We all know that buying products from local businesses is healthier for us, as consumers, and extra beneficial for the economy of any community, big or small. Buying locally sourced food should also be a priority for those who are eco-conscious and wish to make an effort in order to minimize their carbon footprint. And while there are quite a few reasons why our buying locally as much as possible impacts the environment in a positive way, you can continue reading about some of the more important of those reasons in what follows.
With trillions of dollars spent on importing products in the US every year, it’s not only the average consumer’s general health and wellbeing that is at stake, but also the health and wellbeing of our environment. Product transportation via aircraft is a great greenhouse-gas emissions culprit, transportation via shipping produces emissions of over one billion metric tons of carbon dioxide every year, while product transportation via trucks and trains are to blame for over a quarter of smog-causing pollution. Local and sustainable agriculture decreases the need for transportation, reducing the environmental stress caused by the food market globalization.
Food that’s being produced at industrial levels will always create greenhouse gasses, simply because you can’t make industrial supplies of products at a profit without using fossil fuels. However, the area in industrial farming responsible for the biggest consumption of fossil fuels is not transportation or equipment, but chemicals, both pesticides and fertilizers. Local farmers who work their small lands will always do their best to maintain and sustain the surrounding natural habitat, will keep to a pre-designed crop rotation schedule, and will be mindful and proactive in what concerns water usage and carbon sequestration.
Processing, transportation, and chemicals are not the only big reasons why this international unsustainable food system should be replaced by an environmentally-friendly local food system. With the materials used for food packaging being some of the least recycled materials in the US, it’s easy to understand why buying produce from local farmers who make a conscious effort towards minimizing storage and transportation packaging is the right choice to make.
Better health, financial wellness, and a balanced environment are all concerns of the modern man, and by putting our efforts together, it would be reasonable for us to be bullish on the betterment of our ecosystem. Small, individual steps towards this eco-oriented goal will diminish the stress pollution exerts on our environment, and buying local is certainly one of those steps.
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