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buy local

With the new year upon us, everyone is busy making resolutions to change their lives for the better. While committing to exercise more, eat better, and quit smoking are all laudable goals, why not also set a goal to improve the lives of people in your community?
As I travel, I'm learning how dire it is when these companies with massive international funds behind them invade and usurp regional cultures with global products that have no soul, no passion, and certainly no emotional resonance for those regions.
Like many, I know summer is here when my calendar starts to fill up with a variety of activities -- barbecues, sporting events, patio time, family road trips, picnics and cottage time. Who doesn't want to take advantage of this time of year before the Canadian winter takes hold again? But, there's a hitch -- cost.
Not only is it fun to walk through colourful stalls of produce, flowers, and baked goods, it's a great way to support local farmers and stock up on wholesome ingredients. There always seems to be a new ingredient or product I haven't tried and I love getting to know the local vendors and businesses that work so hard to help us get fresh, delicious food on our plates! There really is nothing like fresh ingredients to really add that extra touch to a home cooked meal.
It comes as no surprise that Canadians like their local breweries and prefer Canadian beer -- plenty of which will be enjoyed this coming Canada Day. Beer, second to local food, tops the list as the product most Canadians prefer to buy Canadian, according to a new study by Ebates.ca. The decision to purchase Canadian products extends beyond economic benefits. Successful businesses can also give back to the community through sponsorship, charity and contributions to the arts, culture and sports, and locally sourced products means a reduced carbon footprint.
These factors have brought hard times to some industries and uncertainty about the impacts to the Canadian economy as the whole. While uncertainty is never comfortable, it can present some opportunities and challenges depending on your situation or sector. Here are three to watch for the rest of the year.
The holidays are a time when we make a special effort to spread joy and generosity with family, friends and our communities. So this holiday season when you're stuck trying to find that special gift that's beyond ordinary and extra thoughtful, think local.
Summer is a good time to get kids interested in fresh, locally-grown fruits and vegetables. Whether it's fresh corn, or watermelon