By Lisa Van Orman Hadley
Lets talk about Local First. It’s a non-profit that connects the local community with Utah business owners. While it might not be realistic to shop all-local, all the time, there are myriad reasons why you should consult the Local First business directory before heading straight to the chain store.
First, shopping locally is fun. (Think The Store, Pace’s Dairy Ann, Glaus French Pastry and Elemente). More importantly, buying locally is smart because it boosts the economy where you live and can also be good for the environment. For example, take Wal-mart vs. the King’s English (1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City). On one hand, you have an unsightly big-box store that covers acres of undeveloped land. On the other, you have a local bookstore set in a charming urban neighborhood. Locally-owned stores like King’s English are often located in preexisting neighborhoods rather than sprawling subdivisions. Why is this important? It means they take up fewer natural resources and help rejuvenate ailing cities. And the money you spend in local stores has a better chance of being “recycled” into the local economy instead of, say, being shipped off to the Walton family in Oklahoma.
In the spirit of supporting local businesses (something we’re continually striving to promote here at YHO), there are two items we want to tell you about. First, it’s not too late to sign up for a CSA share at Bell Organic Gardens in Draper, where you’ll get weekly deliveries of local, organic produce all summer long. Second, mark your calendars for the Live Green-Downtown Sustainability Festival on May 9 at Library Square in Salt Lake City. We’ll fill you in on the details as the date closes in but if you’re a local vendor, you should consider filling out an application now to sell your own green goods at the fest. Get more info here.