Those who are interested in sustainable and earth-friendly practices are going need no insights into why local is a better choice for them. With this said, people from many walks might find their way to my blog given my own varied interests and topics. Even within my Mother Earth Monday postings, there are topic focus areas that aren’t eco-centric. Backpackers for example may love the outdoors, but not really be all that focused on sustainability. Because of this, I have compiled the following list of 5 solid reasons for going local with products and services whenever possible. This is a list for those who are not particularly earth conscious, so this list may help in trying to win over those who would otherwise not care.
1 Keep funds local
By purchasing local products, you keep money in the local economy. The more money that stays in an area, the better that area does. This is why so many cities are always trying to make themselves more inviting to large businesses. Better local economy is generally a boon to you personally, so why not?
2 Fresher with less preservatives
Consider that most of the simplest products on a grocery shelf have traveled 1500 miles when you tally up all of the various ingredients and their shipments from start to the finished item on a shelf. Think about how much time it might have to sit on that shelf before you get to it. Numerous techniques are used to ensure the illusion of freshness in these items. When you buy from locals, most of the time the ingredients are simpler and more true to nature. This isn’t always true, but is more often than not at least.
3 Reduced highway usage
Hikers will want to take note of this one. Consider if just one quarter of the country were to go with local products whenever possible. Long distance trucking routes would be heavily reduced. The need to constantly expand roads for more traffic and to add new roads would be greatly eased. Easements into publicly owned land are not uncommon when a new highway is needed. There is usually a struggle between those who want it preserved vs those who want the road built. Buy local and if enough others do also, there isn’t going to be a need to build it in the first place.
4 Seasonal by default
If you are eating local, you eat with the seasons. There is no way around it really. It doesn’t mean you can never eat fresh green beans in the winter, but if you make a habit of eating local and in season, you might realize it has benefits. There is something to be said about eating certain foods at certain times of the year. We associate certain foods with the holidays and anticipate them year round. They are so enjoyable when we do eat them. It can be the same way with seasonal foods as well.
I am sure I could ramble off a number of others as well, but this is a nice start for those who have never really considered the idea of eating local. With a little thought, I am sure you will come up with more reasons that are personal for you. If nothing else, I hope I have given food for thought to someone who was not already interested in becoming a locavore.