Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Could I do without a Wal-Mart

Poking around on a friend's blog, she mentioned her closest Wal-Mart is 45 minutes away. She lives in the definition of "small town", and loves the community feel of it all. When we were looking for our first home to buy, we chose this town because it had the small town feel, with all the conveniences of the big box shopping stores. I can walk to ANYTHING I need in less than 20 minutes. This was important knowing I wasn't going to have regular access to a car.

However I'm starting to wonder if this convenience is really necessary. What would happen if I moved to a small town in the truest sense? How often do I really need to get out quickly to a Wal-Mart, Canadian Tire, Staples, etc? I imagine myself living in town (still within walking distance to a small grocery store, convenience store, main strip, etc), with a good size backyard for running and neighbours I really know? Even in our town now of 25,000 I don't know too many people on my street. There is just something about living in a small town that says "know your neighbours".

As I slowly (very slowly) adopt the "buy less" attitude, I'm realizing that being central and within walking distance to my needs does not necessarily mean close proximity to big box stores. Imagine the imagination my children would develop when a field, a forest, a group of friends, an adventure, are what they have for entertainment. I'm not looking to buy another house anytime soon, but I've certainly readjusted my requirements.


Anonymous said...

Have you seen the WalMart documentary "The High Cost of Low Prices"?

Terri-Ann said...

Just watched the documentary (James had seen it as "Union training" when he worked at Chrysler!). It made me feel a little helpless - is there a way to escape it all? Will I feel guilty next time I use something that I can't trace it's origin? It also sort of made me want to move to that Amish community they talked about.

I loved the ending that gives hope about opposing Wal-Marts. But I was a little disheartened at one thing. I just happened to catch "Brampton, Ontario" as one of the cities that had claimed "victory" in opposing the building of a Wal-Mart. The film was made in 2005. There were already TWO Wal-Marts in Brampton by then.

I know documentaries are biased - they are meant to be. And I don't doubt much of what they presented was true. But it makes me question the credibility when I see something that is false... ah, that sense of hopelessness reappears again.

But a fantastic piece to make you rethink and consider your spending habits and the world of the corporation. Thanks for the recommendation!

Terri-Ann said...

NOTE - I just emailed the makers of the film inquiring into this "fact" - I'll see what I get back in response.