It is said that if one wants to better their surrounding circumstances they must first work on their inner self as an individual before any outer change can occur. This concept can apply to grander pictures as well. Expanding this idea and applying it to people’s desire to improve their country materially, economically or environmentally could help guide efforts in the right direction. Shifting the focus to the local community is more progressive than looking at the big picture.
The staggering amount of people and space we occupy makes it hard to feel like any one person has a say. It is often overwhelming to think about all the problems in a country that need improvement. Redirecting the attention to the smaller picture helps people feel like their efforts make a difference. It’s also easier for people to achieve collective action by banding together on a closer, smaller scale rather than gathering people spread across the country, despite having the internet as a tool.
Americans have seemingly become dependent on corporations for not only the majority of purchases being made, but also for jobs. It’s been argued that corporations are better for creating jobs than anything else. Sure, they do provide tons of jobs but why support a corporation that’s already well off when entrepreneurs and their community benefit far more? Additionally small businesses have been shown to allocate higher percentages of revenue to wages, while big-box retailers have the tendency to provide lower wages and benefits compared to revenue.
A good place to start in the shift to going local is to think about what companies you choose to buy your food from. Buying produce from a farmers market is safer and healthier. There’s more of a chance of getting organic foods that have been grown with less or no harmful pesticides and chemicals. Since local food markets can’t hide behind the mask of a corporate logo, there is more assurance of get healthy products.
When more money gets circulated through chain stores, a majority of that money doesn’t go back into the economy. It could even be as little as 13 cents to the dollar that comes back around, compared to local shops or farmers’ markets where as much as 45 cents to the dollar gets put back in the community.
In addition to fresh produce canned foods like pickles, jams and peanut butter are the perfect thing to buy local. Since they are often packaged in glass jars that makes them fairly heavy products. Moreover, it conserves far more energy to buy pickles that are made a town away rather than from across the country or even an entirely different country.
Although it’s not entirely feasible to expect a full, absolute switch to local products. Considering the fact that a lot of crops are not in season year long depending on the location. Even a small 10 percent switch in the direction of money flow could potentially make an impact of millions of dollars making its way back into the community. This makes every little effort greatly important.
Uniquely enough human behavior and tendencies have a domino like effect and it’s almost entirely subconscious. When a person sees others doing simple actions they will be more likely to view those actions as a standard. The average person often sees local or organic foods as a taboo meant for left wing hippies. The only way to change this outlook is to lead by example to show that one doesn’t have to be an extremist to care about where they’re getting their food from.
Having a chain of positivity is an invaluable advantage. Kindness is contagious, the more it is seen and felt, the more present it becomes. When heart is put into the surroundings the more respect people have for it. This could potentially lead to people feeling more connected and united.
All things considered the positive potential of supporting the local community is seemingly endless. The possibility of individual impact becomes reachable. In short, not only will the economy benefit, but the environment, physical health and community enrichment will also flourish.