By Georgia Carter
Big brands have overtaken the market. Many of us happily spend our time and money on products and services from global corporations without thinking about the economic and environmental impacts our consumer habits inflict.
When we purchase goods from major names that have stores across the world, we’re hampering the planet and our local economy.
The fossil fuels used for production and transportation are hazardous enough, but add in the carbon emissions that result in increased air pollution and the plastic waste from packaging, and you have a natural disaster.
However, there is a simple yet effective sustainable solution to this dangerous practice - shopping local.
Personal Benefits of Shopping Local
We’re all looking for ways to improve our lives, and what if I was to tell you that keeping your consumerism more locally-based will aid in the betterment of your life as a whole?
As mentioned before, when we shift our shopping to become more locally-based, we’re essentially letting the local vendor know what we as a community want and need, and therefore helping them stock up on our local demands. This equates to a better selection of products and services that best suits the community, instead of global demands that take the whole world into consideration.
When purchasing food and produce from a local farmer, the food is often fresher. It’s brought straight from the farm, requires less to no chemicals to both grow and store, and it’s generally more organic and thus healthier for you. These crops also tend to come at a slightly more affordable rate, saving you money and time while improving your overall wellbeing.
Simply put, buying local produce and food is the paragon for a healthier life.
Caption: Purchasing produce from a local farmers market not only benefits the environment and economy, but also aids in a healthier lifestyle as fresher, organic crops increase in demand and therefore supply.
Credit: Megan Markham, Unsplash
The Environmental Benefits of Shopping Locally
While there are numerous economical and personal benefits to shopping locally, the environmental benefits are paramount.
Below is a list of ways shopping local positively impacts the Earth:
1. Starting from the farming lands, shopping local helps fund organic farmers. These farmers generally use less pesticides, a decreased amount of electricity used for storage and refrigeration, and aid in healthy soil regeneration. This, in turn, also protects the natural insect population required to properly pollinate the crops.
2. Supporting local farmers means that less land is sold off to large developers, helping maintain and preserve the natural surroundings and wildlife that reside in these ecosystems.
3. When purchasing products from major retailers, many modes of transportation are used to supply and provide said items. The fossil fuels emitted through transport are both unnecessary and hazardous to humans and the environment as a whole. But, when you buy local, you’re helping reduce an estimated 26% of fossil fuels emitted through transportation, further conserving fuel which the world is fast running out of.
4. As a result of the immense amount of fossil fuels emitted from large companies, air pollution has become another detrimental environmental issue. However, you can help decrease air pollution by shopping local as this reduces transportation, the use of electricity for refrigeration, and the reduced use of pesticides.
5. There is limited packaging when it comes to shopping locally. Because there are no warehouses involved, nor a wide range of products to be sold, and no shipping required, there is less packaging. This further reduces fossil fuels due to those needed to create the plastic packaging, and decreases the amount of plastic pollution made from single-use packaging.
Overall, shopping locally reduces carbon emissions, plastic and air pollution, aids in healthy soil regeneration, protects insects, conserves fuel and electricity, and preserves natural land and wildlife.
Caption: Supporting local farmers cultivates healthy agricultural practices and the regeneration of land.
Credit: Marcus Winkler, Unsplash
Shopping local is the way to go when it comes to easy and effective sustainable solutions. If we can all try our best to research, learn, understand, act, and share ways to protect the environment, we’ll be the trailblazers for a healthier future on this planet.