365 Days of Localism

By: Melaina Gasbarrino

Imagine a year without Target, Starbucks, Costco or Walmart. It might be a tough feat to beat but the Levitch Family of Scottsdale, Arizona, pledged they would buy local for a year. Localism, defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as "an affection or partiality for a particular place," is all about buying, eating and shopping locally. It's about ensuring the mom-and-pop shops in your town stay open.

Lets first take a look at the statistics, for you to understand why localism is so important. A study found in Grand Rapids, Michigan demonstrated localism is the way to go as "for every $100 spent at a local business, $73 remains in the local economy, compared to $43 if the same $100 was spent on a non-local merchant." Also, if you shop locally, your money is continually re-circulated in the community, which in essence generates up to 75% more tax revenue to your community and state. Finally, on eLocal's blog, because "transportation costs alone by shipping produce creates emissions of 1 billion metric tons of CO2 and uses 11 billion gallons of fuel per year internationally," localism should be your next step in creating a greener, locally grown world.

What spurred The Levitch Family to buy local was when they saw their favorite Middle Eastern mom-and-pop shop had to close its doors due to economic hardship. In seeing this, the family of four made a pact they would buy local for a year. Their journey can be followed on One Local Family, The Levitch's blog, where a plan is devised to create a nationwide movement in supporting local businesses. The process became ever so easy for them as noted in Pauline Arrillaga's "Of The Moment: One Family's Adventures in Localism," as they found "Local First Arizona, a buy-local coalition with around 2,000 members with dining, entertainment and necessity local options." With a plan, a blog, and a whole lot of information readily available to them the Levitch family continues on with their year of localism. 270 days and counting, we wish the Levitch family a whole lot of success on their campaign to go 365 days of living local.

Looking to get inspired from buying locally? Here are a few things you can do:

How often do you buy locally?

For more updates on local eating, follow me on Twitter (@MarcusCooks)

Photo: andy castro