A St. Lucian Woman’s Thoughts On Buying Local
Buying local goods is something that I have been trying to work towards more and more since I moved back to St. Lucia. I just wanted to write a casual post about how living in St. Lucia has encouraged me to buy less and how I’m doing with my goals to “buy local” and what’s missing. Moving to St. Lucia, I’ve had to say good-bye to a country where everything is always at your finger tips. I’m at the point where I can’t remember an errand taking fewer than twenty minutes to complete. I’d say that I’ve readjusted, right?
This means that I buy less and I need to put more intention behind my purchases. Trying to live by this principle has definitely led to me buying less over time. Through being more conscious about my spending, I’ve moved towards trying to buy local. Buying local meat and vegetables has been incredibly easy. In fact, I have a great distrust of foreign meat so I don’t even look at it in the grocery store. Buying local vegetables is something that can be done at the grocery store here or by visiting a variety of farmer’s markets, or the market in downtown Castries. Buying local can be very accessible because of this!
I have more trouble buying local beans and rice. I prefer canned beans and I exclusively eat brown basmati rice (which is imported from the U.K.) I don’t mean to sound pretentious but it’s just the truth. I’m sure there are ways to buy only local rice, but I don’t need everything to be local, just mostly local. If I wanted to change up the starch/carbs in my diet, I could move towards eating mostly ground provisions which would be easier to buy local.
Other local products that are easy to come buy are locally made soaps. I personally love using the locally made soap here. There are others brands I prefer to this one, but this one is the only one I have a picture of!
Of course, it’s impossible to buy everything local, but I try my best to do so where I can. Many local businesses are supported by small groups of people. Simply Mushrooms is an example of a small local business run by young men in Anse La Raye St. Lucia. When we support our local business, we inject more money into our economy which often times helps people who need it the most. And of course, we get the benefit as consumers of knowing exactly where our goods come from. This is one of my favorite things about “buying local.”
Something else I love is that sense of pride I get from seeing “Made in St. Lucia” on certain items. We are a culture of very savvy, creative people but often times, people pretend this isn’t the case. Some folks take a very negative approach to St. Lucian culture and act like it is “dying” simply because we don’t behave in a colonial (or post-colonial) fashion. St. Lucian people are changing and will continue to change, but that’s a good thing! We are all growing more creative and many young people especially are working towards creating sustainable lives for themselves and their families. “Buying local” allows me to celebrate that.
What about you? Do you “buy local” where you’re from? Is that an option? Comment below your thoughts on buying local! I’d love to hear from you.