Greetings from Goondiwindi in western Queensland! We are visiting this picturesque town for a few days, and I’ve been saving up both my dollars and also items for my shopping list. I once heard someone say that one of the best things you can do after an area has been hit by a natural disaster, like a fire or flood, is to go and spend money in the area. I think the same principle could be applied to rural Australia, much of which is often experiencing a disaster of a different sort, that of drought. So I have made the oddest assortment of purchases today. Mostly they are things I could have very easily bought at home, but if I’m going to buy them anyway, why not wait? Buying them from a small town will help support its local economy. Here’s a list of my purchases:
1.Goondiwindi has its own brand of clothing Goondiwindi Cotton from which the mauve jumper was purchased. Whilst in the store I also bought their Cottonseed Oil hand and body lotion. The clothes are now made off-shore, but the lotion is made in Australia.
2.I bought a few pairs of Humphrey Law socks – Humphrey Law is an Australian owned company and their socks are still made in Australia.
3.’Knit a dishcloth’ is an item on my project list. So I bought some cotton yarn and needles from a little sewing and craft shop in town. Not sure of the source of the cotton, but I noticed on the needles package that Birch is a wholly Australian owned company. I got the dishcloth idea from the Down to Earth blogspot. The blogger on this site, Rhonda Hetzel, has a great book called ‘Down to Earth: a guide to simple living’. Rhonda says she no longer uses sponges in the kitchen. So this is both a financial saving and also a sustainability initiative. Like it or not, all my friends are getting dishcloths for their next birthday! You can read about my experiences knitting my first dishcloths here.
4.So what am I doing with Borax and a candy thermometer? The former is to make my own washing liquid; and the latter is to make my own soap. I’ve been inspired by a friend Nev who recently turned up at a dinner with gifts for the guests comprising honey from his own bees and soap he had made himself! Perhaps I’ll leave the bee-keeping for another day, but Rhonda’s book has washing liquid and soap recipes so I’ll try these when we get home.
5.The white jeans were a serendipitous find. My last pair went to a charity months ago and I simply haven’t been able to find a replacement. I stopped looking, and of course then accidentally came across a pair in my shopping travels today. I’m not much of a brand person, but was delighted to get these perfect fit Mela Purdie jeans for less than half price. It added to my delight to see that they are made in Australia.
It’s probably evident that supporting Australian businesses as opposed to large foreign-owned corporations is very important to me. So is buying Australian made wherever possible. This is one way to keep our money in the country and support our own local communities.
Is there a rural town that you are visiting in the near future that could use some of your dollars? Are there things that you can hold off buying so that the money can be spent when you get there?