By Andrea Tomkins
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been working from home since the middle of March. I went back once to grab a notebook, laptop charger, and rescue my office plant. (Also worth noting, I found a rotting banana on my desk, so there’s that.)
At that time, my kids were still away at school but my husband and I battened down the hatches so we wouldn’t need to leave the house. Fortunately, we had done a massive grocery shop right before the first “stay-at-home” directives from Ottawa Public Health.
I’m curious to know, now that things are slowly opening up again, will people go back to the way they did things before? Take for example, the people who’ve been making coffee at home every day because they couldn’t visit their local coffee chain. Will they start bringing their own coffee to work? The people who have been taking long walks with their kids every night, will they keep doing it? What about the people who made their first forays into the world of sourdough and vegetable gardens?
One thing’s for sure, many of us will be taking a closer look at how and where we spend our time, as well as our dollars.
I’m sure you have noticed that many businesses – big and small – were able to pivot quickly to online sales and offer some kind of curbside pickup option or delivery. Some were more successful than others, and I hope my favourite shops can keep their doors open in the weeks and months to come.
I’ve written a lot about the importance of shopping closer to home but it seems more critical than ever.
When you shop locally, the money stays in the community.
I know some local food and retail shop owners personally. They live in our community. They are our neighbours. Their kids go to school here. They volunteer on the PTA. They give to local charities and support local initiatives. They employ other locals (hey, my daughter works at a local food retailer!) and they purchase from other local shops, too. They add to a diverse and interesting marketplace, and when I think about it, make Ottawa a nicer and more exciting place to live.
Of course, there’s shopping locally (in Ottawa) and further afield, a.k.a. shopping for Canadian-made goods. I see the latter as an extension of the former.
One of the things I’ve always liked about terra20 is how easy it is to recognize Canadian-made goods when we shop there. If you’re on the terra20 website, there’s a little illustration of a red maple leaf under the name of the product. If you’re in the store, it’s on the display tag. It’s a quick way to identify products that are wholly obtained or produced in Canads, or follow the “Made in Canada” guidelines set out by the Competition Bureau.
(Here’s something good to know: You can sort the terra20 inventory so it shows only “Made in Canada” products!)
This is a sampling of some of my own Canadian faves at terra20:
- Attitude disinfectant with thyme essential oil
- Neal Brothers organic salsa
- Bare English lip balm
- Made Good granola bars
- Pure Anada mascara
- Equator coffee (did you know they’re based in Almonte?)
- Green Beaver Zesty Orange Sunflower Castille Soap (it’s refillable too!)
- Dog poop bags (YES REALLY)
That seems like a really random assortment, doesn’t it? Ha! I guess it shows there are all kinds of different Canadian products available at terra20! All you need to do is look.
As things start to open up again and we get ready to go out and shop, it’s the perfect opportunity to take a moment to think about where we’re spending our dollars. Maybe this year we should wear our Canadian badge with extra pride, and put our money where our mouth is!
About the Author
Andrea Tomkins is an informavore with a passion for social media and multimedia storytelling and a veteran of the Canadian blogging scene. First conceived in 1999, her blog – a peek inside the fishbowl – has been featured in notable publications such as the Toronto Star, Chatelaine, and The Globe and Mail. Today, she loves to write about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, and good food.