The 30 Day #buyYEG Challenge

Do you think you can eat, drink, shop, and play local for 30 days? Join the challenge!

by emil tiedemann

IT'S tough out there for a lot of folks right now, as the economy shows no signs of recovery for at least the near future. That means that many of us are searching for that best possible deal on everything from groceries to oil changes. 

Pick a day, any day, and start your own 30 DAY #BUYYEG CHALLENGE!


That means that many Edmontonians will likely turn to the online sources or big box retailers such as Walmart or Superstore for whatever it is they might need, or pull into one of the many shopping malls for that one-stop-shop convenience. You can't exactly hold that against someone, especially in times like these. 

However, there are also plenty of folks like myself, who were not (yet) directly affected by the low oil prices and falling loonie; people who may be able to spend an extra few bucks on groceries and oil changes. Don't get me wrong, I'm by no means rolling in the dough, but I don't need to be in order to do whatever I can to support local. 

That's what this is all about, supporting those local and independent businesses and entrepreneurs who are feeling the pains of an economy on the fritz. In fact, some have already had to close their doors for good, and there's plenty of others who are struggling with the possibility of the same fate. In other words, they could use our help! 

Keeping it local is important for a vibrant and growing city, and that's why I Heart Edmonton wants to introduce the 30 Day #buyYEG Challenge, an initiative to KEEP IT LOCAL! 

Keeping it local means that Edmontonians reap the benefits, it means local prosperity and diversity, it tends to mean better customer service, and it even means reducing our own carbon footprints! Not only that, but you may very well discover some pretty cool places right here in Edmonton, run by talented and determined locals eager to reinvest back into our own backyard. 

Now, that doesn't mean that you are necessarily against brand chains coming to town, because we all know that they do offer jobs and even some local reinvestment. However, much of their purchasing and profits are redirected outside of town, with large amounts headed directly into the pockets of foreign millionaires and billionaires

These national and international chains are more inclined to pull through financial strains on the economy than locally-based and independent ventures. And so, with that said, here's how the 30 Day #buyYEG Challenge works:

Use the #buyYEG in your social media tags, photos, and status updates!

1) Choose a day to start your own challenge. Try it on your own, try it with a friend, or even do it as a group with your family, co-workers, or classmates.

2) Buy local! That means that if you're going out for dinner, skip the big chains and try a hometown restaurant instead. If you need a new pair of gloves, check out one of the locally-based boutiques, shops, or farmers' markets over the mall. If you're an avid reader, hit up an indie or used book store rather than Chapters or Coles.

Go out to see a local band play and maybe buy their album afterwards, read locally-based authors and poets, eat food grown in or around Edmonton, use local photographers and designers for your projects, try some locally-brewed beers or coffees, purchase crafts or artwork made by Edmontonians, see a movie at an indie theatre, get your news from local sources, wear locally-made jewelry or clothing, or anything else you can think of. There are so many small ways we could support local.

You may have to search around, but you can find practically anything you need at an independent vendor or through hometown entrepreneurs. I understand that there will be times or situations in which you just can't make it happen, so don't sweat it...do what you can!

3) Share your experiences and spread the word! Sign in to your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, or other social media accounts and tag yourself at a neighbourhood shop, post pics of what you bought with the hashtag #buyYEG, and share your experience with all your friends and followers. Keep a journal, talk about it on your blog or podcast, pen an article and submit it to I Heart Edmonton; share the #buyYEG message!

4) After 30 days, pat yourself on the back! You deserve it!

That's it! It sounds simple because it is simple! Let's all do our part to promote Edmonton's vibrancy, sustainability, and community backbone, and inspire those around us to do the same! 

Are you up for the challenge?! 

Whyte Avenue in Old Strathcona is one of the many areas in Edmonton that is full of locally-owned and indie shops!

P.S. Although there are locally-owned and independent businesses and services strewn across Edmonton, some of the best spots in town to find them include Old Strathcona (Whyte Avenue), 124th & High Street, the Garneau district, Alberta Avenue, the McCauley neighourhood, and downtown areas like Jasper Avenue and the 4th Street Promenade. 
 

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