Why You Need To Shop In Your Community
Ambassador Jenn explains why shopping within your local community is more important than finding the lowest price at big box stores or on Amazon.
No one can deny that big shifts are happening in our world right now. Although things have been somewhat scary and unsettled, I can’t help but feel like we are being cracked open and shifted towards a new way of living.
I know this is true for me personally, being off work and forced to stay home has caused me to re-evaluate many things, including what I purchase and where I purchase it from.
I have sworn off Amazon, and I am committed to not only reducing my carbon footprint by shopping in local stores but also to supporting small businesses and local makers.
How Supporting Local Reduces Your Carbon Footprint
Whenever you order online from big box stores, the company mails you that product, taking resources for packaging (usually plastic filler too), plus the fuel of flying it and driving it to your mailbox. Also, most products made for big box stores are made in big factories with lots of waste as a by-product, some of those products are even made in 3rd World Countries by people who aren’t even paid a living wage.
Buying a locally made product reduced the distance that your item has to travel; especially if you buy it in a local store. Locally made products are usually sourced using local materials or ingredients, lowering its overall carbon footprint.
Supporting Your Community
If you’ve ever played youth sports (or gone to a game), you’ll know that local businesses tend to give back to their communities by sponsoring players or teams. It’s a cycle of supporting a local business, who in turn gives money back to the community through donations or sponsorships.
When local business owners are able to thrive, the whole community thrives.
Price Isn’t Everything
As a personal finance blogger and generally thrifty person, it can be hard not to look for the lowest price for an item I want to buy. Sadly, usually, the lowest price can be found at places like Walmart or Amazon. Price isn’t everything though, a cheaply made item will likely wear out faster and need to be replaced more often. Our local stores and makers have to charge more to make a living, and usually due to the fact that they use higher quality materials. I’ve decided it’s worth the extra $5 or $10 to support a real human and not a billionaire CEO.
Vote For The World You Want
You may not know, but every time you spend money, you are voting for the kind of world you want to live in. Always buy the cheapest item signals to companies that you only care about price; not if the item is made with sustainable material or someone gets paid a living wage for their work.
By purchasing a cheaply made item from a big box store you are telling the world you don’t care about the environment or the conditions the makers work in.
By purchasing from a small local business, you are telling the world that you care about supporting your local economy, and not helping a billionaire CEO buy another car.
By purchasing from companies that source their items ethically you are telling the world you care about how humans are compensated for their work, and how sourcing those materials affect the planet.
It’s Time For You To Decide
I’d like to challenge you to try replacing items you buy anyway with locally made ones. I have started shopping at a local book co-op for my books. We are trying different coffee beans from local roasters, and I love supporting local makers and artists on Etsy.
Together we can make a difference; protecting the environment and supporting a small business owner’s dream!
Read more about how I gave up Amazon.
Jenn is a personal finance and travel blogger over at Will Save For Travel, and she recently co-launched The Travel Mug Podcast.
Lately, she's been loving locally made cider on the deck. Oh and re-reading Harry Potter.