Buy Local for Sustainable Holiday Shopping

Want to be green this Christmas? Bill Chaudoir has a two-word idea for you:  Buy Local.

“At least think locally,” Chaudoir said. “So many people when they’re in the holiday shopping mode, they automatically assume you have to go to Green Bay, Appleton or even Minneapolis to have selection or whatever else they think they need. Before you jump in the car, think about it. Is it possible to find what you’re looking for locally?”

Chaudoir is executive director of the Door County Economic Development Corporation and a driving force behind the Door County Buy Local (DCBL) initiative (, which has largely been a business networking group since it was founded three years ago, but always with the idea of branching out to the public. This holiday season is time to do so, the group decided.

“To date we’ve targeted mostly the business sector, trying to get them more familiar with other local businesses and being more comfortable referring their customers to other local businesses, trying to grow that awareness and benefits of doing business locally,” Chaudoir said. “Basically, the theme of our holiday program is think local first this holiday season. We hope there will be a noticeable click in the buy local consciousness.” 

The group has come up with a few good reasons to buy local.

1. It enriches our local community when you spend money locally, it’s like recycling money in our community and more of it stays in the community.

2. It supports the creation of additional jobs. Chaudoir said the University of Wisconsin Extension did some research into buying locally and found that increasing local spending by just one percent can translate into 56 new jobs. “Not a big movement of the needle and a significant number of jobs,” Chaudoir said.

3. It keeps tax money local for the many services taxes provide.

4. The sustainability aspect. When you burn less gas traveling out of the county to shop, it’s good for everybody.

5. You are more likely to get better service and support from a business that’s owned by a neighbor and friend.

“We understand you can’t buy everything you might need in Door County, but think about your purchase before you spend time and money traveling,” Chaudoir said.