– Gina Kingston – BeYouTifulStyle
With the advent of COVID-19 Australian’s have embraced online shopping to the extent that our letters are delivered less frequently so that more parcels can be delivered.
While on-lining shopping may assist with physical distancing, here are five reasons to don a mask, sanitise your hands and shop local; while physical distancing of course.
The first two are concerned with the limitations of online shopping, which the next three are reasons to stay local.
1. To know what you are getting
As an image and style consultant, I am all too aware of the difference between the online impressions and the reality when the final product arrives.
Colours can be faded, warmed, cooled or saturated so that you cannot tell the colour. Images can be enhanced, and design flaws hidden in online photographs.
You can’t tell how an item purchased online is going to feel. You don’t know if that beautiful blanket is going to be as soft as it looks, or how well that coffee cup will sit in the palm of your hand. Some things are better bought in person.
Take, for example, clothes. There are no standard sizes in clothes (and rightly so as we come in all different shapes and sizes) so getting a good fit requires trying things on in person.
While you can return online purchases, it isn’t a free solution. We pay for it with increased costs, more transportation emissions, and delays until we get what we were after.
2. Delays in overseas shipping
Many online purchases come from overseas. Due to reduced international flights, it can be hit and miss as to how quickly items from overseas are delivered.
The Australia Post website says, “There are still delays to all international destinations because of the impacts of COVID-19, including due to airline capacity and in-country delivery impacts”. My experience is that the same is true for items shipped from overseas.
If you want an item now, you are better buying local to make sure you get it in time.
3. To support local shops and keep jobs in Gungahlin
Gungahlin is coming of age as a community. Residents have invested time and effort to bring jobs to Gungahlin so that we don’t have to travel all over town to shop. We now have multiple supermarkets and department stores, a selection of boutique stores, and a variety of restaurants, hardware, pet and craft stores.
Shopping local helps keep the shops you buy from in business and with that local jobs. From the cafe where the workers spend their lunch or coffee break, to the local tax accountant, to the repairman who does odd jobs for the store, to the supply chain they use to source their goods.
As the ACT COVID-19 website says: “When you choose to support one local business, you are supporting the broader community”.
4. To minimise travel
Stage four restrictions in Melbourne required everyone to wear masks and shop within a 5km radius of their homes. While we are fortunate not to have this level of restrictions in place in Canberra at the moment, shopping local is a good habit.
It minimises travel, saves on petrol, and lets you get to know your local stores.
Shopping at your local Gungahlin supermarket, butcher and deli all assist with reducing the potential for transmission should COVID-19 reach Canberra again.
5. To grow our community
Finally, the most important reason for shopping local is to grow our community.
Going to the shops and supporting local business is not just about keeping jobs in Gungahlin, staying safe, or getting what you want when you want it, it is about keeping our community alive and growing. When we can’t travel to see friends and loved ones, being part of a community becomes more critical.
Shopping local lets you say hello to friends, smile at strangers, and generally, give yourself, and other people feel a sense of belonging.
It is these small things that will help us get through these unusual times.
As Helen Keller said: “Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much”.