Clear Fork Valley woman vows to give up ‘big boxes’ in lieu of locally-owned businesses

CLEAR FORK VALLEY — One local woman has done something that most people would find a sacrilege.

Nicole White is living by a rule she made for herself early this year.

She is no longer buying anything at a “big box” store.

Most people think of places like Costco or Sam’s Club as those kinds of stores.

But White made the determination at the start of 2018 that places like Kroger fit into that category.

She said she decided she wanted to be “intentional about what I buy” and decided that after having her three old daughter, Lydia.

She did lots of research and figured out she could do without using Walmart, Amazon, and others in addition to Kroger.

She decided she wanted to connect with local businesses and would patronize those instead of doing what some would think would be easier.

She made a set of rules.

She can buy within a 50-mile radius of her home. If she can’t find something locally, there is a process by which she will ask seven questions. If there is an emergency and something can’t be found locally, then visiting a “big box’ store is acceptable.

She said her husband, Andrew, said he was nervous about the prospect of giving up Amazon or the kinds of things one can get at a Whole Foods store. He was also worried about the “budget” aspect of this project.

They were surprised when they found costs averaged out. A few items might be a bit more expensive, but overall buying this new way was not more expensive.

White is a friend of Jocelin Whitaker, who owns Whitaker’s Market. She patronizes that market and has also used other local establishments. She has a website, where she posts things she has written about local entities.

Her business card says she is “kicking Big Box Store Dependency.”

She buys clothing at second hand stores.

Maintaining her home has worked well, she said. She lives in Mt. Gilead, and sometimes travels to Columbus to make purchases.

White said a problem is that people want to “consume, consume.”

Kids have so much stuff, she said.

She is trying to rear Lydia so that her life is built on “experiences instead of stuff.”

The go to a park, and meet friends there, she said. When they buy a toy, that, too, in “intentional.”

If Lydia wants a crown to dress up, that is made into an event where a trip to the toy store is a learning experience.

White has to eat dairy free, so she likes to buy something named “So Delicious,” a coconut creamer.

As for major things she wants, an item like organic bananas can be difficult, she said.

On her website, she posts a video every week. She does this so people can see how she is going about her project.

Friends have been supportive, she said. Some want to know how she is doing, in living with her convictions to avoid “big box” stores.

Others have asked how they could start doing the same thing.

She is happy to tell them “shopping local is 100 times worth it,” she said.

She said she is cooking in a more healthful way, and boxed, prepackaged foods are out.

People looking at her website have the benefit of seeing some of her own recipes. One is for her own personally prepared chicken stock.

Nicole White with her daughter, Lydia. Louise White with her daughter, Lydia. Louise





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