Prosumer Goals: Analyzing the Walk

I want to put my words into actions and make prosumer goals. Things that I care about include supporting local businesses, supporting small businesses, buying products which last, buying online to support my industry, and buying “healthy” products for both the Earth and my body. Eventually, I want to try to make every purchase I make have at least two of those qualifiers.

I want to start with looking into buying from local small independent businesses. Small steps for big changes.

For the first half of July:

Big Stores or Not Independently Owned:
Safeway (2)
ExOfficio Outlet Store
Fred Meyer
Union 76
Sallie Mae
Comcast

The major expenses here are groceries. There are definitely independent groceries in town and food co-opts. The things that will be impossible to stop using corporations for include gas, student loans, and internet/cable due to monopolies and financial agreements.

Non-Local Small Businesses:
Etsy.com (2) Hawaii and Wisconsin

I recently discovered Etsy.com and love it. It supports people who make hand-made items by giving them online stores without the expenses of setting up an e-commerce site. I bought a new wallet from pinkninked and jewelry to wear at my mom’s wedding from SDJewelry. So far, I’ve been very happy and discovered that Etsy also has a geolocator so you can find stores in your area.

Locally Owned and Ran Businesses:
Pacific Science Center
HotHouse Spa
Husky Deli (2)
Pagliacci Pizza
Atomic Comics
Kokoras Greek Grill
Metropolitan Market
Pailin Thai Cuisine
Caffe Vita Coffee Roast Company
Funky Jane’s Consignment Shop
Bartell Drugs

I do really well with restaurants. I’m a vegetarian, so I find myself naturally turning away from fast-food chains anyway. On the other hand, I should be cooking more than going out. (It’s better for my budget.) The Metropolitan Market is a local chain of independent grocers, expensive, but local. I love the HotHouse Spa. And I had no idea Bartell’s was actually locally-owned until I started doing this.

Local Non-Businesses:
Comic purchase off Craigslist
Landlord (new)
Landlord (old)
Masseur

I’m going to put my old Landlords in the self-serving consumer category, but at least that was the last check I had to give them. Otherwise, these are pretty good.

Unsure:
7th & Pike Parking Garage
Marinepolis Sushi Land
Starbucks (3)

Who owns parking garages? I don’t know. Sushi Land seems to be owned by a Japanese corporation, which further company information was in Japanese. And Starbucks…good ole Starbucks. Technically, it’s corporate headquarters are in Seattle and it tries to be green and does some fair trade. But I go back and forth with how big it is and also I had a gift certificate.

Overall, I went to stores/spent money 30 different times this month. 7 of them are big corporations (23.3%); two are non-local small businesses (6.6%); 12 are local independently-owned (40%); four are local non-businesses (13.3%); and three are unknown (10%). This is a lot better statistics than I thought were going to happen. And actually, I’m really happy about it.

My goal is to bring my big corporation trips down to below 20% of my purchases. Because even if I’m only making a small purchase, I’m still spending money, time, and probably gas. For the second half of the month, I’d like to calculate how much money is going where percentage-wise.

About Erica

Erica McGillivray spends too much contemplating the socioeconomic importance of the bananaphone. Ring, ring, ring. Bananaphone. She loves bunnies, soap opera plots in comic books, and dreams of flying in the stars. Erica works for Moz in inbound marketing, which means sometimes, she'll talk about that.
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2 Responses to Prosumer Goals: Analyzing the Walk

  1. julie says:

    This is really noble of you. Etsy sounds like an online farmer’s market, how cute. Olympia has a really great farmer’s market that I went to last weekend with my parents to get delicious cherries. Yum. I didn’t know Bartells was locally owned either.

  2. admin says:

    I figure that if I’m going to give lip-service to local, small businesses that I need to put my money where my mouth is. I really grew up in that culture in that my father’s owned and operated his own business for 30+ years and my mom used to work there pre-divorce and now she works for another small business. Of course, that is if you overlook my mom’s love of box stores. ;)

    Etsy is really like a global arts & crafts market. I think it’s such a great resource considering how hard it is to make sure that your sites are secure for payment transactions. I’m not sure what kind of commission Etsy requires, but I don’t imagine that it’s much more than eBay.

    You do know that almost every neighborhood in Seattle has it’s own farmer’s market, right?

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