This week’s post is from Sofia Ribeiro, a green marketing expert with Kiwano Marketing, a company focused on marketing green for business that she co-founded. In this post, Sofia talks about how choosing to live green renders benefits in one’s day-to-day life, specifically centered around a daily or weekly activity that we often take for granted, but has enormous long-term impact; the simple act of shopping …
Local shopping can be good for your health, wallet, time, and for the environment.
Living in a hectic environment, full of endless errands, can create feelings of frustration and stress. We get so tightened up in our busy schedules that it seems there is no time to pay attention to our community, especially when living in busy cities. Our need to get things done renders convenience and time savings at the top of the list of things we value the most. And we look for products that are affordable, convenient and meet our standards even if we have to drive a significant distance to get them.
However, most of us don’t take into consideration the effects our car-centric lifestyles have on the environment. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, air in our homes has pollutant levels 2 to 5 times higher than the air outside, going up to 100 times higher depending on what products are used – causing health problems, such as skin irritation, headache, memory impairment and central nervous system disorders.
And this is not just at home. According to the Texas Traffic Institute, the average American worker spends 38 hours in traffic per year – and in the Los Angeles metro area, the traffic time goes up to an annual of 72 hours. The study also estimates that drivers wasted 2.9 billion gallons, or 10.9 billion liters, of fuel while sitting in traffic, taking a significant toll on the environment and on our health.
So, what can you do? One of the ways to help the environment is to rely on stores in the local community that don’t require car travel. Local shopping provides far more benefits than you might expect, such as:
1. Greater service satisfaction. It’s far more pleasant to catch up with vendor you know personally, rather than dealing with a stranger. And you’ll probably find a better suited product when the seller knows you. In addition, you are more likely to get what you came for, instead of leaving with a full cart when you just needed a jug of milk.
2. Saves time and money. You won’t be driving great distances, and you’ll probably be spending less time waiting in lineups, and without having to find parking. And you save money by conserving fuel consumption, too.
3. Local purchases will have a lower impact on the local environment. When you buy a local product, you will lower gas emissions by driving less. And by investing in stores that require a shorter distance to deliver those products to them, you reduce emissions from delivery vehicles.
4. Friendship and trust. You are more likely to trust a familiar person who lives in your neighborhood, and who understands what your consumer needs are better than a stranger would.
Acknowledging that big chains can often provide me with a greater variety of products, I still feel like giving my local community shop a chance. From my personal experience, I prefer to go to a local market for a few reasons. First of all, I can walk there, which provides me with some exercise, fresh air, time to think, or a company of a friend. Second, I feel more welcomed and cozy, instead of being overwhelmed by a long line-up and a tired cashier. Lastly, I get to know my community better, which feels good and gets me in a better mood.
So pick up your next jug of milk and some apples at your local market and let us know your opinion, knowing that you’re helping the environment, your neighbors and your own well-being.