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Start-Shifting Checklist

When you think of your regular shopping, you might think 10% may be challenging to achieve.

But when you stop and think about all your household spending, 10% suddenly seems like only the starting point.

By this, we mean that once you start including bigger-ticket items that are part of your day-to-day life, it becomes easier to make your target. You’ll see what we mean when you take a look at some of our start-shifting checklist.

  1. Localize your home — Rent from a local landlord. If you own, switch your mortgage from one of the biggies to a community credit union or bank. And then, furnish your home using finished or raw products from local suppliers. You can see that making this switch alone could really help you make the shift!
  2. Become energy efficient — Add insulation, double pane your windows, replace the oil furnace with an energy-efficient furnace and much more. You can purchase all that locally and then save money when it’s installed.
  3. Get car smart — If you can sub in carpooling or transit as part of your daily commute, great. If you rely on a car, buy from a local dealer (rather than heading to the U.S. for a so-called ‘deal’), buy gas from a local, independent gas station, and get the car serviced at an independent garage.
  4. Eat out locally — Go to that local restaurant you’ve always talked about trying, rather than a national chain (particularly a fast-food chain).
  5. Buy fresh — While it may be a little more convenient buying fruit, veggies, baking, meat and more from the international supermarket, that is totally outweighed by the freshness and quality you’ll find at the local butchers, bakers or farm market.
  6. Support local retailers — For you, this is another quality issue. Will you get better quality and follow-up service from an international chain or an independent business whose existence relies on giving customers like you a great product and fantastic service?
  7. Play local — Unplug the Wii for awhile and get out to the local pool, go for a neighbourhood walk, take in a community play… there’s lots to do when you look around.
  8. Live local, live healthy — This means neighbourhood gyms, local physios and chiropractors, community assisted living (for mum and dad), and other healthy choices.
  9. Give locally — Contributing to bigger, national organizations is a great thing, and is often the best way to maximize the impact of your donation. But at the same time, look for local charities that can also use your help in making your community and families healthier and stronger.
  10. Make the most of the junk you have already — Rather than buy new, take a look at some of the appliances, furniture and other ‘junk’ you have around the house. And see if there are local options for getting it refurbished and working/looking as good as new.