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Katy Cobb

Katy’s LUSH journey began in 2009 at the Robson Street store. Here, she abandoned her ego, donned a Sex Bomb costume and spread LUSH love through the streets of Vancouver during the 2010 Winter Olympics. Since then, Katy’s worked in LUSH manufacturing as a manager-in-training in the Gifts department and has most recently joined the Copy team where she’s excited to share her LUSH passion through the written word (though she’ll miss the Sex Bomb costume). Katy’s a self-proclaimed cheesecake connoisseur and crazy cat lady. When she’s not LUSHin’ it up, you’ll find her hiking the north shore trails or perfecting her sangria recipe.

Sep 09.17

Local Matters: 5 Practical Ways to Localize Your Life

Posted In: Community >> How To

Here at LUSH, we take pride in sourcing quality ingredients from within North America whenever possible. Why do we go to the trouble of finding local suppliers?

Greg Pinch from our North American buying team says, “We leap at the opportunity to partner with those who are growing, processing, and manufacturing in North America—whether that be an almond grower in California, a honey producer in Ontario, a cocoa powder supplier in Ottawa, or a wheatgrass farmer in British Columbia. This supports the local economies that employ our family, friends, neighbors, and customers.”

Ground California almonds give Buffy Body Butter its scrubby texture, and honey from Ontario sweetens up Honey Bee Bath Bomb. Cocoa powder from a co-op in Ottawa gives Ma Bar its chocolaty touch, and wheatgrass from B.C. packs Grass shower gel full of nutrients for the skin.

Greg says buying local also “reduces our carbon footprint, and allows us to develop and maintain strong, direct relationships with our suppliers. Shorter travel distances also ensure ingredients arrive as fresh as possible”. Fresh, friendly and easy on the environment- sounds good, right?

Greg is a professional buyer, but purchasing locally is something everyone can do. You’ll enjoy these same benefits, like supporting your local economy, getting to know the people who produce your purchases, and reducing your carbon footprint. It’s easy!

Here are 5 easy ways to make buying local part of your life:

Read your labels: Check signage, packages and labels when you’re making purchases. This is a great way to find out the origins of what you’re buying. If your local market doesn’t provide enough local options, don’t be shy! Let them know you’d love to see more.

Buy in-season produce: Depending on your locale, this may mean swapping your usual asparagus side-dish for an in-season leek or squash recipe. Check out local farmer’s markets to learn about what’s in season and readily available in your area. You’ll likely even meet the people responsible for the food you’re purchasing!

Preserve it: Using at-home food preservation methods like canning, pickling, drying and freezing allows the best of both worlds: you can purchase fresh, perfectly ripe produce while it’s in season (and economical!) and preserve it to enjoy for the remainder of the year. Check out the National Center for Home Food Preservation for information on how to preserve just about anything.  

Grow your own: Whether you have a small sunny windowsill, a plot in a community garden or a huge yard at your disposal, you can grow your own food- you can’t get more local than that! Try a few potted fresh herbs in that sunny windowsill, root vegetables in your community garden plot or swap our grass for full rows of corn in your yard. Whatever the scale, growing your own food is healthy,rewarding and fun.

It’s not just about produce: Keep origin in mind when purchasing other necessities like housewares. Next time you’re looking to purchase new towels, a broom or bed frame, visit your local Artisan markets and independent businesses to learn about locally-produced options.

Especially if you’re new to buying locally, it’s important to be realistic, not inflexible. There may be times when something you need is simply not available locally, or when you have a serious mango craving in Wisconsin in November. The idea is not to deprive yourself, but to be mindful of your everyday choices. These small daily choices add up and benefit you, your community and your environment.

For more tips on buying local in your community, visit Buy Local Think Global.