We are independent booksellers; we are rooted to and responsive to our community. We employ locals as booksellers and sell local author and artist works, but we also keep our business dollars close to home by using local services such as printers, advertising media, maintenance, and so forth. You've probably read the stats about local business dollars having more impact and staying in their own communities longer. This is true, but there are other bonuses to local business, and things we do just because we recognize that we are a piece of the community fabric. Here are some of them.
Keep it Local
We are members of the Larchmere Merchants Association, which helps keep the businesses on Larchmere Boulevard vibrant and eccentric. There's not a single chain store on our street of old-world shops and services! We also help organize street-wide events like the Larchmere Festival (together with the Larchmere Community Association), which helps bring the community together and to broadcast its charm beyond our local streets.
Every year, schools, literary organizations, arts organizations, health organizations and other non-profits seek our help to bolster their bottom line with contributions to their fundraisers. We donate to them all.
We also feature a street-wide fundraising event in March to commemorate International Women's Day. We partnered with Seeds of Literacy, donating 20% of our sales that day, in addition to a large book donation for their students.
The Larchmere Merchants Association, along with the local Community Development Corporation, SHAD, and other community stakeholders, worked on a Larchmere Master Plan in 2010. This document has been crucial in pursuing projects like the Murals on Larchmere, and the huge Streetscape Renovation in 2014. We are active and vocal participants in these community projects.
We are masters of recycling. Not only do we sell used books, a form of upcycling itself, but we dutifully recycle every piece of cardboard, paper, glass, plastic and metal that passes through our hands. For the most part that's paper and cardboard, but there's always plenty of that. For books we decline to purchase, we make recommendations for other potential purchasers or donation recipients.
On the energy side, we try to conserve and keep our usage to a reasonable level. We even have jars in the toilet bowls to decrease the amount of water used on each flush. Our front sign is lit by a single solar panel in a closed off-grid system. In 2013, we added six solar panels to the roof to help offset our carbon footprint.