Benefits Of Shopping Local: Does It ACTUALLY Help The Environment? 🍎
Benefits Of Shopping Local 🍎: Gone are the days wherein as a consumer, folks would shop from a big name, national company. Nowadays, people much prefer buying from their local business owners.
I personally love the idea of shopping locally. “Why?”, you ask. Well, that is because of the numerous benefits it provides, especially from an environmental perspective. But, is this really a good thing? How does shopping locally help the environment? Let me discuss this.
A bit about Waster
Before we tackle the benefits of shopping locally, let me share with you more information about Waster itself.
We here at Waster provide you with innovative solutions for your and your business’s waste management and recycling needs. Furthermore, we provide flexible, 30-day contracts instead of the typical lock-in contracts, which proves to be better.
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Discussing the “Shop Local” trend
As a health maniac myself, I love the idea of knowing where my food comes from and how the local farmers treat it. As such, I find so many benefits in shopping local. And I know many of you will agree with me. But take note, it is not just for health enthusiasts. It is also for environmentalists who wish to have a more sustainable planet.
What kind of food can consumers buy locally? It can be fruits, vegetables, dairy products, eggs, and meat from local farms. What makes it so popular nowadays? Or more importantly, what benefits do we gain from shopping locally? I will separate them into two parts and enumerate them.
As I have stated above, knowing what you buy is a godsend. This proves beneficial for you and your family’s diet. The health benefits of shopping locally include (inspired by Arrowquip):
No preservatives added
Before discovering the benefits of shopping local, the majority of the people used to buy food not hailing from their area. But food spoils fairly fast from long road trips.
As a result, it is sprinkled with preservatives to ensure longevity. This might be okay if we are talking about natural preservatives. But no, some resort to synthetic ones. Adverse health effects of synthetic preservatives include breathing problems (like asthma and bronchitis), and obesity; or it can even make people contract something much worse, which is cancer.
But you can avoid all of these if you buy locally. Farmers from your area providing food in your local supermarkets do not need to add preservatives because delivering it from there is fast and short. This gives you a chance to live a healthy life.
Chemical repellant free
Another benefit of shopping local also includes enjoying your food pesticide and insecticide-free! Local food manufacturers usually choose to use natural repellants to preserve the food’s health.
As such, this proves different on buying from large-scale businesses, as they use chemically-produced repellants like insecticides and pesticides.
Adverse health effects of consuming food containing chemical repellants include nausea, diarrhea, stomach cramps, and more.
Added nutritional value
Obviously, eating food grown locally gives you more nutrition. Considering the two benefits above, this makes the food healthier. Additionally, it is fresher than the food produced by large retailers.
Safer to eat
As opposed to mass-produced food from large-scale companies, food from local markets proves safer to consume. Rest assured that when you buy food produced from your local area, you reduce the risk of eating food deemed unsafe.
But this proves false otherwise because buying food, not from your area increases the risk of food contamination. Imagine your food going through different people; that is scary to think about if you ask me.
Aside from health benefits, there are also environmental benefits to shopping locally. This includes the following (inspired by Gogreen):
Obviously, food being delivered from faraway places results in more fuel consumed. Large vehicles and aeroplanes delivering food eat up so much gas. As a result, this produces more harmful carbon emissions, creating large carbon footprints. As such, buying locally produced food from local market owners reduces all of that.
You ensure the reduction of the environmental impact of your food. We will never need the likes of fuel-heavy transportation if people practise this. You can buy it yourself without the need to travel far places and use your car. Instead, you can ride a bike or even walk to your local market.
Additionally, large-scale manufacturers use up so much packaging to protect the food during the transportation period. Conversely, to the local market’s convenience, this is not necessarily needed in transporting locally produced food to the local market. Read our blog on how to reduce packaging waste.
As I have stated above, not buying locally translates to more fuel consumed. And that also means more natural resources are used up. By shopping locally, you help reduce natural resource consumption. Resources such as oil and natural gas will be used less if we shop more in our own local area.
Supporting the workforce
Another environmental benefit of shopping local is supporting the workforce producing and distributing the food. By doing so, you help local farmers and market owners keep their respective jobs. Additionally, you also help support the jobs hidden to us like the stall-setters of markets, janitors who clean up the market by the end of the day, etc.
Without us demanding their products, they may lose their livelihood. This would result in more people seeking jobs elsewhere, adding more carbon footprint due to fuel consumption.
Questioning the benefits of shopping local
Although many people agree that shopping locally has its benefits, there are also some who see it differently. According to a study conducted by the UK University of Exeter, shopping locally may not be as good for the environment as opposed to having food delivered.
The study done by the researchers compared trips to a local farm shop with companies that deliver organic vegetable boxes to their customers. The following was stated:
The study found that if the average car journey made to a farm shop is a round-trip of more than 6.7km, then home delivery was a better option even if the competing farm shop used no lighting, heating or chilling. While a delivery van will travel up to 360km to deliver an organic vegetable box, this trip will cover a large number of addresses so the carbon emissions per customer will be surprisingly low.
But even then, many would still agree that shopping locally is the way to go.
Benefits of shopping local: conclusion
- Shopping locally is now the trend as opposed to buying from large-scale companies.
- Shopping locally has many health and environmental benefits.
- One study claims that shopping locally is not sustainable for the environment as we all know.
Waster: things you need to know
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