Buying local is one of the best ways to support Alaskan businesses affected by the pandemic. The BuyAlaska program estimates that a $20 shift in weekly spending to Alaskan businesses generates an additional $103 million circulating through the state’s economy and creates almost 6,000 Alaskan jobs.
Over the years, Alaska’s industries and state government have developed several initiatives to help consumers make sustainable and locally beneficial choices. To make things easy, labels and symbols have been created. Shoppers can look for these when booking travel arrangements, buying food products, and making other purchases either in person or online.
Silver Hand. Identifies authentic Native crafts made by indigenous Alaskan artists who’ve been vetted by the Alaska State Council on the Arts. Only original contemporary and traditional Alaska Native artwork created by hand in Alaska may bear the Silver Hand seal.
Polar Bear & Cub. The “Made in Alaska” label for locally created goods. Products must be 51% or more produced in Alaska to use the polar bear and cub logo.
Alaska Grown. Highlights farm products cultivated in Alaska. To display the Alaska Grown logo, items must be 100 percent locally grown, except for processed foods, which must have 75% Alaska-grown ingredients.
Adventure Green Alaska. An independent program to recognize companies with sustainable tourism certification. To qualify, businesses must meet certain economic, environmental, social, and cultural sustainability standards.
Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute. Established by state law in 1981 to promote the health and nutritional benefits of Alaskan-sourced seafood. Recipes for salmon, halibut, and more can be found at alaskaseafood.org.
Buy Alaska. An internet-based directory of more than 600 Alaskan-owned businesses encouraging consumers to “think local first.” Shop online via their virtual marketplace or sign up for a free monthly newsletter at buyalaska.com.