How Can We Help?
Shopping locally is an easy way to support your community and environment. Here are some simple steps to follow if you are interested.
1. Do your research and find local shops! Check to see if there’s a website created that recommends stores or restaurants owned by people in your community. You may also be able to find flyers or other forms of advertising posted throughout your local area.
2. Tour your community. Farmer’s markets that may only come around a couple times in a year might be difficult to find. Ask any friends that live in your community or neighbors if they know when any farmer’s markets might be opening.
3. Try to avoid mainstream supermarkets. These types of grocery stores might be easier to find and access than locally owned shops or farmer’s markets, but can contain very unhealthy products. Many items sold at supermarkets aren't freshly grown and might contain a harmful bacteria called GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms). On the other hand, you may see gardens in the back of locally owned stores where they grow and then later harvest their products without adding any unnatural chemicals.
4. Reduce your carbon footprint. Because of the short distance, you can walk, bike, or use another form of eco-friendly transportation to get to a local store, instead of driving a car or riding a bus. Boats, also, can have a negative effect on the environment. Boats ship in 90% of all products contained in large stores, and release toxins that pollute the air and coastlines. Shopping locally provides you with items that were either grown or made in your community, and that didn't have to be shipped overseas.
5. Help in other ways besides shopping. Starting your own local business may be a big jump, but one very simple way to help is to spread the word. Tell your friends, neighbors, and other members of the community about farmer’s markets and local stores. You can also create flyers of websites that advertise, for example, a new store that opened across the street from your house, or a farmer's market that’s coming to town. You can also organize fundraisers that support locally owned shops in your community. If you shop locally, you will be supporting the jobs of the owners of the store, and making your community a happier and healthier place.