Unsplash | Lou Liebau
If you’re looking to do something positive with your purchasing dollars, look no further than your own community. Buying local products has many benefits, and you don’t need to go all-in to experience them, either. Even swapping a few regular food and beauty products or home decor pieces for local alternatives makes an impact on the planet, your neighbours, and the economy.
Not sure where to look? You can find local items at farmers’ markets, farms, locally-owned businesses, and artisan kiosks.
Here are 6 benefits of buying local:
1. You connect with the people who produce your products
When you shop local, you get to meet the people behind the products you bring into your life. This fosters a connection to your purchase. Nowhere is this more significant than when you buy locally-grown food from farmers. Meeting the people who put food on our tables enhances our appreciation for what we eat.
2. You boost your community’s economy
Spending money on locally-produced products is the best way to directly support your neighbours and stimulate the job market. It’s an investment in the future of your community and its potential for positive growth. Doesn’t that feel a whole lot better than spending your precious purchasing dollars on some faceless corporation?
3. You decrease your carbon footprint
Local products obviously travel much less distance from production to purchase than the things you buy from conglomerate stores or online. This helps you reduce your environmental impact, all while buying something you needed anyway.
4. You get access to fresher food
With less travel distance comes fresher food because you’re not waiting for those fruits and veggies to cross borders and then sit on shelves until you need them. Instead, you’re supporting the farm-to-table movement and reaping the benefits of fresher food that has more flavour and better texture.
5. You cut down on packaging
With less shipping comes less packaging. This is especially true when it comes to shopping at farmers’ markets where most things are entirely package-free or simply wrapped in paper.
6. You enjoy a better shopping experience
Instead of moving through crowded aisles at a massive store, you can stop and learn about the items you want to purchase. You can talk to the community member who made the bath salts and the artist behind the painting and the rancher behind the eggs. You can visit the farms where you food comes from and slow down and enjoy the experience of spending your hard earned dollars.