“Should I be buying local?” may be a question we ask ourselves from time-to-time. Lower quality products, the use of pesticides and antibiotics, and the use of exploitive labor has consistently been a hot topic in today’s society. At the end of the day, many of us seem to end up buying from big corporations because of the convenience and cheaper prices. However, this excuse is exactly why that should change.
The Local Economy
First, buying local puts money back into the community. The New Economics Foundation has conducted several studies on this topic. In fact, they reported that when buying from farmer’s markets, two times the amount of money stays within the community. A researcher named David Boyle said, “Money is like blood. It needs to keep moving around to keep the economy going.” Buying locally greatly boosts the local economy, which supports the economy-at-large. Secondly, buying from local businesses builds a strong sense of community. Every time you buy local, you make a positive impact on your community. This does not usually happen at major retailers.
Environmental Benefits of Buying Local
Buying local helps protect the global environment and improves product quality. One way that it does this is by reducing carbon emissions. For example, the transportation needed for a product made and sold in Ontario requires 25x less carbon than a similar product made overseas. Additionally, local businesses follow Canadian health, safety, and quality standards. Some products may have a slightly higher price, but you can feel confident that you are making a safe purchase backed up by high standards.
Lastly, some countries use exploitative labor, including child labor, in order to make their cheap products. We all hear the devastating stories of worker conditions in these countries. Speak with your dollars. Limiting (or refusing ) purchases from companies that use this labor is a huge step in stopping this inhumane act.
Buying local is a no brainer, but many feel no choice but to use major retailers because of cost and convenience. Consider the positive impact you can make with your money. You’ll benefit the community, the health and safety of others, and the environment, which is well worth the change.