This is a new blog series where we can each sing the praises of our favorite local shops, brands, and restaurants.
Supporting local businesses does even more than supporting small business owners (though that is great too). It keeps your money local to you (not off wherever the Waltons are vacationing), creates more jobs for your friends and family, and even helps the environment.
Why is shopping local good for the environment?
We talk a lot about commutes and how much fuel people use to travel, and the same applies to your stuff. The further your stuff has to travel, the more fossil fuels they use and energy they waste. Large companies and chains pretty consistently show less responsibility and concern for the environment and the communities they are in, so you can effect positive change locally and decrease your environmental impact just by shopping and eating local!
This blog intends to encourage us to get out and explore the businesses near where we live. See it as a fun challenge to see what you can support nearby and be surprised what amazingness you may have missed. You can also check out other lists to find the coolest places to go when you travel to new towns and cities!
1. The Pharmacy (Nashville) – This is our standard date night place. The burgers here are amazing and all of the meats are locally sourced. They also have awesome beer here and make their own phosphate sodas to order. Micah always orders the Farm Burger which uses locally sourced ground beef, bacon or ham, and a fried egg. I change it up, but I love the Mission City burger which has fresh pico de gallo and guacamole and crema fresca. So yum!
2. McKay’s Used Books and Music (Nashville) – this is our other date night standard. We pair it with The Pharmacy every chance we get. This place is basically a giant two-story warehouse of used books, music, movies, and video games. You can take the stuff you don’t want and sell it there and use the money to buy more of those things in the store. It’s amazing. And anything that they won’t buy they will put in free bins outside the store for people to take. We have spent a ridiculous amount of money in this store but when you can walk out with a stack of books and cds for just a few bucks a piece you feel like you won the lottery (if you are a nerd like we are).
3. Usborne Books & More (nationally) – Okay, so let’s be totally clear here, I’m a consultant with this company, so I’m already kind of in love with it. But hear me out – I love this company so much. Usborne Books & More sells books for kids ages birth through YA fiction. The basics are that the founder of the company wanted to make educationally engaging books that could compete with the media available – I think they deliver. Don’t get me wrong, my kids still love the tv, but when we need a break from television and movies I automatically pull out these books. There are nearly 2000 titles in the catalog and I’ve watched my kids fall in love with reading thanks to these books. They have lots of educational tools too and schools routinely use Usborne products in the classroom. Usborne Books & More is the American branch of the British company, but any of the books printed in black & white are printed in the United States. For the rest of the books, you can check out their ethical standards here: http://www.usborne.com/about-usborne/ethical-policies.aspx
4. KidtoKid (Murfreesboro & Nationally) – I love some consignment shopping and this is easily the best consignment store I’ve shopped in for my kids. The store is large and the clothes and gear are in great condition (often you can barely tell they were ever worn). The prices are great too. The one here in Murfreesboro even has this adorable separate door for kids to walk through. They sell a handful of new items also, including Re-play plates, bowls, cups, and cutlery. They also sell consignment maternity clothes (huzzah!) and they are current and in good shape.
Want to write your own Loving the Local List? You fill my heart with joy! Just send me a list of your five to ten favorite local brands and stores (it doesn't have to be just around the street- a State specific snack or small chain of restaurants works just fine). Write a few sentences on why you love each thing (and I love pictures if you have them) and send them to email@example.com.
Would you like to buy more environmentally responsible or Made in America products? I've got you covered! Check out my Mega List of Shopping Lists for tons of ideas for any shopping trip.