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GN.W. - All You Need to Know About Shop Local

GN.W. - All You Need to Know About Shop Local

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With Black Friday and Cyber Monday slipping out of recent memory and December here at last, local holiday shopping reared its festive head as locals participated in the money-spending revelry of Noel Night this past Friday. When you follow the money, where does it go?

  +  There’s no doubt you’re already familiar with Noel Night, which has encouraged locals to keep their money in Durango’s coffers through the holiday shopping season since its start in 2002, in “response to the Missionary Ridge Fire”. Hopefully, you had a chance to experience it yourself.

  +  Even if you missed Noel Night, though, it’s not the only push for local shopping through December. The 12 Days of Shop Local, Winter Solstice Market, and Bizarre Bazaar are running various dates through December.

  +  What’s the big deal with shopping local? People who care about independent business will tell you that there are both experiential and economic benefits to spending your hard earned cash in local businesses over big-box chains and online.

  • The short of it: in-store experiences provide personal expertise about what you’re buying, the ability to actually see what it is you’re getting, closer community ties, increased employment and more money in the local economy.

  +  In fact, somewhere around half of the money spent with local independent businesses recirculates locally, compared to 13.6% with chain retailers and close to 0% with online retailers. Win for you, win for Durango.

  +  This should be an especially good year for local shopping as well, as economic confidence and low unemployment rates drive consumer spending up (more jobs = more discretionary income).

  • This allows shoppers to opt to shop local, even where prices may be slightly higher than online. More local shoppers translate to higher local prosperity and a stronger regional economy. The stronger our regional economy the lower unemployment will be, which cycles right back into the system. And that’s more than worth the occasional “shop local” premium, right?

Getting a Handle on Shipping

Somewhere around 740 items a second were ordered on Amazon alone during Cyber Monday sales. That’s a lot of stuff! And while Black Friday and Cyber Monday are slipping from recent memory, that flurry of packages is blowing in on doorsteps around the country.

  +  On a normal given day, FedEx is doing something over 13 million shipments, UPS is transporting 19.1 million packages and documents and the United States Postal Service is handling over 42 million parcels.

  +  That’s under normal conditions, but “this holiday season, UPS expects to make about 750 million deliveries, a 7 percent increase from 2016. The U.S. Postal Service is predicting it will deliver about 850 million packages, while FedEx expects as many as 400 million packages before the New Year.”

  +  By rigging a camera inside of a package, “artist and maker Ruben van der Vleuten documented the journey of a shipped package from post office to delivery,” boiling down the key stages to a little over three minutes of footage.

  +  And if you’re wondering what a day in the life of a delivery driver looks like, here’s “12 Secrets of FedEx Delivery Drivers”.

  +  “UPS can deliver to 80 percent of the planet within 48 hours. . .” Here’s how.

  +  As convenient as two-day shipping is, though, it turns out we can do some good by opting out of it. Vox: “The environmental cost of free two-day shipping.” When you consider transportation, online shopping has a better carbon footprint than traditional shopping, but only if you don’t use rush shipping. Do you really need that novelty mullet sweatband overnighted?

If there’s any takeaway this week, it’s that you should shop local and independent first and foremost and, if you can’t resist online shopping, at least opt for regular shipping. Do the most good for the community and do the least damage to the environment.

Tobacco Pays the Pipe(r)

I’m going to say something shocking: smoking is bad for you. Surprised? I didn’t think so. But, for the first time, Big Tobacco is going to have to pony up to its practices and dangers thanks to a court-ordered ad campaign.

  +  Nearly 54 years ago, the Surgeon General released a report revealing that smoking was responsible for lung cancer and other ills. Since then, “An analysis in the JAMA, the American Medical Association journal, estimates that 8 million Americans avoided premature death as a result of tobacco control efforts launched by the 1964 report.”

  +  A year after that report came out, 42.4% of adults (18 and older) were regular smokers. In the time between then and now, we’ve managed to carve that number down to roughly 15%. Of that group, a majority is made up of low-income individuals, minorities and the poorly educated.

  +  That massive decrease in tobacco use, paired with increased regulation and taxation, should have killed the industry, yet “Against All Odds, the U.S. Tobacco Industry Is Rolling in Money”. How is this possible? Addiction allows companies to markup prices substantially, without losing nicotine-dependent clientele.  

  +  “In 1999, the US Department of Justice filed a racketeering lawsuit against tobacco companies. In 2006, US District Judge Gladys Kessler ruled that tobacco companies must pay for ads admitting wrongdoing. But tobacco companies held up the ruling through appeals, obtaining major concessions that, for example, let them avoid having to admit that they deliberately lied and manipulated in previous marketing campaigns for cigarettes.” Now, “after 11 years of appeals and delays”, the courts have ruled that four tobacco companies must pay for year-long advertising campaigns that admit wrongdoing publicly.

  • “ . . . they will admit that they tried to make cigarettes more addictive and that smoking kills more people than die from murder, HIV/AIDS, suicide, car crashes, drug overdoses, and alcohol combined, among other messages.”
  • Here’s a sample of those ads.

  +  At this point, it’s unclear what exactly these ads will accomplish, though the director of the American Cancer Society Tobacco Control Center hopes that the ads anger viewers enough that “they don't want to give their hard earned bucks to Big Tobacco.”

This week’s good news, brought to you by:

It’s no secret that we here at the Good News(letter) love our coffee, after all, it’s right up there in the logo. We believe that, like the GN.W., life is best sipped over a good cup of coffee. Durango Joes is right there with us, and we gotta say we’re fans.

Gotta’ Getta’ Cuppa’

Coffee connoisseurs rejoice, Durango Joes Mug Club is back and better than ever with their 2018 lineup of member benefits! On top of regular perks, like a free drink on day of purchase, a complimentary coffee tumbler, rewards on uploads/purchases, exclusive monthly promotions and 50% OFF drinks on Mondays, Mug Club members will get 10% off merchandise, including bagged coffee and single-serve brewing cups, through the year. (We’re especially partial to the Mosaic Blend single-serve cups ourselves.)

Right in step with their mission to love people, Durango Joes will be giving $10 to the local Boys and Girls Clubs for every Mug Club membership sold. It’s a great way to enjoy stellar coffee while supporting a stellar cause. Join the Durango Joes Family and sign up for Mug Club 2018!

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