In a world where our list of options for places to shop is so huge, we often base our decisions on what’s most convenient at the time. However, there’s plenty of decision-making factors we tend to not think about.
Here’s ten reasons why choosing to shop locally can be rewarding for you and your community:
1. Encourages product diversity
Local business are more likely to have greater product diversity since what they’re selling is based on not only their own interests, but also the interests of the community, which eliminates the idea of selling based on a national sales plan. This provides a much broader range of local goods.
2. Creates more job opportunities
There’s always someone in need of a job, and when you support local businesses, you help create opportunities for employment.
3. Keeps money in the local economy
When you spend your money at chain stores, you’re often giving wealthy people more money, with little to no benefit to your local community. When you spend money locally, a much large amount of that money stays within the community.
4. Builds a strong community
Independent businesses are run by residents just rather than boards, which allows residents within your community to be the leaders in giving the community its distinct aesthetic and character. Meaningful human interactions are becoming uncommon, but going to a local shop or farmers’ market is a great opportunity to meet the people behind the product.
5. Supports local agriculture
Smaller local farms offer a variety of fresh, organic produce you may not be able to find at the supermarket. Buying foods from local farmers also removes the middleman, allowing the farmers to receive full retail price for their products, which helps them to continue doing what they’re doing.
6. Locally grown foods are healthier
More sustainable farming practices generally result in more nutritious produce. Fruits and vegetables start losing nutrients 24 hours after being picked, and the time it takes for local food to get from the farm to your table is significantly shorter than foods being imported from other parts of the world.
7. Locally grown foods are safer
The less steps between the source of your food and your table, the less room there is for food safety issues. The journey of food grown in distant locations includes harvesting, washing, shipping and distributing, which allows a lot more room for quality to be lost.
8. Less plastic
When you shop at a local farmers’ market, you’ll likely bring along reusable bags. Using reusable bags and buying products that aren’t unnecessarily packaged in plastic is a great way to cut back on plastic waste.
9. Preserves open land
When you buy from local farmers it helps their business thrive, allowing them to continue using the land for farming. Without farmers occupying this land, there’s a risk of the suburbs expanding into that space.
10. Reduces your carbon footprint
Something being grown in your area requires significantly less transportation to make it to your table. Less transportation being used means less air pollution. The transportation industry is a significant contributor to global warming, and buying local is one easy way to be a little bit more environmentally friendly.