Consume less, shop local |

Consume less, shop local

Fredric Butler, Eagle

Eagle deserves better than Eagle River Station.

Who are the “we” that deserve better affordable housing, cheaper consumer goods and the convenience of not having to drive up or downvalley to service our materialism on a grand (big box) scale?

The phrase ” “I will have to do without, if I can’t afford it or procure it in my SUV or on my fossil fuel steed” is nonexistent in our vernacular.

Why must Americans deserve more than the rest of the world? With only 4 percent of the population, why does America deserve to consume 25 percent of the world’s energy? The recent article written by Sarah Braucht (Vail Daily, Sept. 8) in support of Eagle River Station is “self-deserving.”

To preserve the West in Eagle, I would opt for shopping via taking the ECO bus to Avon once a month to avail myself of a big box (if I were so desperate) or shop at the locally owned stores that make up the fabric of historic Eagle (all of which have very affordable items and cater “mostly” to locals not tourists!), e.g., The Eagle Pharmacy, Boys’ Toys, Kidtopia, Everyday Outfitters, Alpine Ambiance, In Kahoots (if they would have my size) to name but a few.

However, with my age, wants and gender, I would be satisfied with a stroll to the Post Office for my mail-order catalogues and I do not even deserve that! Eagle has its own identity and should not deserve to be like Glenwood Springs, Avon, Grand Junction or Denver merely to meet the convenience” of a few.

Why does Eagle have to compete with Glenwood Springs, Avon, Grand Junction, Denver, etc. for big boxes, and the inevitable vehicular chase of the sales tax dollar? Why must a consumer shop once every other a week, unless its for food? Could we sacrifice that luxury and maybe shop once a month, and in doing so, spare Eagle the mall sprawl of those towns that are ahead of us in new-age thinking. To break out of this recession and secure a meaningful future for our children, could we eschew consumption for awhile and enter the venue of production, manufacturing, strolling on foot or even art appreciation? I dare say that there are those in this world that would be delighted to have at least one wholesome meal a week. As members of the human race, would they deserve better? In that case, I would say yes!

The author of that recent article assures us that the pain of losing our small town ambiance will be short-lived, since the younger generations won’t remember their heritage ” only if they happen to read history. The small town of Eagle was built by the efforts of individuals (not corporations) and it’s marketing style is of the ma and pa genre. The concept that Eagle River Station brings to the valley is alien and akin to the large corporate genre. In other words, a village does not build a big box, but an impersonal and foreign corporation sure can!

A small and intimate village can certainly contribute to the raising of a child! I have a business on Broadway in Eagle and everyday I see children riding bikes, skateboards or just running up and down the street ” safely! You know, I have never witnessed that spectacle on the business routes or mall parking lots in Glenwood Springs. Their downtown has a major highway running through it and is on the way to Aspen where the big money is, and we wonder why “most” downtown businesses have survived Glenwood Meadows Mall? That entire valley caters to all of the Western Slope and 85 percent of their tourists have come from the Front Range of Denver according to last week’s article in The Aspen Times (Sept. 8).

You can’t have it both ways ” sprawl and “Mayberry.” Nor can you rationalize the disappearance of the small retailer if the corporate big box enters its marketplace! What with the current fatality rate of many large malls across the land (as recently reported in the Wall Street Journal) will Eagle’s ma and pa shops will survive the destruction wrought by Eagle River Station were it to be developed?

It all boils down to a matter of priorities. Do you opt for the mega-mall in your backyard with all the congestion and pollution that it brings? Or, do you preserve an environment that enhances your children’s safety and upbringing? Which do you believe your children deserve?

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