More and more farmers’ markets, farm-to-table restaurants, and locally-made bazaars appear in cities across the nation. Buying local has become a defining trend of our time — and that’s a great thing. Not only does buying local has environmental benefits & improves your community, but it also helps reduce your overall carbon footprint.
First Let’s understand the definition of both Eco & Carbon Footprint:
What is an Ecological Footprint?
Ecological Footprint is a measure of how quickly nature absorbs our waste and produces resources for us, compared to our consumption of resources and generation of waste.
What is Carbon Footprint?
Carbon footprint is the amount of greenhouse gases we generate (including methane & carbon dioxide). Cars, food, consumption, and household energy constitute the most significant contributors to carbon footprints.
How Buying Local Effects Your Eco & Carbon Footprint
Let’s find out how and why buying locally grown products and shopping local in general help reduce your carbon footprint.
Habitat and Wildlife Protection
One of the lesser-known benefits of shopping local is the protection of local lands and wildlife. By supporting local businesses, you are allowing them to stay in operation for years to come. This prevents larger companies and land developers from buying large expanses of real estate and leasing it to big-box stores. This is doubly true when you support small farms. Often, local patronage is the only thing preventing larger chains from purchasing farmland for large-scale agriculture or land development.
Reduce Your Food Mileage
Reducing your food mileage is a great way to help the environment. “Food mileage” simply means the distance that your food (or other goods) travel before they reach you. For example, when you shop at a typical big-box store, your items may have traveled thousands of miles before arriving on the shelf. As you can imagine, it takes a lot of fossil fuels to make that trip. But by reducing the mileage that your food, home goods, or other items travel, you are reducing your carbon footprint. Local products don’t require long trips overseas or cross-country. This means you can cut down significantly on your overall fuel consumption and air pollution.
Local shops operate in and primarily serve their own communities. Customers can easily access these stores without taking long car rides or trips on public transportation.
On the other hand, larger stores generally require large amounts of space, causing them to move further from central locations. This means customers are required to drive to their stores, again increasing fuel consumption and carbon footprints.
Although the benefits of consuming local goods apply to all types of items, locally-produced food offers another unique benefit. Locally-farmed produce doesn’t have to travel very far, meaning producers don’t need to use complex preservation methods. This reduces the chances of harmful toxins, pesticides, and waxes used on your food. Large-scale farms often employ these methods to ensure that their fruits and vegetables don’t decompose during transit.
In addition, larger-scale retailers typically produce significant amounts of food waste. Many fruits and vegetables spoil before being purchased. Smaller-scale farms do not have this problem because they do not (or cannot) produce as much. Often, smaller farms only cultivate enough products to satisfy their customers’ level of demand and little more.
This benefit of shopping local is probably going to come as a surprise. Lawmakers and governments often make their legislative decisions based on economic factors. When you shop locally, you are putting more money into your local economy. This means the well-being and interests of local producers are prioritized for your lawmakers. If local businesses produce significant economic impact, lawmakers will be less likely to prioritize big-box stores and multinational corporations. Shopping local means advocating for local businesses!
What Is Your Ecological Footprint?
How many planets do we need if everybody lives like you? When is your personal Overshoot Day? If you want to Calculate your ecological footprint, check out this eco-footprint calculator: https://www.footprintcalculator.org/
Click below & read on to discover ways to reduce your Ecological footprint & Carbon footprint:
Buying Local with Lowkel
Luckily, it’s now easier than ever to buy local goods from small businesses in your community. With Lowkel, customers can shop for their favorite small businesses from the comfort of their own homes. Reduce your carbon footprint and improve your eco-footprint while getting your favorite items delivered — what’s not to love?
Download our app and start shopping local today: