During an economic recession, it seems sensible to try to reduce spending by purchasing the cheapest products possible from large chain stores. However, it is during these times that supporting your local businesses is more important than ever. Locally owned businesses are an essential part of the economy and by buying locally produced goods you are ensuring that your money is going back into your community.
Along with promoting economic sustainability, buying locally is also more environmentally friendly, as products travel far less than goods bought from big box retailers. The average food item travels over 1200 miles before it reaches your plate. Globalization has created conditions whereby the processes of production and consumption of a product are completely separate, creating more environmental damage than ever before via transportation and distribution of products. It has also created disconnected consumers who rarely consider where the product they are buying came from or where their money is going.
Each dollar spent within the local economy supports a dollar’s worth of employment and economic value, and if the dollar continues to circulate within the community, it generates several dollars of employment; one dollar spent locally can therefore generate benefits larger than its original value. Putting money back into the community is the most important thing we can do as individuals to help bolster our economy.
By buying bread from your local bakery and fruits and vegetables from the local farmers market, you are significantly reducing your environmental impact. Less transportation of products means less energy consumption and less pollution. Foods produced locally are actually better for you because they have not lost nutritional value from sitting in cargo or on store shelves. When you buy locally, you know where your food is coming from and where your money is going; there are no corporate executives or middlemen taking a percentage of your payment.
Food products are not the only goods that provide economic and environmental benefits if bought locally. Supporting any local business benefits your community because you are supporting your neighbor’s employment, and in this way you are making your community healthier and safer by lessening the burden of this recession on others. Local businesses are more invested in the long-term health and prosperity of their community than giant corporations, and provide better paying jobs for more people. In order to promote a sustainable economy, we must become more conscious of our consumer choices.
For local farmer’s markets in your area visit this site.