Contribute to Society & the Enironmment by Shopping Small

Contribute to Society & the Enironmment by Shopping Small

Shopping small is an investment in your community and the planet. It’s a simple way to help fight climate change while supporting the talents of friends and neighbors.

Research shows that 75% of small businesses support charities, and 52% of jobs in the U.S. are in small businesses. About $0.48 of every dollar spent at a small business recirculates throughout the local economy.

Numerous statistics support the benefits of shopping small. Learn more about the positive impacts of shopping locally and how it’s a more sustainable option than buying in big box stores.

The Benefits of Shopping Small

paper bags with wardrobe items result of shopping small

This infographic was created by House of Webster, private label food manufacturers
Shopping small offers countless environmental, economic, community and health benefits. The following are several positive impacts shopping locally can have on your community and the environment.

Shopping Small Is More Sustainable

Many American households take action to reduce their carbon footprints. Families recycle cardboard, plastic and glass; watch their water consumption; and often pursue options for renewable energy.

Another way to create a more sustainable household is through shopping small. Products from big box stores ship via plane and other forms of transport that emit greenhouse gases and pollute the air.

Shopping locally means the products are generally produced on a smaller scale and only travel within the immediate area, which significantly reduces emissions to help fight climate change.

Local Foods Are More Natural

reusable cutlery eco option for shopping small

Large-scale farming can have consequential effects on the environment. Pesticides and toxins can leak into soil and waterways to harm flora and fauna. These toxic chemicals also reduce biodiversity and pollute the air.

Small farmers often provide organic food products that are pesticide- and hormone-free. This means more nutritious foods for the community and a safer environment for plants and animals.

Investing in Small Business Is Investing in the Local Economy

When you shop small, you immediately support your local economy. In addition to purchasing from a local maker, farmer or other service provider, you pay sales tax on that purchase. That tax supports local public schools, roads, parks, public service workers and more.

You Create Less Food Waste

food waste not the result of shopping small

People who buy food from local providers tend to create less food waste. That’s because the food is typically fresher than what you’ll find in big box stores. It doesn’t travel to multiple countries, states or distributors before reaching your refrigerator. It goes directly from the farmer to you.

Food waste that enters landfills produces methane, a harmful greenhouse gas. Food waste also means unnecessarily using resources such as energy, water and labor. This puts a strain on the environment, farmers and the economy.

Shopping Local Supports the Local Workforce

Shopping small means increasing the demand for local products. Small businesses often need to hire more employees to keep up with demand. An increase in local jobs keeps money circulating throughout the community and reduces the distance workers have to commute.

Employees who don’t have to travel to another city for work reduce highway congestion and air pollution. Less congestion means fewer new roadways and less habitat destruction.

Small Businesses Support the Local Community

fish market fukushima is also shopping small for locals

Small business owners are invested in the community because it’s their home, too. According to the MetLife and U.S. Chamber Small Business Index, 70% of small business owners encourage their employees to shop at other local businesses.

Many small business owners also understand the importance of giving back to the community. They often form partnerships with other small businesses, sponsor/host community events or donate to local charities.

Superior Customer Service

Small businesses are known for providing levels of customer service that big box stores can’t offer. They take a more personal, hands-on approach to answering customers’ questions and concerns. That’s because their customers are their family, friends and fellow community members.

Small business owners know they rely heavily on return customers and word-of-mouth advertising, so you’ll likely be treated well when shopping small.

How to Support Small Businesses

market can boost green future

Supporting local businesses is simple, but you may find adjusting to shopping small challenging at first. Big box stores thrive because they offer a variety of products in one easy-to-locate place. However, a little research online or through friends can often lead you to similar, more sustainable products sold locally.

You’ll quickly realize that you can find many local items at farmer’s markets, small grocery stores, and even online via websites and social media. If a small business doesn’t sell a product, it can often find it locally for you. When eating out, always choose locally owned restaurants over chains.

Another way to support small businesses is to purchase gift cards or corporate food gifts for birthdays and other holidays. Gift cards and locally made products can introduce recipients to new businesses and encourage them to shop small too.

Shopping small is an intentional way to help your local community and the environment. You’ll form relationships with shop owners, purchase one-of-a-kind products and enjoy healthier, more nutritious food products.

Check out the accompanying resource to learn more about the benefits of shopping small and how to start doing your part.

Author bio: Craig Duncan is Chief Operating Officer for House of Webster, a manufacturer of gourmet jams and jellies. He has more than 25 years of experience in the food manufacturing industry.

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