Wednesday 15 December 2010

Shop Local, Buy Local

Now that the seasonal shopping period is underway the Green Party in Lagan Valley is urging shoppers to choose local products from local outlets.
Campaign coordinator and Lisburn South spokesperson, Dr Luke Robinson said “With the Christmas spending season in full swing, it’s more important than ever to support your local shops and businesses.
Local shopping can be good for your health, wallet, time, and for the environment. Most of us don’t take into consideration the effects our car-centric lifestyles have on the environment.”
The Greens point out that using the stores in the local community often doesn’t require car travel and provides other benefits, such as:
1. It’s far more pleasant to catch up with a local retailer you know personally, rather than dealing with a stranger. And you’ll probably find a better suited product when the seller knows you.
2. It saves time and money. You won’t be driving great distances, and you’ll probably be spending less time waiting in queues, and without having to find parking. You save money by saving petrol, too.
3. Local purchases have a lower impact on the local environment. When you buy a local product, you reduce your petrol emissions by driving less. And by using stores that require a shorter distance to deliver those products to them, you reduce emissions from delivery vehicles.
4. Friendship and trust. You are more likely to trust a familiar person who lives in your neighbourhood, and who understands what your consumer needs are better than a stranger would.
Luke continues “I understand that the big chains often provide a good variety of products, but I still feel like giving my local community shop a chance. From my personal experience, I prefer to go to the local market for a few reasons. Firstly, I can walk there, which provides me with some exercise and fresh air. Secondly, I feel welcomed, instead of being overwhelmed by a long queue and a tired cashier. Lastly, I get to know my community. For those last couple of weeks of Christmas purchases, think about shopping local!”

Lisburn Man Quinn as Lagan Valley's Stormont Candidate

Conor Quinn, Green Party candidate for Lagan Valley
The Green Party in Northern Ireland has selected Lisburn man Conor Quinn as their candidate for Lagan Valley in the forthcoming Assembly elections. The selection was ratified by the party’s Northern Ireland executive committee following a recent selection convention.
Commenting on his selection, Mr Quinn said “It is a genuine privilege for me to be selected by my party as their candidate for Lagan Valley. I find that many people are disillusioned with politics. My candidacy will give the people of Lagan Valley a truly progressive alternative to the established party blocs in Northern Ireland. The Green Party will be campaigning to ensure that Northern Ireland’s economic recovery is sustainable and that the local political system becomes effective.
“I joined the party over my concerns for climate change and the need to develop a sustainable economy in Northern Ireland. Green Party thinking is based around four key ‘pillars’: a fair society, strong local democracy, non-violence and environmental sustainability. If elected to the Assembly I will continue to fight against the proposed chicken waste incinerator at Glenavy and to ensure that Lisburn gets the best solution for the proposed John Lewis store. As a party, we also want to restructure the local food chain so more of the economic benefit goes to farmers and primary producers. We will look to retain Lisburn City Council and put in place mechanisms to ensure citizens’ concerns are raised effectively at local government.
“Of course, it goes without saying that we are a cross-community party. We are the only truly ‘post-conflict’ political party in Northern Ireland and believe in fully celebrating the identities and cultures in Northern Ireland.  We work North-South and East-West with our sister parties throughout Europe.
“Having made history in 2007 by electing Brian Wilson, the first Green MLA, we are confident that we will increase Green representation in the Assembly. We will then put our political energy into making Stormont work and to reducing the worst effects of the budgetary cuts. The Lagan Valley Greens will also be putting forward a number of candidates for Lisburn City Council and we will be asking the people of Lisburn to make their own bit of history by electing Lisburn’s first Green councillors. We look forward to meeting as many people as possible on the campaign trail.”
A chartered engineer by profession, Mr. Quinn graduated from Queen’s University Belfast with a first-class degree and completed a Master’s in Business Administration at Trinity College Dublin. He is currently Chair of the Green Party in Northern Ireland and sits on the party’s all-island policy Council. He lives in the Harmony Hill area of Lisburn and is married with two children.