For this edition where the focus is on ”going green”, I want to bring some of the positives of supporting local to you again.
We constantly hear about “sustainability” but what can we, as consumers, do to promote sustainability and how does this tie in with a “buy local” effort such as the Local Yokel Project?
Well, aside from promoting economic development and creating jobs, one of the most important reasons for buying local is the environmental importance of reducing the carbon footprint that we create by getting the goods that we need, to our doorsteps.
From a day to day consumer perspective, shopping from a national online store is hugely detrimental to our environment. When we buy online, our purchases have to be couriered- usually via one by one deliveries- and have you seen the packaging used by some merchants- and the ensuing WASTE? We all know that our infrastructure is overused by heavy vehicles and frankly, our roads cannot sustain the growing volumes that move around the country in small batches. By “buying local”, we reduce the fossil fuels and carbon emissions of the vehicles that would bring the goods in – not to mention less aggravation of our already poor roads. These all have negative impacts on our environment, contributing to climate change and global warming which then cause further environmental and economic concerns.
It’s not only about food, there are many ways to make the change and the best way to explain this is to give examples:
If you need to buy a gift for a friend, support a local independent shop rather than buying online. The profits generated by that business will go back into our own economy and the gift won’t have to pass through an industrialised transportation chain to get to the recipient.
When looking at renewable energy, find local experts and even locally manufactured products to get the job done.
When choosing a service provider for your telecommunications, it is possible to avoid nationals or government owned entities who have no vested interest in our economy and may have to drive specialists into the area for repairs or installations.
For training and learning, we too have our very own organisations here that can fulfil many of the training needs of our community – thereby avoiding having to fly so-called experts in.
When it comes to food, choose locally grown and locally manufactured first. Look at the labels and become educated about what you’re buying and where it comes from.
Think of your last few purchases. What did you buy? Where did you buy them? Where were they manufactured? How did they get to you? Was there a similar local alternative that you could buy in the future? Was there an excessive amount of packaging used to get the goods to you? Did you recycle that packaging? These questions are all relevant in the decision-making process of becoming more sustainable by supporting local businesses.
It really isn’t rocket science but if we all made the effort to choose local first, whenever we could, the results would be astounding. It just takes a little more thought to be conscious of where you spend your money. If you’re not sure, just ask. The trend to support local business is growing rapidly and consumers and businesses are all becoming more mindful of trying to keep as much of OUR revenue in OUR region.
For more info: www.localyokel.co.za / The Local Yokel Project on Facebook.
You can also contact Meg on: 072 473 5269 / [email protected]