Our increasingly homogenized world is a perfect example of the mere-exposure effect which it claims that people develop an instinctual preference to something by merely familiarizing themselves with it. This psychological phenomenon is branded onto our shopping lists and daily acknowledgements. When cultural attention is debauched by logistic corporate influence, the individuality of local community erodes. In effect, that community becomes a commonplace for logo-stamped impersonal affairs. To counteract this pending uniformity, encourage local business by buying from people you trust.
Local purchases support independent businesses. Creating strong community independence is a vital step towards sustainable living. Containing the cycle of products, waste, food and money within communal bounds centralizes power in a new way: personally. The portal to a broad range of product choices lies within the local marketplace. It is no wonder that locations with personality have been an attraction for as long as people have meandered. The appeal of locality is not limited to the products received. It includes the trustfulness of business practitioners and minimal environmental inflictions. Independent store owners employ people with an interest in what they do, stimulating local economic growth. The people who invest their time and energy into one-of-a-kind businesses are those likely to understand the needs of their neighbors. They also invest their commitment and loyalty. They are not going to ship products back and forth around the globe before they reach their customers. They plan to stay in their community; they are a part of it and care for its prosperity.
The term “locavore” is used to describe someone who dedicates his or her diet to locally grown and harvested food. Such a person cares not only about their health, but also about the immediate community around them. They think ahead and beyond themselves to benefit organic life as a whole. Though it might seem costly to buy only local foods, the consumer can feel the benefits right away. Adapting to the diet of a locavore introduces consumers to eating seasonally. Not all food crops are harvestable at the same time, so seeking local food can help one appreciate the cycles of our Earth. Local, organic crops nourish the mind and body rather than poison it with packaging toxins and pesticides.
Local farmers’ markets are trending all around us. There are at least two large markets in Bellevue alone, and dozens more not too far away. These ambiguous, often more-than-weekly gatherings offer loads of organic crops, fresh and local. Defeating any superfluous transportation, local products virtually eliminate their carbon footprint. Many markets offer sustainable produce. It is important to realize that untrusted, though still local, brands that you can find at stores may be using the term “local” as rhetoric. Someone who carefully produces a food crop should be more than willing to speak with a questioning neighbor; this is insight one can’t receive from the many producers and transporters of nonlocal products.
We have the power and ability to change the propaganda surrounding us. Resisting the urge to buy from the mainstream marketing endorsers is weight off humanity’s shoulders. Local influence can reach us at a deeper level than corporate influence can, so we should listen to the needs of our community. Consumers will be heard, not told.