The first step in living sustainability is by supporting your own local artists, creators, and businesses. You might ask why is this part of sustainable living?
In supporting locally, you are eliminating international transport emissions, keeping money within the community and supporting the employment of locals. Smaller local businesses are much more likely to give back to the community. They could be a sponsor of your child’s sports team or they could donate to local charities and fund local events.
Studies show that local and smaller businesses also have a smaller carbon footprint and are more ethical than larger multi-million dollar organisations. Let’s face it! We’d all much rather buy a unique local item that has a story than buy a generic gift that was produced in the hundreds of thousands.
The only downside to ‘supporting wisely’ is that it requires RESEARCH and PREPARATION. You will have to become more aware of when your soap will run out and that you need to get that anniversary gift in advance.
This is not a big sacrifice to make since you’re supporting your country, your neighbour and helping the environment, while saving dollars!
- Local Market Stalls – This is the easiest way of supporting locals and your community; if you go later in the day you can get food marked down or you can barter with the stall holder. You can even trade something that you have, whether it be a skill or an actual item with the market stallholders!
- Local Organisations (i.e. CWA, St. Vincent’s De Paul, Salvation Army) – Say you need a household item like a cooking dish or some more throw pillows. Instead of hitting up Kmart, head to your local second-hand shops – it is so much more affordable and much better quality!
- Facebook Marketplace – Your second point of call is the Marketplace on Facebook. Look for postings in your immediate area or state and try to trade items to save some money.
- Etsy – Etsy supports private sellers, just be sure to check that the item is coming from an Australian address.
- Ebay – Not as ideal as Etsy, but equally as convenient. Just be sure to check the ‘Australian sellers only’ option and double check the address.
- Bundarra – Always question where the funds of online purchases go, be sure to check that they go back into Australian or NZ communities and that the artists or creators receive a commission.
- Modibodi – There are lots of brands that often sell the same product, try and find an Australian or New Zealand based brand if possible.
- Emergency Services – It’s great to support emergency services any way you can, so next time you need a coffee mug or a cute gift for your little siblings, head to the RFS or SES shop. They’ll love it, the quality is great, you mightn’t save money but you’ll definitely feel good for supporting those that protect your community!