Did I wake up in China?

Posted on March 31, 2011. Filed under: Best Practices, Local | Tags: |

I attended a benefit for a local charity earlier this week.  In a nutshell – the event was fabulous!  Supporters came out in droves, the desserts on display were creative and delicious, and I really enjoyed the entire evening.  There was a clear theme of supporting your community – especially as the organization handed out small grant awards to community projects that had submitted proposals.  It felt great to be part of this local area, and to be giving back.

Magic 8 Ball

Something look strange to you?

Therefore, it was really puzzling when I got home to open the “parting gift” I had received upon leaving.  It was a Magic 8 Ball of sorts – the kind you ask a question, then shake it up to get your “answer” from a variety of responses.  The responses included things like “Tell a Friend” and “Plant a Tree” and…”Buy Local.”

“Huh!  Cool!” was my immediate reaction as I went to open the box…then, I pulled out the “ball” which was some other shape altogether.  Yes, it did throw me off a little, because if I remember anything from preschool – it’s colors and shapes!

However, it was the protective bag that covered this item that threw me off the most – a plastic bag proudly announcing in block letters: MADE IN CHINA.

I think that we all (except the readers in China) can agree that China does not equal local.  Fine – the majority of our goods come from China and other locations.  However, I don’t agree with the sentiment that we can preach “Buy Local” without actually doing it.  The funniest thing about this whole thing is that the parting gift was sponsored by a local shop!

We all have to make an effort to buy local, to stay local – but those who benefit the most (small business owners) – forget this sometimes, too!  It has to be a team effort.  Support your neighboring businesses, especially if their customer base could potentially overlap yours.  The success of the shop down the street could ensure your success, too.

And most of all, as we work together to encourage our communities to buy local, remember what local means.  Unless I’m waking up in Xian, you can keep the Chinese goods.

Stay Local!

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