Pride in our city

‘Buy Local,’ a recent sustainability push to buy locally manufactured or produced products, has taken root in my hometown, Tulsa, Oklahoma. Whether you shop at Walmart, or Whole Foods, a section will always be set aside for those ‘Local’ products.

Buying local allows local manufactures to buy local raw materials, and sell locally, each in turn reducing transportation costs. It provides jobs to the people of our communities. Buying local also means building the local economy. But most importantly, it is also about pride in our city.

Recent boutiques have popped up all over town featuring locally produced clothing boasting ‘I love Tulsa,’ or ‘Don’t hate the 918.’ Ida Red, a store devoted to Oklahoma products, sells these tshirts, and more. You can find shoes, records from local bands, locally made candy, jewelry, and more. For Tulsans, buying local means expressing the Tulsa culture. And the sustainable nature of these products makes them all the more ‘cool.’

A local beer brewing company, Marshalls, sells its products to most restaurants and bars throughout the city, and Tulsans and outsiders alike buy it not just for the taste, but for the ‘cool’ and local qualities. Tulsa boasts of it’s ‘cool’ and ‘hipster’ personality, and this culture is seen throughout its locally sold products.

An innovative way to promote locally made products is incentives, like Keep It Local OK out of Oklahoma City. They offer special rewards and coupons for shopping locally.

If more communities continue to produce and buy locally, local economies and cultures will prosper, and we can reduce our local carbon footprints.

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