The Importance of Buying Local
Thousands of miles are traveled each day by hundreds upon hundreds of semi-trucks filled with food and items going from west coast to east and back again. How our system works allows for this amount of action to fill a need that could be filled much more easily and without so much fossil fuel usage. The answer to environmental problems lies in one word: Local.
-Community- Localizing into your hometown environment helps to build community which creates a sustainable bond between your family and the rest of your community. Real ties to other people creates instant resources, as well. Real relationships start with attention to your local community, rather than outsourcing your attention to t.v. and internet.
-Environment- Getting down in your home town is environmentally more sustainable, primarily because of the food consumption. If you could source all of your needs from one area, the amount of money saved on gas would be phenomenal. All it takes is tapping into your local resources by establishing real, authentic relationships with the people around you. Check out this infographic from a great article at Insteading for more information on choosing local.
-Money- Localizing can also save you money. You can work with a CSA to get a great deal on produce that comes from a local farmer, rather than paying for a semi-truck to bring in produce from a farm that underpays its workers and provides terrible conditions for food and people alike. Again, having local relationships also provides local resources at the friend rate. You can also create local jobs by eating local.
-Quality- Quality control becomes immediately more attainable when your food and products come locally. You can meet and discuss things with the people who are actually growing your food, as well as check out the facility. This is great for things like dairy and meat especially. If a farmer won’t let you check out his farm, consider that a good sign to move on.
-Adaptability– Using ingredients and items from your local environment help you get acclimated to your immediate surroundings. Some people say that allergies can virtually disappear if you use local honey made from sustainable honey bee farmers, for instance.
Getting in touch with your local environment also helps keep you present. Many spiritual religions suggest that being present is where true happiness lies. No claims here, but with all of these reasons, it’s worth at least a try!