Locavore at what cost?

I pride myself on being a locavore … most of the time.

Over the holiday, I experienced intense flu symptoms. My assistant Carlie set out to make me elderberry syrup which I had seen recommended by many parents in our community. Elderberries, which are also know as sambucus or sambucol, have long been used to prevent and treat the symptoms of the common cold and flu. These berries are rich in anti-oxidant flavinoids and anti-inflammatory anthocyanin.

Since I value supporting the local community, Carlie went to the New Seasons in my neighborhood to buy elderberries. She discovered that they don’t carry them. I called Clary Sage Herbarium, also in my neighborhood in Portland and they had organic elderberries for 2.40 an ounce, which would have been 19.20 for the cup called for in the recipe we planned to follow. The woman whom I inquired with at the Herbarium explained that the relatively high cost was due to the fact that the elderberries were locally grown.

Organic elderberries are sold via our Amazon affiliation for .71 an ounce. They are sold via our Mountain Rose Herbs affiliation for just over 1.00 an ounce. Significantly less.

These are the kind of conundrums I face sometimes. Do I spend more to honor my desire to support a locally grown item from a local business or do I spend less to honor my commitment to my own financial sustainability. Of course, one purchase of this kind will not tip the balance one way or another but, these are the kind moments when I am not sure that I want to spend the money required to fully live into my values.

What do to with a microwave?

Here is another one. My new home in Portland came equipped with what others have described to me as a high quality  microwave. I don’t use a microwave, nor do we recommend that anyone else use one either. It is not built in so I am not stuck with it.

So, what do I do with it? Sell it, give it away, throw it away? I don’t necessarily want to earn money on an item we don’t recommend, but I question whether to give it away for others to use, when I don’t actually want them to use it? Do I throw it away and fill the landfill? Oy.

What guides your decisions?

I envision I am not alone as I face these moments of choice between different values. How have you decided what to do in moments like these?

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