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What does it mean to “Buy Local”?

As you may have noticed, I rarely posted during the holidays. Although I did bring my laptop on vacation, I spent some of my time offline recharging my own batteries–playing with the kids, walking on the beach, reading and enjoying lots of delicious food with friends and family.


Being away from home (and starting a new year) often gives me a chance to see my life from a new perspective and the opportunity to reflect on what’s important to me and my family.

When I think of home and my everyday routine with my family, I think about the community where we live. There has been a lot of talk recently about supporting our community and slogans that say “Buy Local”–but what does that really mean? In an effort to reduce our carbon footprint and create a more sustainable community, do we buy from the local toy store and not at Target? Shop from local farmers when possible? Makes sense, but the choices do not always seem so obvious. When I think about my community, I also think about all the people and places my family and I connect with everyday beyond our friends and family.

What would we miss if one of them was gone? Some of the things on my list include: nearby parks, neighborhood schools, the YMCA, the Rochambeau library, the #42 bus that runs along Hope Street, Seven Stars coffee, and the many other wonderful shops and restaurants right in my Summit neighborhood. I am also thankful to have RISD and the RISD Museum, Providence Children’s Museum, Brown University, and good hospitals within a few miles from my home as well as amazing theater, music, and dance all year long at many venues around Providence. I love Roger Williams Park Zoo, India Point Park, the Audubon Society, and having access to the state library system. I often buy handmade from local artists and I listen to WRNI every chance I get. I know there is more on my list, but you get the idea. I really love being a part of this community.


To me “buying local” means buying into the community in which we live. Supporting all these services and business with our money, our time, and our praise and referrals in whatever amounts we have to spare is essential to keeping our community alive.

My mission for Kidoinfo from the beginning has been to bring together everything for families–from the well-known institutions to the hidden treasures–providing a place where we can all get to know one another a little better and support one another in the community. When we share, we all benefit. As I bring Kidoinfo into the new year, my focus remains the same.

Stay tuned for some cool new features on Kidoinfo and more opportunities to learn about our neighborhoods, including local businesses (big and small) and meeting the parents who live here. I always like to know what you are thinking about. Please share what you love about your community and what you’re planning in 2009!

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  • I agree, public schools are an essential part of our community and I am thrilled with what ESPEC has done to rally the community and the city to save Nathan Bishop Middle School. Whether we have children in public, private or home school our kids or we have a child-free home, we need to support public education. We need ALL of our youth to be educated in a positive learning environment within a supportive space. More on this later – there is an article in the works.

  • i love my community. my family moved many times while i was growing up with my parent’s family ties being in providence (dad) and nearby mass (mom). i transplanted myself to rhode island in my late teens and have been here ever since. i feel like providence is where i truly became myself and have a genuine fondness for the city.

    now a new(ish) homeowner in smithfield, i love the idea of really digging into my town. meeting friends, volunteering at school, finding new places to play, shop and eat.

    I am also new to the community of blogging and am constantly overwhelmed by the support and generosity of others I barely know. Creative women who have encouraged me to open my own shop on etsy (which I recently have done). It’s wonderful.

    Part of community to me means extending yourself and becoming connected.

    Thank you for another insightful, lovely and eloquent post, anisa! xo

  • Sending your kids to public schools is also part of it, I think–in terms of buying in to your community. (Even though a private school is in the community physically, it’s really mostly its own community. And public school parents aren’t actually “buying” anything in this case…except maybe tissues and other things the school can’t afford.)