Buying from independent, locally owned businesses, rather than a nationally owned business, positively impacts you and your community. Local businesses are able to operate in their local communities. It’s easy for them to bring their products to their consumers because their consumers are nearby. Take a farmers market for example—shoppers are able to easily walk or bike to their local market to shop the stalls. Local food also doesn’t create large carbon footprints through overseas plane travel or long truck trips. This cuts down on fuel consumption and air pollution. By buying local, you avoid the processing, packaging, heating, and refrigeration that transporting food long distances entails.
On the other hand, with larger grocery and department stores, they usually aren’t able to be located so centrally. Because these larger retailers require more space, they often have to move towards the edge of town. That means consumers are forced to drive to these stores, which increases their fuel consumption and carbon footprint. If shoppers are purchasing online, particularly the common practice of frequently purchasing a few items at a time, it creates an excess amount of packaging waste. Not only that but online items tend to come from different distribution centers, increasing the greenhouse gas emissions per item.
BENEFITS OF BUYING LOCAL:
- Reduction of carbon emissions and air pollution
- Energy, gasoline and fossil fuel usage is reduced
- Decrease typical packaging waste, such as paper and plastic waste.
- Create more local ownership and good jobs
- Invest in community
- Better customer service
- Encourage local prosperity
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