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 that 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, and brings the community together. Locally owned businesses aid in building strong communities by linking neighbors together through economic and social relationships and helping to sustain town centers – 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 per square foot. Big box stores produce a net annual deficit of $468 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 emissions being released annually.
- Studies show that nonprofits 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 can all be custom made for you by a local artisan.
- Eat Locally. Support small family owned restaurants over large chains.
- Buy produce and fresh foods from your 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 over-consumption?
- 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 Tiers 1 & 2.
- Ask your grocery stores to source more local products.
- Make it yourself. Be resourceful and creative – try re-purposing 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.
- Choose to be an Ambassador for Change, and always Spread Love and Spread Light.