There are many reasons to shop locally - from boosting your local economy and supporting jobs through to finding a fantastic choice of unique goods and preserving the special character of your community. Did you know that shopping locally is also good for the whole planet? Here are just some of the ways shopping locally can help the environment and support the fight against climate change.
The Environmental Benefits of Shopping Locally
The environment is a hot topic in today's society, and it’s up to all of us to take steps to minimise our environmental footprint. One easy way you can help is by shopping locally!
1. Decreased pollution from transportation
A major reason why shopping locally is better for the planet is quite simply that goods don’t have to travel anywhere near as far to reach you. Just consider the impact of supermarket veg that has come halfway around the world to land on your dinner plate, versus fresh produce that comes from a farm in your local area.
Local businesses are far more likely to use local suppliers than big supermarkets or retail giants. By buying locally, you can help to cut carbon emissions and air pollution - whether that’s by reduced food miles or indeed transportation of any other item. It’s better for the planet and helps support the local economy, too.
2. Less waste
When it comes to fresh produce, another benefit of shortening the journey from producer to consumer is a significant reduction in food waste. The longer food has to be transported, the greater the chance there is of it getting damaged and not surviving the journey.
By shopping locally, we can help to minimise this waste and support the environment. What’s more, buying locally encourages us to reduce our own waste. This is because produce is likely to be in season and therefore fresher, meaning you’ll enjoy tastier meals and throw less away. What’s not to love?
3. Less packaging
When products are loaded for long distance travel, a lot of packaging is used in order to protect the goods from being damaged. This additional packaging is a major cause of pollution and environmental damage, again making buying locally the greener choice. As an example, it was reported that Amazon produced over 465 million pounds of plastic packaging waste in 2019 alone!
If you’re concerned about packaging, make the effort to buy from ethical and sustainable local businesses who work hard to reduce packaging and waste. There are a number of shops on ShopAppy who produce zero waste, like Zero Penarth, which sells everything from unpackaged fruit, nuts and cereals to refills for body washes, shampoos, conditioners and household cleaning products.
4. Fresher produce - and higher quality products
Shopping locally provides easy access to the freshest and most nutritious produce - and many local producers are committed to not using pesticides and other harmful toxins, improving air quality and producing a better crop quality. As we touched on earlier, fresh local produce also has a much shorter journey to your table, reducing food miles, waste and pollution caused by transportation.
What’s more, higher quality doesn’t just apply to food. Many locally made goods often place a strong emphasis on quality and longevity, reducing waste created when items break or wear out. Being conscious about our shopping choices is helping us all do our part.
5. Everything you need in one place
Town centres are designed to give you everything you need in one place. From fresh local produce to fashions, home furnishings and everything in between, your local high street has it all - much more carbon neutral than a truck dropping off orders from an online giant!
What’s more, many of us can buy from local shops without needing to get into the car. Buy the freshest fruit and veg from your friendly local greengrocer, head to the butchers for the tenderest and tastiest meats, or find incredible artisan breads in your local bakers.
ShopAppy can also help with this, allowing you to shop with multiple local businesses online and then click-and-collect your order in one place.
6. Protect farmland and support local farmers
Buying locally can also help to protect farmland and wildlife. When you support local farmers, you are helping to keep them in business and supporting the local economy, reducing the likelihood of the land being sold off for development and being turned into warehouses or factories.
Don’t forget that buying locally also supports jobs and businesses throughout the local supply chain. Buy from your local shop, who in turn buys from the local farmer, who also uses local farm suppliers. Supporting local businesses is also a vote for local jobs, reducing the number of people who need to commute outside of the area for work and cause additional congestion and pollution.
ShopAppy makes it easier to shop locally by bringing your local shops and business together in one place, allowing you to search for items easily or choose to look at the products in your favourite shops instead. It’s never been easier to shop locally, support small businesses and make greener everyday choices.
If this blog has inspired you to shop locally to reduce your own environmental footprint, use the code Cop26 at checkout to get a free fiver to spend on us - valid until 20th November 2021.