Why buying local is better for you, your community, economy, family and environmentApril 27, 2020
Reduce Transport Miles
One of the most important ways buying locally helps the environment is by reducing your transport miles. By shopping locally, you are purchasing goods produced in your local community. Conversely, when you shop at the grocery store or large corporation chain, many of the items you buy travel over 1500 kilometers or more to reach your house. By cutting down on these miles, you are reducing the environmental impact of your purchases. Local products don’t create large carbon footprints through overseas plane travel or long truck trips. This cuts down on fuel consumption and air pollution. There isn’t a need for shipping facilities, packing facilities or refrigeration.
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 Growzit for example – consumers are able to easily access lots of local homegrown produce without leaving their own community. Shoppers are able to easily browse local stalls and pay online knowing their purchases will be promptly delivered. 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 out of town. That means consumers are forced to drive to these stores, which increases their fuel consumption, carbon footprint and over all convenience.
By buying and eating local, consumers are able to enjoy produce that is fresh and nutritious. Many local producers pride themselves on keeping their product organic, hormone free and pesticide free. Not only is this beneficial to the consumer, it’s also beneficial to the environment. Keeping harmful toxins, like pesticides, out of the air helps to improve crops and air quality. In addition, because the produce is fresh and brought directly from farm to table, there is less waste. Many large retailers have significant food waste due to items going bad before they are bought. On a smaller scale with a more direct farm to table approach, this food waste is cut down.
By buying directly from local producers you are effectively buying at wholesale prices. A platform like Growzit helps cut out the middleman and the effective doubling of a products price that is systematic in the retail and corporate environment. Growzit allows customers to connect directly with producers cutting out this middleman.
Protects Local Land & Wildlife
Buying local also helps to protect local lands and wildlife. By buying local, you are supporting local farmers and producers. With your support, these farms are able to stay in operation. Because the farms are owned and operated by local farmers and producers, they aren’t being sold to local developers. Local developers could completely transform the land, devastating the wildlife that calls it home. Or, big business producers could buy out the farm and incorporate inhumane and non-eco-friendly farming practices.
Know where your food comes from
This is often something that not enough people consider. How is your food produced? What types of pesticides or herbicides are being used on your produce? Does the farmer use any form of permaculture? Does that natural body butter contain ingredients that use palm oil? This reason only really applies to farmers’ markets, but you and everyone else has the right to know where the food is coming from. This connects you to your food and allows you to choose healthier choices for yourself.
Supports a Local Workforce
Lastly, an added environmental benefit of buying locally is supporting the local workforce. For example, if you buy through Growzit, you’re helping to keep local growers, creators and farmers in their jobs. You’re also creating an opportunity for other local jobs such as the Growzit delivery drivers. All of these local businesses with local workers are in place because consumers are demanding local goods. Without that consumer demand, these local businesses may not exist. Many of the employees would have to seek work elsewhere, outside of the community. This would add to highway congestion and fuel consumption, enlarging the overall carbon footprint.
Retains wealth in a local economy
When you stand in the queue of a mass corporation or supermarket, do you ever wonder where the money you are spending goes? We can guarantee you one thing, only a tiny proportion of it will be retained within your local communities economy. When you buy local, your revenue stays local. When wealth is retained, more jobs will be created in your community, the community will prosper, and people will be more connected than ever to their own town. Your money helps businesses local to you and your community as a whole by wealth retention.
Helps your neighbours
Whether you are buying a product from the farmers’ market or using platform such as Growzit, you are not only supporting the local economy, but also supporting your neighbors. The farmer down the road, the mechanic that owns the local automotive repair shop, or the woman that sells her homemade skincare and bath products, appreciate their customers so much more. Why? Not only do they get to chat with you, but your support helps them and their businesses survive. You help feed their families, pay their bills, and put a roof over his or her family’s head. It is a huge deal to buy locally for this reason alone.
Going Local with Growzit
Growzit is South Africa’s online farmers market, a place where local producers and service providers can connect with local shoppers. A place where communities support each other for the common good.
Please take a few minutes enjoying browsing your local stalls.