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Your financial support helps Local First Chicago fulfill its mission to educate citizens, community groups, and policy makers on the positive and enduring economic, social and environmental impacts of local, independently owned businesses.

To help further spread this message, LFC makes the following available to all Chicago local independently owned businesses:
  • Unlimited use of the LFC logo to show your wide support for our mission
  • An LFC decal to display at your front entrance identifying you as a true local business
  • Inclusion in LFC's online community with a link to your website
  • A marketing kit that makes it easy for you to participate in our city-wide educational Unwrap Chicago holiday campaign and other buy local campaigns
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Go Green Buy Local

by Melissa Ryzy of Chicago's Progressive Talk WCPT AM/FM

       “Green” is the new black!  It’s sweeping America with a viral ferocity, but how can we most practically live green?  It’s quite simple:  Shop Local!  And if we take the greening of our community seriously, then we must learn to “Think Local” as well!  As green consumers you should evaluate your local options for all of your household purchases from groceries to gifts to furniture to new vehicles. 


       Take for example the purchase of a new hybrid car.  You may find the best deal online, but if the car is in Atlanta, the amount of energy and fossil fuel it consumes as it’s shipped to your garage is huge, thereby negating some of the benefits of buying a hybrid in the first place!  Choosing the model that is closer to home will be the wiser decision in the long run.


       A simpler example would be grocery shopping.  You could stop at the chain supermarket on your way home from work to pick up ingredients for dinner, most likely flown in from the West Coast.  The fruit is picked early, after copious spraying of herbicide and pesticide, ripening in a truck on the way here, far from the nutritious and natural benefits of the sun.  Or you could make the greener choice and walk a few blocks to your local grocer, who is supplied by a local farmer, who in turn hires local workers.  The locally produced produce will be better tasting, fresher, and healthier for comparable prices and incomparable energy savings.  Additionally, local production means no emissions from driving, no energy consumption from shipping and storage; overall a much lighter carbon footprint. 


       “Thinking Local” takes it one step further and reminds you to not only patronize your local merchant, but also to encourage them to purchase their inventory locally, as well.  The beauty of local shop owners is that they actually LISTEN to their customers.  After all, they’re your neighbors! 


       So bask in the upcoming seasons’ Farmer’s Markets throughout the region. Go Green by making smaller, more frequent trips to the corner grocer (toting that reusable shopping bag, of course). Stroll Main Street’s local gift shops, representing the talents of local artists.  It will conserve fuel, energy, and perhaps even save a local shop from closing.  Shopping Local and ‘thinking’ Local not only tastes better and feelsChicago! better, it is one simple step that we, as members of a vibrant community, can take to build a thriving local economy and a greener