmerized by high glossy photos, love the recipes, the self help and work out tips and am completely fascinated by the quirky scientific articles that I can rip out and post on the cork board in my office.

Unfortunately, it requires tons of paper to create one magazine and let’s not get into the negative emissions in the atmosphere from the production of magazines. According to Magazine Publishers of America only 20% of magazines are recycled at home.  However there is a light at the end of the tunnel. According to Green America, “Even during a down economy, magazines printed on recycled paper have increased their newsstand sales up to 114%, grown their store count, added advertising revenue, and built greater affinity with their readers. How is this possible? For dozens of publishers, going green has proved to be an easy and cost effective method for brand building and attracting new readers.” Read more on this here. It’s good to know that Magazine Publishers are trying to pick up some of the slack of their readers but even with this being said I can’t shake the guilty feeling of magazine waste piling up in a corners of my house and office. So I decided I had to think of some cool ways to recycle all these magazines.

Here are 12 fun and creative ways to recycle your magazines.

  • Dump your magazines into a basket or a cloth bag near your door so you can take a stack with you whenever you’re heading out for the day.
  • Live in the city take your magazines to the laundromat or I give them away to friends (my request is that they pass it along). Some really good friends of ours regularly drop off their stack of magazines to our house so that we can also enjoy their subscriptions too.
  • You can also donate your old magazines to the local library, school, senior center or day care near you.
  • Magazines are great material for kid’s art projects, decoupage, paper mache. I have even made great mixed media wall art for the house out of our old magazines.
  • Use your magazines as filler for shipping or use it as packing material. Shred or crumple it up and you are good to go.
  • Use scented magazine inserts (perfume or cologne ads) to line your clothes drawers and non scented to line your kitchen cabinets.
  • Use your magazines as wrapping paper for small gifts like for Valentines Day or other holidays! Don’t let all those beautiful glossy photos go to waste.
  • Use an old magazine as a floor mat cover for your snow boots.
  • Send magazines to the troops, to find out go to anysoldier.com You could go to USO.org but they prefer you donate by sending a care package but if you send a care package include some of your magazines. I’m sure soldiers would love to be able to keep up date on things going on at home.
  • Do you have any antique, vintage, hobby or car enthusiast magazines then sell them online via a classified ads or craigslist. There are all kinds of magazine collectors out there who maybe looking for some your magazines.
  • Use your magazines as kindling for your camp fire or fireplace.
  • If you have a ton of magazines use them like Oktavilla did, recently featured by Style Frizz: build a wall in your house or office.

With all these great magazine recycling options you will never want to throw away another magazine again! Have any great suggestions that we didn’t mention? Please share them with us.

Mobile Waste – What should I do with my old cell phone?

by Katy Green

shoptobegreen.com

You may already know where to send your cell phone instead of dumping into a landfill.

Follow these simple steps and you will make a positive difference in the planet and help someone in need.

Note: Be careful of the cell phone for cash websites. Check for their affliliations, BBB or the Green Label. Don’t recycle your identity. Get rid of all personal information before donating or cashing in your mobile.

Cell Phone Fact: Cell phones make up 65,000 tons of toxic waste each year!

  1. Phone 4 cash –  Recullar.com . Enter in the manufacturer number on the back of your phone and they will give you a cash estimate and a free shipping label to print out. They support NACDV.
  2. Cycle  Cell  –  Call2Recycle to recycle your cell phone and batteries. Use their search for drop off locations.
  3. Retailers Recycle Cells! – Best Buy,  Office Depot  and Staples (requires more searching) offer a free recycling cell service. Use their drop off locater.
  4. Check with your cell phone provider AT&T, Verizon, Sprint , etc. all offer recycling programs. Most will direct you to go to their store or download their postage paid mailing label. Also check with your cell phone manufacturer.
  5. Cell Phones for Troops Cell Phones for Soldiers they claim their a 501c3 and they have a ton of sponsors but read their FAQ’s.  They offer an online search box for drop off centers  in your area and you can send your cell phone free of charge.
  6. Senior Citizen Rescue – seniors use recycled cell phones to call 911 for emergencies.  Cell Phones for Life  is a great resource.  Phones 4 Life is no longer valid. You will have to pay for shipping but if you live in DC you can drop it off in person.
  7. Disabled AssistancePhones 4 Charity is another resource. They offer a list of drop of centers and affiliated charities  in every state via search.
  8. Donate a Phone – make a difference for someone in need. NACDV – National Coalition Against Domestic Violence . They make it easy to donate your phone and they offer free shipping!

If you are still undecided about recycling your cell phone you may be swayed if you support wild life preservation because you could help save life of a gorilla in the congo by recycling your mobile.

Yes, it’s true! I am not crazy. Check out  the one minute YouTube video from the Wild Life Society.

Save the Planet and Make Dough!

Who knew! There are many ways to make money by recycling… every month we will show you how to cash in on being green.

Newspaper Recycling

If you are strapped for extra cash or you if don’t have a job at the moment you can recycle, save the planet and fatten your wallet.

It’s possible to make between $200 – $1,000 a month recycling newspaper but you will need to be organized, set aside time to do it and spend a little to make a lot.

Investment: Purchase  recycled or used cardboard boxes from a moving company, business or local hardware store or online – usedcardboardboxes.com sells recycled boxes.

Storage: It is important that you have a storage space set aside for the boxes of newspapers because you recycle by weight. You will need a truck or SUV to transport the newspapers.

Promote: Spread the word that you are collecting unwanted newspapers, tell your neighbors, local business, friends and as many people as possible. Post it on your local community blog, community newspaper, classified ads on craigslist in your area.

Cash In: Contact the newspaper recycling centers in your area, compare rates and then decide which is most logical for travel versus cash reward. Figure out your return on investment and  rate per lb (the average is $2 per lb)

Tally: Monitor your sales and  time.

According to Recycling Revolution, 500,000 trees are cut down to produce the Sunday newspaper – one day equates to the destruction of so many trees. A ton (2,000 lbs) of recycled newspaper can save 17 trees.

Cash for Saving Energy… does solar power count?

Show me the Energy Savings…

According to Energystar.gov you may be eligible for a 30 percent tax credit and up to $1,500 on energy-efficiency improvements.

Did You Know…

You can spend up to $5,000 during a 2 year period on a single or multiple energy efficiency products, for your principal residence that you own and live in and qualify for the credit. If you already received the full amount in 2009 you are not eligible in 2010.

If there is more than one person living in the same home, unmarried and own it jointly, each person is eligible for the tax credit based on the amount the spent so if both spent.

Read the fine print…

The following products are eligible for the 30% tax credit only with no upper limit: geothermal heat pumps, solar water heaters, solar panels, fuel cells, and wind generators.

All products must be installed by December 31, 2010. To benefit the products must be installed in an existing home & your principal residence. New construction and rentals do not qualify.

For more information on the 30% tax credit and $1500 tax rebate, visit EnergyStar.gov.

Information Source: Energystar.gov