Month: September 2014

Where and how you spend your money matters.

The home page of The 3/50 Project gives you the basic FAQs:  “For every $100 spent in locally owned independent businesses, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures.  If you spend that in a national chain, only $43 stays here.  Spend it online and nothing comes home.”
Spend your money locally, but not at local outlets of national chains.  The 3/50 Project challenge is to find 3 independently owned businesses that you would miss and stop in and make a purchase.  They can’t survive without your support through purchases.
My challenge is:  think of purchases you routinely make at local stores of national chains.  Think:  stationary, pharmacies, toys, clothing, hardware, pizza, hamburgers. We spend our money without thinking.  Now, find a local, independently owned business where you can buy those same things instead and shift your spending to them; one item at a time.
The Made in American Movement has a graphic that’s appearing on FB that reads (minus my punctuation):  “When you buy from a small Mom & Pop business, you are not helping a CEO buy a third vacation home; you are helping a little girl get dance lessons; a little boy get his team jersey; a mom put food on the table; a dad pay the mortgage; or a student pay for college….”
At local businesses you will also find, in most cases, that you get more personalized attention, you get to talk to the person who actually makes the decisions about what you find in the store and can answer your questions.  Local businesses depend on your purchases; if you have a problem or complaint, you’ll usually get a better resolution than at a national chain.
Shop locally, shop small, independent stores.

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We are a local, independently owned micro business.

We’re aiming for 1,500 businesses and community organizations in our directories this week.  Recent additions include:

Adele’s Jeweled Treasures in Villas; Accent Studio and The Little Shop for Quilting in Haddonfield; Above and Beyond Stress in Haddon Heights and Lauren Michelle in Cherry Hill.

We have fun and really enjoy finding all these wonderful local businesses throughout our great state but we don’t do this just for fun.  We would appreciate the support of the businesses in our directories and those who can find them here.  We would appreciate followers, subscribers, advertisers, comments and suggestions.

Latest additions to our directories are:
Fuzzy Butts Rescue  in Englewood who has the lovely Snow available for adoption.  Look at that face!  And, a great name for a shelter.

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Tons of Treasures who seems to genuinely have tons of treasures in fashion, jewelry, accessories, and handbags.  Find them in Wyckoff.
Calligraphy is a new category beginning with Make an Impression in River Edge.
Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge has animals that need homes.  They’re in Oakland

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It won’t be a common occurrence but occasionally I will post a link to something outside New Jersey, if I think it’s of relevance to what we’re interested in.  Today I watched a 2011 documentary called Pink Ribbon, Inc. (available in streaming video at Netflix) and wrote about it in one of my sister blogs, “This Senior Citizen’s Rant“.  In the film, I learned about 2 organizations that I think merit a mention here:
Breast Cancer Action – an organization fighting to focus attention about breast cancer more productively than the pink ribbon campaigns.  And,
Environmental Working Group – who are collecting information and making it available to us in order that we can make healthier, informed decisions in purchasing products for our lives.

Change of Season

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It’s very sad when the growing season begins to end and the farmers’ markets begin to disappear.

It’s time to start thinking about the holidays and about getting ready for cold weather. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day — one right after another.

Please look through our directories for gift ideas.  We’re adding new local shops continually so keep coming back.

The No Shampoo Saga

A month or two ago, I decided to try to live without commercial shampoo.  I was finding that, as I get older, the texture of my hair has changed and commercial shampoo has been drying my hair and my scalp and taking the wave and the little curl I have right out of it.  I’m also on a campaign to give as little of my money as possible to national and multinational corporations so….

I did some research, online, and found some repetitive suggestions and tried them.  The first recipe was coconut milk (unsweetened, of course), aloe gel and rosemary oil.  I tried it a couple of times but found the coconut oil too heavy for my very fine hair and the rosemary oil too strong scented for my taste.

I had read of using baking soda paste which is good for many things so I tried that.  It definitely cleans the hair and makes it soft but can also be a little drying or irritating for my scalp.

I had at this point made a list of a variety of natural ingredients that can be used to wash your hair.  Some of them are not readily available enough for me to bother with. Some of them require too much preparation for me to want to bother with.  One which appears in several recipes and alone is Yucca.  I’ve been experimenting with first washing my hair with baking soda paste, then washing it with Yucca juice.  I’m quite happy with it so far.  My hair is soft, retains its natural oils, has a lot of body, wave and curl.  I generally only wash it, with the 2 ingredients, once or twice a week and just wash it with water the rest of the time.

I’ve been short-cutting the process of using Yucca.  You’re supposed to peel the root, chop it, pulverize it in a blender, spread the paste in a thin layer and let it dehydrate until almost dry, strain it to get the soapy juice.  I don’t do that.  Again, a little more process than I want.  I just throw chopped, freshly peeled root and a little water to cover into a blender, strain it through coffee filters and use the milky juice to wash my hair.  It isn’t even slightly soapy; probably too much water in it, but it cleans, softens and gives a lot of body to my hair.  I will, at some point try the drying process to see if it yields some soapiness, but I also know that there are more than one variety of Yucca and maybe I’m just not finding the exact one that’s soapy.

As long as my hair is clean and shiny.  I’m good to go.  And, just think of how much money I’m saving.

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Over 1,400 small businesses and community organizations in our directories, as of today.
We’re adding county and state-wide small business resources at the end of each directory as we identify them.  These will be, almost entirely, not-for-profit resources.
Don’t forget, we connect with you on Facebook and Twitter, repost your posts, retweet your tweets.  We have space for banner ads in our blogs and our directories.
Have a Great Day!

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