For many of you reading this blog, the benefits of shopping local are evident: economic growth within the community, easy commutes, that intimate - get-to-know-the-owner - corner store experience. But what are arguably just as appealing, and less frequently discussed, are the environmental advantages of shopping local.
It starts with the obvious: local shoppers aren’t traveling very far to get what they need. When you’re not traveling far, you’re not using up much gas. When you’re not using much gas, you’re not adding much to your carbon footprint. We all know about the strain that our cars put on the health of our atmosphere, which is mostly due to the byproducts of fuel burning. Simply worded, the less often you drive your car, the better.
The environmental boons of local shopping extend beyond carbon emissions though – consider the alternative to your local establishments. Big box stores and other massive chains are notorious for their wasteful infrastructure and logistical frameworks. The amount of space they take up just to lay down a single foundation can lead to environmental destruction and serious urban sprawl. By avoiding these types of stores, you won’t contribute to what many environmentalists believe to be one of the most pernicious threats to the health of our environmental communities.
And don’t forget that local stores have no need to adhere to any national branding standards or higher-ranking regulatory committees, so it’s also more likely you’ll find them carrying Eco-friendly products and services that the chains aren’t interested in selling. Visit any local bodega and there’s a better chance you’ll be able to purchase organic, locally-grown food than there would be at a nationally recognized convenience store.
With all that in mind, why go out of your way to buy anywhere else but right in your own backyard?
Blogger at PennsylvaniaEnergy.org