March 1, 2010

The Luxury of Buying Local

Posted in Design Inspirations, houston interior design, Houston Interior Designer, Houston Interior Designers, Uncategorized tagged at 8:51 am by luxuryforthehome

March is finally here, our weather is warming, the trees are budding and for those reasons and many more, we are going green this month.  I’m like you. I’m not an expert in this area.  I have no certifications for green design, but I have a new focus for the topic.  So, join me this month as we wade through the hype and find ideas, products and designs that are well worth their salt.  If you haven’t had the chance already, sign up for our RSS feed and have the blog delivered to you.

Today, I thought that I’d highlight a green topic – Buy Local. Now the concept began with food, “Eat Local, Buy Local, Be Local”.  Buying local is beneficial in many ways, it supports the local economy, the transportation costs are less and thereby the fuel emissions are less.  But if we take it to my world, the one of Interior Design in Houston, TX – what would it look like?

The 3/50 project” started by Cinda Baxter turns this concept to our local retailers.  Simply put these are the tenets of the project:

  • 3 – Think about which three independently owned businesses you’d miss most if they were gone.  Stop in and say hello.  Pick up a little something that will make someone smile.  Your contribution is what keeps those businesses around.
  • 50 – If just ½ the employed U.S. population spent $50 each month in independently owned businesses, their purchases would generate more than $42.6 Billion in revenue*  Imagine the positive impact if ¾ of the employed population did that.
  • 68 – For every $100 spent in independently owned stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures.  If you spend that in a national chain, only $43 stays here.  Spend it online and nothing comes home.
  • 1 – The number of people it takes to start the trend…you.

So the challenge is simple, choose 3 locally-owned businesses to support this month.  An easy challenge, it can be a coffee shop, a restaurant, a landscaper or even an interior designer.

Doubt the impact of 1 person? Look at this illustration, showing how many people a simple drapery order could affect.  First, there is the direct effect of the 3 people in my office, and then there is the showroom, usually another 3 people there.  The UPS deliver guy, the drapery workroom (at least 4, the estimator, the seamstress, the scheduler and the installer). Directly, your single drapery order has touched 11 people.  Indirectly, it is exponential.  So while all of our supply chains may not be 100% local, the effect of your single purchase can be tremendous on the local economy.

So today’s challenge, buy local at least 3 times this month.

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