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Keeping It Close To Home: The Benefits of Shopping Locally

Price tag that reads "'shop local"

Online retail has been an incredible blessing, offering us choices beyond our wildest imagination, and the comfort and ease of shopping in our underwear. It’s great! You click around, find something that you like, look for a better price, and order. A few days later (or sometimes the same day) it’s on your doorstep.

The convenience is wonderful, but there are costs from shopping online that impact your lifestyle negatively, just not right away.

When money is spent elsewhere, the impact is felt by your surrounding area. Shopping locally funnels funds back into your community, instead of distant corporations.

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance says that for every $100 spent locally, nearly $54 returns and circulates within the state economy, which is far more than the average of $14 that returns from online purchases. This is money that gets circulated among your neighbors, helping your community to thrive and facilitating saving for things like college or home purchases. More tax money also stays in the area, which means better schools, roads, and public services.

Jobs are affected, as well. The expansion of one ubiquitous online retailer has resulted in a net loss of about 149,000 U.S. retail jobs by the end of 2015. Buying local keeps more people in your community employed, which keeps your area healthier overall.

Shopping at local famer’s markets offers the opportunity to purchase fresher produce and often unique and interesting selections. It may cost a little more, but you tend to buy less and therefore waste less food.

Honestly, how much produce do you throw away each week?

Buying locally helps your community in a number of ways, which greatly improves the quality of life for everyone in the area. We will certainly continue to shop online, but perhaps we can reduce waste by prioritizing necessities and whenever possible, shop locally.

For more reasons relating to environment, employee commitment, and spending habits, check out this great piece by Nicolas Straut.

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