Shopping locally in October – a reflection

As some of you may know, last month I shopped the neighbourhood and stopped shopping online.  The primary goal was to support neighbourhood businesses, secondly to decrease the amount of packaging we receive, and a lesser goal: to see if the siren call of internet offerings could be ignored.

Day 3:  I walked 20 blocks north on Broadway to get a particular book from the (not closest branch of the) New York Public Library.  On my way, I stopped at the well known Silver Moon Bakery and a new kids store called Freddie and Frieda (it used to be “A Time for Children” closer to our apartment, but moved uptown due to high rent).  I checked three things off my list:

1) baby gift

2), birthday gift for another party.

3) library book (Drop Dead Healthy by A.J Jacobs).

and got tons of steps, so I was feeling good.

Day 4:  Went grocery shopping (goodbye convenient online ordering and delivery…for now).   I made sure to carry a basket at the store, because otherwise how do you determine if you can carry the groceries home?

Also bought $7 of fruit (mangoes, bananas, pomegranates) from our neighbourhood fruit vendor…the epitome of supporting small business.

Day 9:  was reading AJ Jacob’s book over the weekend as he tries to live the healthiest 2 years of his life.  There is a chapter on air purifiers because indoor air is supposedly up to 5 times dirtier than outdoor air (say what NYC?).   We happen to have two air purifiers, but haven’t changed the filters in a while….  so off to buy a filter.  The new neighbourhood housewares store does not carry replacements. When I ask if they can order one to the store (because shipping to the store is better than tomthe home???) they say it’s only available online.  Ok. We’ll have to wait on that one or keep looking.

Day 14:  Two more birthday gifts purchased locally (with gift receipts).

And then, at the halfway point, I just stopped keeping track.   I kept shopping locally and only once did I cheat – I ordered a new mattress for O so he could feel like a big boy.   Yes, there are mattress stores in the neighbourhood, but unless I wanted to spend a fortune at Coco-mat, the organic cotton mattress I wanted was not available to buy near us.

By the end of the month, I ended up shopping more mindfully and spending less time “browsing” for things we didn’t actually need.   I was unable to find a larger scooter locally, but O rode his bike more.  His current helmet also doesn’t seem to bother him that much which is great!   Kids ended up getting birthday gifts with gift receipts which is always a bonus for parents!  I also rediscovered a local butcher shop and found a new book store.

While I did spend more on individual items locally, I saved money overall.  There was way less packaging coming into the house as well (no more cardboard shipping boxes).

The one thing I REALLY missed was online grocery shopping.  Not having a car is limiting, and while I could technically shop in store and have groceries delivered, it is way more convenient to shop once a week from my living room while O is asleep.  It took more time to walk to the store and I ended up doing way more impulse grocery shopping trying all sorts of fall-inspired treats than I otherwise would have.

November is now here and online shopping is back on the radar.   I haven’t actually bought anything online yet, but I will aim to buy more mindfully keeping in mind what we actually need.

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