“Every Time You Spend Money,
You’re Casting A Vote ForThe Kind Of World You Want.”
– Anne Lappe
With every credit card swipe or coin drop you have the ability to influence businesses decisions. Talk about power in the people! So the question to ponder is not always what to buy, but where to buy it and who to buy it from. Currently global markets thrive, but not all workplaces implement environmental initiatives, use safe materials, or provide healthy work conditions for employees.
This means, as those living with the privilege to choose where our money goes, we have a responsibility to learn about the greater issue, and the courage to ask the big questions. In the interview article from NPR.org Shopping With Your Values In Mind David Sirota offers perspective on the pros and cons of BUYCOTT, a new app that allows the user to scan a barcode and find out information on its business affiliations or political contributions. Check about the app here. This article opened my eyes to a lot, including the incredible ability for marketing agencies to bend the truth, take your money and sneak unethical business under your stamp of approval. Read more here: Greenwashing Index, 8 Green Products That Aren’t Green.
Another one of my favourite finds was an initiatives called locoBC – a growing alliance of local companies working to grow local economy. Read their latest blog “The Impact of Online Shopping on Local Businesses” for some eye opening stats like: 2 out of every 3 dollars spent online by Canadians goes to a U.S. retail website. http://locobc.com/
4 LOCAL MERCHANTS I’D VOTE FOR ANY DAY
- MUCKABOUT POTTERY & GIFTS – just up the street!
Muckabout is the “new kid on the block” in The Heights. Owner Ninna Snider and her husband Winston grew up in the neighbourhood and are raising their family here now. Muckabout is the realisation of Ninna’s dream to have a place where people can enjoy local art all year round, and have the opportunity to experience successful art-making. Step into the store and you will find the work of 40 local artisans: fabric art, pottery, paintings and multi-media pieces, ornaments, cards, jewelry, books, housewarming gifts – even home-made soup kits! Just behind the gallery, there’s a spacious studio, where Ninna hosts art-making parties for children and adults, and workshops for people to explore their own creativity – no experience required! Coming up in the New Year: Friday evening drop-in “junk journal-making” workshops, and Fat Paint workshops using locally made paints to transform any piece of furniture into something you love. Also in the New Year, Winston and Ninna will open BC Bee Supply on the lower floor of their store, providing supplies for hobby beekeepers engaged in urban pollination projects. Check out Muckabout for a gift, or for something beautiful for your own home. Join in on the joy of art-making with your neighbours on The Heights.
- LOTUS SEED VEGETARIAN – Kingsway at Boundary in shopping complex
Lotus Seed Vegetarian is for the foodie on your list! They prepare belly warming holistic food and whenever possible, ingredients are local and organic. Take a friend for a lunch date, or pick up a gift card. Try their new menu items, or try their fresh twist on pho.
- BIG DOG LITTLE DOG BAKERY – just down the street!
Confession: I own a cat, but love this place. Store owner Christine is friendly, knowledgeable and passionate about animals. Plus she makes super cute specialty dog biscuits made basic, wholesome ingredients. This is the perfect (and healthy) way to spoil your four legged friends!
- COBS BREADS – Various locations, the closest to MYB is at Kensington Plaza
1 – They use minimal ingredients and no preservatives.
2 – They donate end of day loaves to local charities and donate regular to local schools.
3 – They have a frequent buyer card (wooo!)
This is your place to pick-up a little warm bundle of something to share at a potluck.
- MUCKABOUT POTTERY & GIFTS – just up the street!
MORE FEEL GOOD, DO GOOD GIFT IDEAS
- GIVE GEAR
Peek into our MYB retail nook for some of our favourite go-to yoga gear. Grippy-when-it’s-slippy Guru towels made from recycled plastic bottles or thermal insulated S’well bottles for hydration on the go. Visit Love Light Yoga online for hoodies, comfy pants & yoga bags (locally made, super soft bamboo). Explore the world of Kooshoo for lovely headbands that do what they promise and stay put! Kooshoo uses an eco-friendly innovation solar dyeing process.
- GIVE TIME
Let’s just nix your 17th trip to Metrotown completely, sound good? Get creative and plan a special meal at a favourite or new restaurant on the Heights, or take a yoga class together followed up by a walk along the Heights, all lit up for the holidays. Grandma is right, spending time together is where a genuine sweetness of giving is felt.
- GIVE BACK
So you really want to buy something eh? Donating to a charity on behalf of somebody is a powerful way to see your generosity make an impact.
- Ancient Forest Alliance – BC’s endangered old growth forests. AFA will send a card featuring one of TJ Watt’s spectacular old growth images and campaign information to the recipient.
- The Moksha Burnaby Karma Elf Project with all donations going to the Burnaby Taskforce on Homelessness.
- Or check out this great online resource where you can do a little research and choose something close to your heart or the recipient’s heart!
- GIVE NOTHING
If you don’t want to get caught up in the holiday consumer buzz then don’t, you’re not alone. This NY Times blog offers some insight towards the move to a buy nothing Christmas.
What’s at the top of your shop local list? What great businesses do you love in Burnaby?
Join the conversation in the comments below.