Supporting Local Business
We live on the most secluded and enchanted place on the planet (Hawai’i). Thousands of miles away from any other civilization. A magical archipelago in the middle of the ocean. As amazing as it is, there is also a lot of work to do in here in our local community.
You see, as a state we import more than 90% of what we consume and we have a larger carbon footprint than any other state per capita in the US, simply because of where we live and how little we are able to produce.
This is a huge reason why supporting local is essential in improving our impact on the islands.
So why does shopping locally help?
When we shop local, it creates a trickle down effect. We support our local business, which helps us build deepen relationships within our community, these relationships create connections, and with those connections you can show people the importance of having a more sustainable business model in the way we do our daily tasks.
The goal is to create a community that can support itself, that is one major aspect of economic sustainability.
When we shop within our community, it allows for more jobs, more flow of money within the economy, and it is an ideal alternative for a community that unfortunately, has to rely heavily on good being shipped from overseas.
Finding local replacements to items that we typically get from the mainland is essential in creating a more sustainable state. It helps reduce our carbon footprint as we don’t have to get as many things shipped in.
We can support and boost our local economy and beautiful 'Aīna just by choosing to buy from local vendors instead of big box corporations. It is our Kuleana to protect this precious land and all that it stands for, and the best way to do so is to start putting our money back into our local economy.
There are incredible resources out there to find small businesses wherever you reside.
Our favorite sites to connect with local brands here in Hawai'i are:
This site was created by the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT). They promotes Hawaiian businesses and Hawai'i-made products.
The website includes "farmers, local retailers, restaurants, and manufacturers all in one place, so shoppers know exactly where to look to find products that are made in Hawaii."
Shop Small Hawaii is a community based program created to provide support to our local Hawaiian small businesses. Their mission is "to provide business resources and tools to small business owners in Hawai'i which include, Farmers, Retailers, Service Providers, Food, Art and Hospitality."
Every week they feature a local Hawaiian business on their social media account, how cool is that?!
"INNOVATE Hawaii is the state’s NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) National Network Center. Their goal is to support small to medium-sized manufacturers in order to enhance their growth, technical performance, and productivity through programs and services across the islands of Hawai'i.
They help manufactures and companies through mentorship, funding, and focus on innovation throughout all aspects of the process.
These 3 companies work alongside one another to bring in a deeper level of community support, especially with the effects that have occurred in our economy due to the pandemic.
Another local company we love to support is Protea Zero Waste. This company's main goal solely focuses on bringing sustainable alternatives to the island of Oahu.
As the most populated island, one can imagine that there is a lot of waste produced- especially single use plastic. We also receive a lot of the trash from the great pacific garbage patch since we are the closest land mass to its location, meaning that there are tons of micro plastics washing up on our shores-daily.
Protea seeks to combat this problem by providing eco-friendly refillable containers and earth-friendly products. They carry natural, sustainable brands and a variety of local brands, which is amazing.
In terms of sustainability, there is always a more eco-friendly alternative to our lifestyle choices. Compared to even 10 years ago, we are seeing companies make the switch to more environmentally-friendly replacements. We see more packaging options than ever before, and we are seeing a steady increase in our sustainability. While there are plenty of problems at a city, state, and even country level surrounding recycling and compost, there are at home solutions like refill, reusing and less purchasing, which help decrease personal waste production.
Although this article highlights shopping local in our community here, it doesn’t just apply to the islands of Hawai’i, but rather every state in our nation. If we can boost our local economies, we can create real change within our communities. The goal of sustainability is to create a viable, long-term solution to the problems that are endangering our environment. The more steps we take to change our individual lifestyles, the more impact we make long term as conscious humans.
Our sincerest aloha, wherever you may reside on this planet,
The Planit Team