Where, Why and How to Buy Locally
28th February 2019
Ever wondered the benefits of shopping locally or ethically? Or have you ever wanted to, but struggled as a student? Well today’s Live Smart blog features some of my best advice for taking the first few steps towards sustainable shopping. Enjoy!
Buying locally cuts out the middle man, ensuring that workers are getting fair and decent pay. A great post similar to this one on The Guardian points out that 63p in every pound makes it into the local economy from smaller businesses, as opposed to only 40p when money disappears off into bigger corporations.
What’s more is your own money- there’s a fruit stall in Cheltenham by The Brewery on Henrietta Street that I use and, like many independent businesses, they’ll cut prices for their regulars, give flexible deals and prices, and if your change comes up short, they’ll often smile and say “don’t worry about it”.
A platform for fresh faces in the community.
I went to a talk recently on freelancing, and good freelance territory has a lot of two things: start-up businesses and, surprisingly, coffee shops. They’re a great place for employers to meet young talent, and they often display local community events. The Natural Grocery Store, for example, features a whole wall of local goings-on that bigger companies can’t offer. You can find all sorts of independent coffee shops in Gloucestershire, or my personal favourite in Cheltenham- Boston Tea Party
The obvious one.
It’s simple- products from far away have to be treated, packaged, shipped and stored in a way that’s often not sustainable. What’s more, the longer it takes for produce to reach you, the sooner it will begin to rot, which could cause even more potential waste. These stalls crop up all the time. You can find them on the MiLarder app for a steady supply of cheap, ethical fruit and veg.
On a more personal note…
Fresher food is more nutritious, particularly if it’s grown in-season, rather than artificially ripened for mass markets. If you take nothing else away from this, just try visiting a local store to buy in fresh. Freshly baked bread for example is often a low price towards the end of the day before it goes stale- swoop in and taste the difference! If you’re unsure where to start, Bath Road in Cheltenham is full of locally-supplied independent businesses.
Thank you for reading, and look out for local businesses on your walk or drive home! There are more than you’d think, and they’re hidden gems.
Dan From Live Smart