I’ve gotten into the habit of asking my friends and family if, because they knew the lifestyle I advocated (one I can’t shut up about it), if this has impacted the way they themselves shop. The resounding answer I got was “Yes!” Evidently, like for everyone I’ve met and worked with in the past 4+ years, it seems nobody around me can no longer pick-up a product while shopping and not look at the country-of-origin label. We care.
When I’m at the grocery store, I try to only buy produce that is grown in Canada. Regardless of season. Obviously this is difficult during winter months, but I am still amazed at what Canadian produce is available – even in February. And what lacks in fresh, I can find frozen, which to me, is just as good. When I do buy food from another country, I opt for USA next, Mexico third. Typically, that’s far enough for my needs.
I really am this stubborn about this. It’s a lifestyle choice I’ve made and I can’t say I’m bored or hungry at all. Since the start of winter I have consistently gone home from the supermarket satisfied with my bags full of fresh produce and other products of Canada and USA and felt that my choices have in a small way contributed to the growth of our food manufacturing industries.
As far as consumer goods are concerned, I won’t lie and tell you it’s easy to only buy Canadian made. Some products are really hard to find. It would help if retailers would train their staff to know which of their products or brands are made in Canada or the USA because most times they just shrug and say they don’t know. This is especially true when you walk into large retailers.
How do I go about it? I do research online first: I find the manufacturers and their websites and then check out the “store finder” pages. Then, if the products I’m looking for aren’t sold in Montreal or the GMA, I’ll consider buying them online. After a while though, you develop a feel for it. It becomes a habit. Even before I started In Country with Melissact, I already knew a few dozen Canadian-made brands, and a couple dozen American-made brands but because I love discovering new companies to add to my perennial favs, I’m proud to say that today I’m sure I could easily name hundreds of Canadian and US made brands. You can learn these too.
“Every dollar you spend on something is a vote to have more of that thing in the world”
Believe me, once you start seeking out to buy Canadian or American intentionally, you will not be able shop like you used to ever again…and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Suddenly the country of origin label becomes a really big deal. You will proudly add “AND it’s made in Canada” or “AND it’s made in USA” to your answer when people go “ooou, wow, where did you get that?”
But I warn you, you will also get frustrated in your quest to find your locally-made equivalent of a readily available foreign-made product and at times you will postpone your search or even give up. Some days you will also acquiesce to the foreign-made item. And this is ok. It will happen. It still happens to me too. I’m sure if you scour your home for everyday items you will be happy to see how many locally-made products you already endorse, without knowing it. Go on… I’ll wait…
My motto has always been to buy locally made as much as possible. As a Canadian, I still throw in a lot of made in the USA stuff simply because between our two countries, we manufacture more than enough of what I need (save for some electronics and appliances) and this way, I never have to settle on anything “just because”. I, like you, have specific tastes and I’m not about to buy a product that I don’t like, but need, just because it’s made in Canada… I just widen my search and almost always find exactly what I want and love every time.
Where are your favourite spots to shop for locally-made product? Do you shop in stores that stock a lot of made in Canada or made in USA goods?
- No public Twitter messages.
- Sarah on Kiddie time on BT Winnipeg with locally made goods
- Melissact on Kiddie time on BT Winnipeg with locally made goods
- Anne Thompson on Kiddie time on BT Winnipeg with locally made goods
- Vickie on Buying locally made changes lives
- Sarah on Buying locally made changes lives
- Eco-handbags.ca on Locally-made eco-friendly products on A Morning News Ottawa
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