I know, you’re very busy and when you go shopping you try to get everything that you need in one trip if you can. And you probably put things in your cart that you like the look of or that look like a bargain. And at that moment, that’s all that matters – you like it or need it, so you buy it.
But where does that item you just bought come from? Most of the time we just don’t check. But there is a growing awareness of how important it is to know where the items we buy come from, and how the choices that we make affect everything from employment and the economy, to the weather and the environment.
How? Well, does the item come from far away? Sometimes the fruit in your shopping cart was grown thousands of miles away, and was flown in by jet planes burning fossil fuels into the atmosphere above your head. Not so healthy, all things considered.
So you might look at buying fruit grown locally in your region. That’s the logical thing to do, right? Well, maybe. Turns out that a lot of the fruit grown locally gets driven hundreds of miles to packaging plants where it is packaged up nicely and then driven hundreds of miles back to sit on the shelf of the shop near where you live. That’s obviously no good. To buy locally you need to look for packaging that lists how far the item has traveled during its production and where the food was grown.
By buying local produce and other locally made items, such as furniture, auto parts, and clothing, directly from the producers, you can minimize the costs to you and the environment, and maximize the benefits to you and the economy.
By buying locally you save the fossil fuels that would otherwise be used to ship your items. This helps the environment, which is already suffering from the effects of human activity.
By buying locally produced goods, you are doing your bit to secure local jobs too. By boosting employment locally you are then boosting the local economy, meaning everyone in your area starts having more money to spend and pretty soon the economy is humming with activity. Rather than sending money and jobs out of the country you live in.
Buy a better future by buying locally.
by World Barrios Contributor: David Almendarez
Flickr photo by ariztravel
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