How Shopping Locally Helps the Environment!

In recent years we have become much more aware of the environmental impacts of everything we do. A major thing that we do on almost a daily basis is shop, therefore it is a large contributor to environmental impacts. Shopping locally is much better for the environment than shopping at chain retailers, and there are many different reasons for this. 

There are many good things that come out of not having your goods travel as far

Most chain retailers’ products have to travel a long distance to get to the shelf. Why this is worse for the environment is easily understandable. The farther it comes, the more gas it uses, which translates to greenhouse gas emissions. The more maintenance needed for whichever kind of transportation it is on. As well as the need for more packaging and packaging and shipping facilities. 

Not only does one product need to travel many miles, but many of the elements that make up each of those products also have to travel a long distance. This adds up quickly and greatly. So it is obvious that the less of a distance that products must travel, the better it is for the environment. Most local businesses put a lot of effort into getting locally sourced products and having the shortest travel distance miles possible on their final products that they sell. On average local businesses products have 26% less miles than chain retailers’ products. 

Local food by local businesses

These facts are especially true when it comes to buying food. As food is a major commodity that often travels a long distance to get to our plates. One thing that is not great is that food that travels a long distance must also have more preservatives added, therefore local foods do not. Local farmers also often use organic pesticides rather than mass spraying their fields with a toxic pesticide. This is not only healthier for us, but any kind of toxic spray like that is not good for the environment. It contributes to air and water pollution. Less food miles also translate to less wasted food, as food having to travel so far often goes bad before it even hits the shelves.

Local business owners care more

Being a local business owner often inspires more of a sense of accountability, unlike at chain retailers. Many local business owners locally source their products as they understand the importance of doing so, of buying from other local businesses and the environmental impacts of it. Although it is likely because they believe it is the best thing to do, they also may feel accountable, as they are part of their community, people know them, and people would expect the best of them. Many local businesses focus on helping the environment, or even just the type of business they have does this, such as a consignment store. 

Another way that shopping local helps the environment is that local businesses are often more accessible. This is because they cater to the local people of the communities they are in, meaning the locals can generally easily walk or bike to the local shops, reducing their emissions. 

Improve local biodiversity

When you buy food locally it aids in protecting local wildlife and lands. The reason for this is that the land being used for the farms are not being sold to developers who often transform it in a way that is bad for the environment and the wildlife that it supports. It could be even worse if big businesses buy it out and do farm practices that are inhuman and horrible for the environment. They may partake in unethical farming practices, and take away the habitat of local wildlife. The reason that buying locally prevents this is because when you support these local farmers they are able to keep up with operating their farms in an ethical way that is not bad for the environment, and does not destroy habitats. 

Moving away from fast fashion

Consignment stores are a relatively popular local business concept. Consignment stores are one very good way to reduce waste/pollution. They diminish waste by cutting down on travel miles, trash, etc. By consigning your clothes or shopping at consignment stores you are minimizing the amount of new clothes that have to be made, therefore the new trash that will be accumulated. The majority of textiles do not disintegrate, so they end up sitting in landfills or getting into the ocean. 

Although there are already a lot of clothes made and still being made that are considered fast fashion, we are becoming more aware of the detrimental effects of it, and the more we move away from it, the better it is for the environment. Not all clothes were made cheaply or with unacceptable methods, but many were, and even if not, reusing is still beneficial. Although consigning is great, of course we are going to buy new clothes sometimes. Local clothing stores are also better to buy at than chain retail stores, as they don’t cut corners and use unethical methods the way they do.

How you can “Locate Local” businesses

As you can see, shopping locally helps the environment in many ways. From shopping local food to fashion and much more. If we want to help the environment, we must put in the effort to shop locally, which takes minimal effort. Locate Local can assist with this as it provides a local business directory, which makes shopping locally easy and rewarding. 

Locate Local also highlights the values that different businesses have, so you can even find out if the store locally sources their products, etc. There are many other benefits to shopping locally, but this is a big one. Why not do your part, while also helping out yourself by signing up for Locate Local!