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How Buying Locally Will Help You and Your Local Community

Support your local economy

Relying on imported goods doesn't sustain your local economy and may drive out small businesses. Imagine if your home town or village only had one or two large chains of shops rather than a number of independently run small businesses. For me personally, that would not be a place that I would enjoy living in long term. It becomes less personal, homogenised and the shopping experience becomes lifeless. Spending your money with local retailers helps keep the local economy alive. Some cases have shown that the income generated from local sales of food is around double than when compared with large chains.

Support your local community

The money you spend with independent small businesses, local producers & retailers keeps money within the community, which helps sustain local trade & invests in the future of your community. If local trade thrives, the people of your town will be happy to live there for years to come. The community then continually feeds itself in a trade cycle.

Support your local independent small business

Cutting down on materials and products that are bought from large retailer chains helps reduce your ecological footprint. Buying locally means that employment levels will stay constant, and may even create more opportunities for local residents to work in the community. The rapport that is built up between small businesses and the customer is often long standing and the service received is generally better when you know the company/staff well. Small businesses also have the advantage of tailoring their sales strategies to the local community rather than having to stick with nationwide marketing plans.

Support your local identity
    Buying locally produced materials and products helps designers create homes and buildings with a local building language. By this I mean vernacular house & home style. These homes will fit into the landscape naturally by using materials that are in abundance in your area like types of stone and timber. This building & design method helps your community feel a sense of belonging and identity.

    Reduce your ecological footprint

Locally sourced materials and products give the following environmental benefits:

Less miles: Transportation is one of the main points. A single product clocks up a considerable amount of miles. Think about where the base materials are extracted or mined and the transport needed from this place to the processing factory. From here the processed material will be transported to the manufacturer. Then once manufactured it has to travel to the distributor, then onto the retailer and lastly from the retailer to your home. PHEW! With local companies, materials can be sourced locally and delivered locally which dramatically reduces the embodied energy of a product or material. Reduced transporation also lowers the amount of vehicle emissions creating air pollution and damaging the surrounding natural environment.

Less packaging: Eliminating unccessay tranpostation and delivery means that the material or product does not need as much protective packaging.

Less waste: Less packaging means less waste and less demand on landfill sites.

Increased traceability of the material origin and source: You may have noticed that most food manufacturers are now putting labels onto meat which note that the origin can be traced, right back to the farm the meat came from. This too applies already to some materials and products – more so for timber sources at the moment. By buying locally, it is far easier to find out the origin of the materials used.     
    Less traffic congestion: What does this mean? Saturday morning traffic to get to the big out of town chain shops! If everyone bought local materials and products from independt businesses there would be a reduction in traffic. This reduces the amount of fossil fuel used by cars as well as reducing the amount of emissions causing air pollution.

There are certainly enough reasons to buy local materials & products. See if you can adapt your shopping habits and lifestyle for a better future for your community, the environment and future generations. I hope you have enjoyed reading this article 'reasons to buy local', there is certainly a lot to think about in your daily life.

Read my article on consumerism and buying less stuff to find out more about rejecting consumerism, trends and the convenience rat race. Slow down, take a breath and return to a more traditional way of life.

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