Should We Buy Locally, or Buy Local Products?

 

Should We Buy Locally, or Buy Local Products?

 

Some websites and promoters that say to “buy locally” sort of ruin the real meaning behind the term, what with having commercial giants like Wal-Mart on their sites, along with the spa next door (offering a huge discount, of course), Hotel XYZ and a lot of other large companies that don’t actually offer local products. Should we be encouraging these types of businesses? The short answer is yes, of course, along with any other business in town, because it’s people from the area that work there, versus shopping online on Amazon. However, this is not “buying locally” or better yet, “consuming locally” because in the end, you’re just buying products that were most likely made in Asia or somewhere cost-efficient, unconcerned with the environment or human rights… right? And don’t get me started on transportation…

 

So, what is buying locally?

Buying locally means encouraging a company that makes its products or that uses locally-sourced food or materials. We’re not just talking about encouraging employees in large chain stores. We mean to encourage people who live here to hire people in their community. For example:

  1. If you buy a shirt made in China from a large chain store, you encourage the employee for a short moment, from receiving the merch to placing it on the shelf (where they get to place a lot more items on the shelf).
  2. If you buy from a company that makes things locally, you encourage someone who made the shirt for at least 15 minutes, even a few hours. Plus, the machine they used may break occasionally, requiring a local repairman who will work a certain amount of time on said machine. Then, they need to package the product and prepare for delivery. You could also say that the commercial space where the items are made will sometimes require renovations, that the electricity used comes from here, and so on.

 

 

We have to be vigilant when it comes to websites or databanks that make you think you’re consuming locally. Buying locally means getting products that are made here. It could be from a local market gardener, a potter, a seamstress, a winemaker, a restaurant that uses local produce, or a grocer that sells local products. All these businesses contribute enormously to the economy and diversity of your region. To find locally-made products, please go to: https://www.ulocal.co/en/local-artisans-map/

Alexandre Béland