Thursday, September 15, 2011

Why Shop Local

Hi! I'm Bayla from Soft and Cozy Baby in Baltimore. I'm going to make you think a little!

In today's internet age, who shops local anymore? It's easier and quicker to hop online and search for the best price and have it delivered to your door a week later. No dragging your kids in and out of their car seats, finding parking, etc. Sounds good, huh?

So why shop local?

Sales tax - One of the main reasons for shopping online is to avoid sales tax. Sales tax is what supports our community. It pays for our firefighters, police officers, garbage collectors, street paving, schools, and all the things we complain about that the city isn't doing for us! We need taxes as much as we hate them!

Giving back to our community - It's nice to think we're getting a great deal when we save a couple bucks shopping at big box stores or conglomerates. But they don't appreciate you! When you walk into a local mom-and-pop-shop and spend an extra dollar, think of what you're getting: personalized, educated, hands-on assistance; a grateful shop owner who you might have helped put food on their table; helping your neighbor or friend make a living. Wasn't it worth that extra dollar for the smile you put on their face to receive that warm feeling in your heart?

Shopping in your community keeps money in the community. It helps create jobs and resources and grows other local businesses. Local businesses build strong neighborhoods by contributing to local causes and investing back in sustaining the neighborhood.

Reduces the environmental impact - requires less transporting of goods

Local businesses return 80% of every dollar to the community.

Small local businesses are the largest employer and they create the most jobs.

Although it might seem like you're shopping local when you go into your local big box store, actually most of the revenue of that store is not staying in your community.

Here are some of the ways my small, independent store supports our community:
  • I pay rent to a local landlord supporting his business and family
  • I hire local employees putting food on their table and their kids in preschool which supports the local supermarkets and preschools
  • I pay city and county taxes which improves city services and supports our city workers and emergency personnel
  • I pay unemployment insurance which creates a pool for those locally who are unemployed
  • My shop contributes to the atmosphere of our neighborhood, helping to make it a safe and friendly place to live and visit
  • We accept and distribute bNotes, a local currency which keeps money local to improve the local economy
  • We contribute to local charities, schools, and organizations, keeping the money in the community
  • We help sponsor local events, making our community active, thriving, and a fun place to live and visit
  • We provide hands-on workshops and support, ensuring that our customers are successful and informed; and we are available for troubleshooting
  • We are open to customer suggestions on the products we carry and try to support local artisans and manufacturers
  • Our pricing is as competitive as any internet retailer allowing customers to support local business
WHY? Because it really makes a huge difference.

When you shop local, you invest in your community, in your neighbors, and in yourselves. In this economic climate, the best return on investment is in local business. It is estimated that for every dollar you spend, twice as much will be reinvested in the community by a local store than a national store.

Pick 3 independent businesses that you would miss if they closed. Spend $50 there. Feel good that your purchases are what keeps these stores around.

Sources -- This is an AMAZING website!

Why do you shop locally and how does that benefit you and your community?
Who is your local cloth diaper shop and do you support them?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11, 2011

So, it is September 11, 2011, the 10 year anniversary of the horrible attacks on the United States in New York City, Pennsylvania and Washington, DC. It is also my day to blog on the Cloth Diaper Retailer Cooperative blog. I have been trying to come up with something appropriate to share with you all. However, despite my best efforts, writing about diaper rash salve or the best cloth training pant seems so trite and inconsequential.

I read an interesting article on how to talk to your kids about 9/11 and was all prepared when my young sons asked about it this morning (they wanted to know why there was a commemorative ceremony at the baseball game they were watching on tv). When I started to answer them using the words and tone the article suggested they replied "Oh, the Twin Towers? We learned about that at school." "Really?" I responded, "When?" "In Art class" they replied. Huh? In Art class? Has 9/11 and the wars that followed so desensitized us as a nation to the horrors of that day that 2nd graders are learning of it in Art? This was the defining moment of my adulthood. Like Pearl Harbor and the Kennedy Assassination that proceeded it, it is one of those days where everyone can tell you exactly where they were, what they were doing and how they felt when they first heard of it. It ended any innocence that remained and caused fear to be a unwelcome companion. Should something this consequential and life changing really be a topic in 2nd grade Art? Upon hearing of our sons' history lesson, my husband and I sat down with them and provided a bit more detail than I am assuming they received over finger paints and glitter.

So, on this 10th Anniversary day, I will not blog about diapers but I will do a giveaway as we all need something fun and happy to which we can look forward. One of our favorite Made in the USA diapers, Thirsties, has recently added new prints to its diaper cover line. They are sweet and delightful and make me smile whenever I see them. We will give away one of these new covers (you pick the size and print) via a random drawing from the entrants.

In order to enter, please do one or all of the following (doing all four gives you four entries!):

- Comment below on how you discuss 9/11 with your children
- Fan Cottontail Baby on Facebook
- Fan the Cloth Diaper Retailer Cooperative on Facebook
- Join the Cottontail Baby mailing list

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