Gifts from Bend, OR

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Live local, buy local -- What does that mean to you?

A few months ago, that sticker to the left appeared in my goodie bag at a local marketing conference I attended. I decided to slap it on the back of my Jeep because I felt I was doing just that -- living local, buying local. Boy did that sticker give me a smack of reality.

The first instance of reality came while I was in the drive thru line for Starbucks. The month of October and November bring out my favorite treat, pumpkin spiced lattes. I then began to feel silly heading to Starbucks twice a week when I had a coffee shop in my work building that could make the same thing and cheaper. The reality, the taste wasn't the same but I was supporting local.

The next instance, Trader Joe's. I do most of my grocery shopping there because their dairy products don't contain hormones and their processed food line promise no artificial preservatives or flavorings. For the rest I shop at Fred Meyer, which used to be Oregon based and then remembered they are owned by Kroger. Oops.

Another .. banking. We bank at Chase. I like their mobile app as I can deposit small checks we get here and there. I do have a second account at Umpqua Bank, which is Oregon based.  But still, 90% of our banking is at Chase.

What do I do local? Apparently, not enough and that sticker made me realize that. I don't drink (or need to drink) a latte everyday but when I do, I'm really trying to hit locally owned shops whose drinks actually taste better thank Starbucks. They include places like Lone Pine Roasters or Backporch Roasters. Unfortunately, both places are on the opposite end of town from my office. If I can't have their latte, I don't need one. I have stopped buying coffee for home from Trader Joe's and have a good stash of 11 Roasters Bom Dia in the pantry.

For Christmas this year, my gift buying list was small, my husband, son,  parents and co-workers. I started this a couple years ago because we have so many family members on both sides, it was really stressing me out financially. Mostly everyone understood where I was coming from and felt relieved. For the parents, we got them gift cards to places they really enjoyed which was hard to buy locally for since they all live out of town. For my co-workers, I hit up a local jewelry maker who was having a big sale. My husband and son received gifts from local shops - coffee shops, toy shops. My husband did a great job of buying locally for me. He tracked down a pair of shoes at a local shoe store over Macy's.

There is so much more I need to work on and I do keep in mind this mission of this blog ... going green gradually.

What do you buy locally? And what do you need to work on? I'd love to know.

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