7 Products You Should Always Be Buying Local

When most of us shop, we make decisions based on price, quality and individual preference. Whatever’s prettiest, cheapest or best-rated online gets our dollar. But what about carbon footprint? When you shop, do you factor in the environmental impact of buying any given product over another?

At a time in history when climate change is by far humanity’s most pressing concern, our consumer addictions, and the environmental impact of those addictions, should be the first thing on our mind.

What we buy, and where it comes from, matters — more than we know. 

While the most environmentally friendly option is always not to buy, doing your shopping with independent, locally owned businesses is absolutely the next best choice. Locally produced products need not be shipped across the country to reach you, reducing carbon emissions when it matters most.

Additionally, cities that invest in their local economies generally have less congestion, less habitat loss and less pollution — all important aspects of long-term livability. That money you’re spending will go to building up your local community, rather than fatten the pockets of multimillionaires on the other side of the planet.

Sound good to you? Let’s make it happen, purchase by purchase.

Farmers Market Shopping Mature Woman

7 Products You Should Always Be Buying Local

 

 1. Meat

If you’re still eating meat (which, if you care about the planet, you should really rethink), switch to a local producer as soon as possible. Red meat is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas production and also requires a ton of water and land to produce.

2. Cheese

The next largest CO2 contributor in your kitchen, imported cheese accounts for half of all carbon emissions from dairy, according to this report by Business Insider. Supporting a local creamery can help reduce this.

3. Furniture

As much as we love IKEA, there’s just no way prefabricated furniture made from cheap materials and shipped the world over is good for the planet. While you’ll spend a bit more in the long run, supporting a local carpenter or independently owned furniture maker is a much better choice. Better yet, buy used furniture or refurbish old pieces to make them look like new.

4. Eggs

If you’re trying to minimize your carbon footprint and insist on keeping animal products in your diet, eggs are probably your best choice of protein. However, large-scale operations (free-range or otherwise) still produce large amounts of CO2.

Look for a local egg seller that has a small, egg-producing flock. Those chickens are likely to be well taken care of and you’ll be able to snag a dozen without needing to have it shipped from New Jersey.

5. Seasonal produce

If you want to guarantee that the produce in your fridge is from your region, shop at your local farmer’s market or co-op once a week. The vendors there won’t be coming from large distances and the quality will always be better than what you’d find at a grocery chain.

6. Plants

That tropical fern may look pretty, but purchasing local varietals instead of global plants will save you quite a lot on your carbon budget. Visit your local nursery and ask which plants are local to the area. Those are the ones you want!

7. Books

Time to start on a new novel? Check Amazon.com for reviews, but make your purchase at your local bookstore. And by local, I mean independently-owned. There’s something about a sweet little bookstore that demonstrates a thriving local economy, isn’t there? And avoiding boosting a corporate giant is never a bad thing.

Do you shop locally? How often?

47 comments

Alexandra Richards

Thank you.

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Caitlin L
Caitlin L11 days ago

Thanks very much

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Emma L
Past Member 13 days ago

Thank you

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Chad Anderson
Chad Anderson22 days ago

Thank you.

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Ruth S
Ruth S26 days ago

Thanks.

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Ruth S
Ruth S26 days ago

Thanks.

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Ingo S
Ingo Schreiner26 days ago

good ideas

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Hui S
Hui S26 days ago

thanks for sharing. plants, meat, eggs, dairy, and fresh produce are definitely local buys for us.

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Peggy B
Peggy B26 days ago

nOTED

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Tabot T
Tabot T27 days ago

Thanks for sharing!

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