Local buying has been an old concept to follow. But with the rage and awareness of SUSTAINABILITY and eco-conscious lifestyle, local buying and neighborhood markets, farmers market, farm shops, garden dinings, etc have come into the picture. It’s a great concept and one step forward towards a planet-friendly lifestyle. We really need to be very conscious of just picking things that are not produced around your area or imported across the oceans and countries. It is indeed not very cool to just buy things that have traveled heaps and miles to reach you
Let us read how only buying things that are locally produced and made can uplift the whole level of sustainability. Let’s throw some light on the issues that deal with getting your food from a morning or a night market near you. How impactful is it to just discard the imported good and just rely on simple not-so-perfect produce from your surroundings?
1. Promote cultural sustainability
When you do local buying, you are in a way preserving the heritage and culture. Local usually comes with traditional techniques and culture and when one buys stuff that is made locally, you are promoting and restoring the craft and roots of the particular place, people, or community.
2. Reduced distribution cost
Local buying cuts down on the distribution cost. What happens when you buy things from a supermarket is that it has lots of carbon footprint drawn to reach a particular place. Heavy cargo supplies via air, water, rail, and road. So local buying discard that cost and time and fossil fuels. Distribution cost is cut and hence is less traveled and that cost is not included in the same.
3. Reduced travel cost
As I just talked that since the produce is grown and sold locally, it will cut down on all the travel costs of the transportation of the produce. For example, if a product is grown at a particular place and another part of the world would want to eat it, then, in that case, that product needs to be traveled through various places to reach you which makes it very fuel-driven and not a good choice. Local buying will cut down on that cost.
4. Suitable to surroundings
Local buying is suitable for the environment and the surroundings. Nothing should be sustainable if it has been grown in an altered condition. Because it will be expensive and not a reproductive way of farming. Local buying suits the locality, geographic conditions, and promotes crop rotation. It is supposed to be believed that it generously follows ethical agricultural practices.
5. Usually, it is fresh
When we tend to buy things that are local, it is usually fresh. The reason being that local produce doesn’t travel much and is sold at the best stage of ripening. It is plucked and baked and cooked around the same time as planned to be sold.
6. Chemicals /preservative-free
Local produce is chemical-free and preservative less because they don’t feel the requirement to do as it doesn’t need to be preserved or chemically enacted to outsource from one particular place or area to another. It is full of natural freshness and organic procedures.
READ MORE : WHAT IS ORGANIC PRODUCE ?
7. Free from synthetic coatings
Usually, food products are washed and then dipped in synthetic coatings and wax solution and then are packed. This film remains on the product and is sold with that because the fruits and vegetables look quite attractive and catchy. This is pretty serious because it contributes to microplastic that ends up in the oceans and eventually ends up in our dinner plates and finally into the food chain.
8. No plastic packaging
When you see the food products in the supermarket and the big giant stores, you usually see them wrapped in the foam sheet and curdled with the plastic sheet. This is totally disturbing and is done because the food that is reached in the supermarkets is traveled a long distance and needs to be intact. This is totally useless and can be avoided when you buy and shop local produce. Just carry your fav reusable bag and get going.
9. Uplifts local economy
Supporting local gives a boost to the local economy and the money rotates within your community. Everyone prospers and work towards economic sustainability, uplifting the local produce, the rotational money remains with a certain community and booms the living standard and quality of life which also ends up empowering the social sustainability.
10. Creates jobs
If and when you buy local produce you tend to create more jobs because demand is directly related to supply and for high supply, you need more workforce. And high demand is hugely associated with the choices you make. When you choose local, you are in a way creating lots of jobs and opportunities within a community which will in turn help with the prosperity and happiness index quotient of the particular place
11. Reduced carbon footprints
For obvious reasons, when the produce is travelled less and when the food is less travelled, less processed, less marketed, less distributed and less circulated…it hugely impacts the reduction of carbon footprints and emission of greenhouse gases. Local produce and products have fewer impacts environmentally as compared to the food that has travelled overseas and packed and distributed to the markets near you.
12. Consumes less energy
Local buying consumes less energy because the process and end cycle of farm to table is very short. In some cases, it is only a two-step consumption cycle. From direct farm to the table. But on the other hand, when you decide to buy food from the markets or in some cases when you want to indulge yourself in imported goods, you are promoting a seven stem cycle of…farming – processing – distributing – marketing – packaging – retailing – consuming. That how energy-driven it is. Think about it.
13. Better workmanship
Usually, local produce is the labor of love and hard work. When an outcome is personally worked and acted upon it tends to have better workmanship and approach to craft or make that particular kind of produce. So better workmanship can be directly related to the extensive hard work that can be closely associated with local buying.
14. Restore human skills
When one accepts and buys local produce, human skills are restored and preserved. When there is no demand for a certain product, someone is making or producing, the skills get lost and it works against cultural sustainability. You know as per the global goals to achieve sustainability., cultural preservation and holding the traditions and heritage are extremely important. And that whats local buying does. It holds and restores the human skills and preserve the craft.
15. Help community
Communities come closes when you get yourself indulged in the local markets, community bazaars, with handmade homemade sellers, artists, etc. You tend to have more time to know them because you are getting involved with them on a regular basis. This collectively helps the community and brings everyone together.
16. Easy to buy
It’s easy to buy because it nearby, it’s convenient, it’s seasonal and it’s cheaper, approachable, and exchangeable. Local produce is always hassle-free. You go and set your routine to fix your time to the nearby local market, grab your bags, and start the shopping.
17. Usually cheaper
Less processed produce which has traveled less, which uses local raw materials and is grown, sewn, cut, restored locally will obviously be cheaper than the food that is traveling a long distance, using raw material from across the world and is packaged, coated, and distributed through various means and formats will be expensive. Also includes the taxes and duties that are imported on them when entering from one country to another.
18. Ethically produced
Since the local produced is usually in small quantities, it can be debated to be following an ethical approach. This is very subjective, but since the demand is limited and it is not factory led and industrial lead, it can be taken into account that the ethical values are being followed to produce something that is made locally. Ethical work environment, local grazing of animals and livestock, not overburdening the workforce, and ensuring all the good human rights can be taken for local production.
Local buying can be trusted and is presumed to have strong customer support. When you buy local it’s easy for you to refer, easy for you to buy again, exchange, return, give feedback, and can be trusted over time. Local buying builds trust with your sellar and also understands your interests and concerns. This comes as a big advantage with local buying.
Local buying also relates to the seasonal aspect of production. Local sellers will prefer and sell what is in season and in most of the cases won’t indulge with preserving and procuring things off-seasons. And seasonal is always best when it comes to sustainability factors. Therefore local buying paves the way to support seasonal produce.
Look for the local markets and labels
Supporting and uplifting the local community is the symbol of prosperity and unity. That is one of the most essential aspects of Sustainability. Next time you go and buy something for yourself, for your loved once or for your friends, don’t look at the labels of it being outsourced from the farthest of land. Look for something that is made locally, is seasonal, natural, and uplifts your society.