Friday, November 28, 2008

Buy Something Local Day

Day 332/366: Race Track for Light Bulbs

Happy Buy Nothing Day. I don't know if I will "celebrate" it this year. I'm working today (or I will be as soon as I finish this blog post--I'm a procrastinator!), so if I do buy something, it will likely be along the lines of a Happy Hour beer at a local pub. And I won't feel bad about it at all.

I've been thinking about the economy (in my own very rudimentary way). I've always been in favor of supporting local, independent merchants rather than gigantic chains and big box stores that peddle flimsy rubbish made in China. I've resolved to be even more conscious of where I spend my money from now on.

Portland has many wonderful, independent shops and businesses run by progressive, community-focused owners. I want to support those people and do what I can to help them weather this recession. There's really no reason to buy a book from Amazon, when I could get the same book from Powell's. All it means is that I have to leave the house rather than click a button. It takes a wee bit more effort, but I like to think that I'm not a completely lazy sod.

Last night B and I were walking down Alberta Street. It was eerily deserted--almost no car, bike, or pedestrian traffic and very few cars even parked on the streets. With two or three exceptions (a Thai restaurant and the oh-so-depressing laundromat), all the businesses were closed because it was Thanksgiving. I couldn't help but think that this could be a preview of what the street might look like if too many people decide they need to save a few pennies and start doing all their shopping at Walmart--a business I never have and never will support.

In truth, I don't think that a recession is an entirely bad thing. Of course, the part about people losing their jobs is bad, but if a recession means that people are forced to curb their out-of-control buying of useless crap, I really don't see that as a downside.



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