In an era of online consumption and big box stores, supporting small businesses in your community – can benefit the environment greatly. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA,) reports industrial pollution is responsible for almost 50% of the pollution present in the United States. Shopping locally reduces processing, packaging and transportation waste – leading to less pollution.
Shopping local supports your community.
People’s purchasing power directly correlates to the community environment. When we support our local businesses; it creates jobs, increases local goods and services, as well as brings the community together. Locally owned businesses aid in building strong communities in areas such as; sustaining town centers, linking neighbors through economic and social relationships – along with contributing to local causes.
This is what shopping local looks like:
- Shopping locally generates 3.5 times more wealth for the local economy – than big box and chain stores.
- Local shops produce a net annual return to the community of 326 dollars per square foot – as big box store produce a net annual deficit of 468 dollar per square foot.
- Local eateries return nearly 79% of revenues to the community – compared to just over 30% for chain restaurants.
- Local businesses generate 70% more local economic activity per square foot than big box retail.
- 11 billion gallons of gasoline are used annually to transport goods.
- International shipping results in 1 billion metric tons of CO2 being released annually.
- Studies show that not for profits receive 250% more support from small businesses than large box stores.
How can I make an impact:
Tier 1: Global Goodness
- Support local artists and craftsmen. Jewelry, woodwork, and other products – all can be custom made for you by a local artisan.
- Eat Local. Support small family owned restaurants over large chains.
- Buy produce and fresh foods from local farmers market or small mom-n-pop grocery stores.
Tier 2: Planet Protector
- All of Tier 1
- Reduce your online ordering. Ask yourself – “do I really need it?” Or, is the ease of online ordering causing mindless overconsumption?
- Grow your own garden – or lobby your local community to build a community garden.
- Research products that are made in your community before shopping at big box stores.
Tier 3: Earth Angel
- All of Tier 1 & 2
- Ask your grocery stores to source more local products.
- Make it yourself. Be resourceful and creative – try repurposing items in your own home.
- Be mindful of how you want your community to grow. Did you know that shopping locally increases your property value? Vibrant shopping neighborhoods are great selling points for homes.