As climate change wreaks havoc on the planet, the more individuals who take action, the more likely they are to have an effect.
Shopping local doesn’t only get you great service and support your community, it also helps the planet.
Local shopping reduces your carbon footprint — a phrase that Conservation International defines as a way to express the effect a person, corporation or activity has on the environment, especially as regards to the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that are released into the atmosphere by a given activity.
Shop brick-and-mortar stores
While it may seem like online shopping would be good for the environment, you actually have a smaller carbon footprint when you drive to a local store and make your purchases.
According to research findings published in Environmental Science & Technology, the total greenhouse gas footprints per item purchased was higher from strictly online sellers than it was from purchases made at local brick and mortar stores. Why? When shopping online, people tend to make smaller purchases at a time, resulting in multiple deliveries and more packaging. Also, sometimes items in a single order will come from different warehouses, causing more greenhouse gas emissions per item.
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If you are going to do your shopping online, purchase from local businesses that deliver directly from their store.
Buy local products
Don’t just shop at local stores, whenever possible, buy products that are locally made or harvested. This way less fuel is spent delivering the products to you. It also wastes fewer natural resources.
Buy food in season
When you buy food out of season, it has to be shipped from far away. Keep track of what foods are in season and eat them only when you can get them locally grown. If there is one in your area, join a collective to purchase locally grown foods.
Recycle and reuse
When you’re shopping, give preference to items that use recycled packaging. There will usually be a recycling symbol on the packaging if such materials are used.
Invest in sturdy tote bags made of nylon or cloth for shopping instead of the disposable paper or plastic bags.
Greener Ideal website recommends reducing the number of trips you take to the grocery store. Doing this saves you fuel because you will make fewer trips. Make a list before you go shopping and buy more at one time. Instead of driving to the store three times in a week to get milk, buy three gallons once a week.