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Friday, May 25, 2012

Buying local

 Aurora @ Island Dreaming

What does buying local mean to you?

When we go shopping, we try to buy fruit and veg grown by farms in this county or neighboring ones, about a 100 mile radius. We shop in local businesses where we can as opposed to the giant chain multinationals. Why? We believe the slower our money flows back to the global financial system, the more our local area can use it to thrive.

Obviously keeping my fellow Brits in employment ultimately benefits me in times of high unemployment. That said, I know that most of our nations are so heavily indebted to each other, domestic consumption however concerted probably won't make much of a dent. Lack of appetite for exports abroad should everyone do the same spells disaster, we are all so hopelessly interconnected in the global economy for better or worse. I can control only where my own money goes.

My reasons for buying British previously have not been economic but purely environmental. It makes no sense to ship goods from the Far East when they can be shipped just a few hundred miles.The reason those imports are so cheap is often partly due to lack of environmental regulation. So in theory, whilst more expensive, those British goods should be marginally less destructive.

The UK is limbering up for both our monarch's Diamond Jubilee and our hosting of the Olympic games this year. The shops are awash with red, white and blue trinkets and goods, the majority of which are of course made overseas. I won't be buying patriotic paraphernalia, but it has raised the broader issue in my mind. Should I be making an effort to buy British?

Do you make a conscious effort to support your own national economies? Why, and how?

5 comments:

LindaG said...

I try to sometimes, but it's so hard to find anything that is actually made in America any more.
A very slippery slope as far as I'm concerned because it means lost skills as well as jobs.

Sue Grier said...

I do buy made in australia products only and if I can I try to use Australian owned companies. Very hard to do if it is furniture etc but if there is a ausssie product we buy. I buy local fruit and vegies. I shop local. I hope I am doing my bit. I think I am.

Trish said...

I try to buy local as much as is possible, but like someone else said, it's hard to find anything made in america, let alone local. Like why aren't WE farming fish, instead of importing it from Asia?

I had heard that Prince Charles, when in Scotland, has produce flown in every day from his organic garden in Britain. I really am unimpressed with that. It's like the smug folks over here who drive their SUVs from their huge houses with chemically maintained lawns, to the organic market. Organic for me is about the environment more than just protecting myself.

Lana said...

Our doughter taught English at a Chinese university for a year. One thing she was told to bring with her from the US was small American flags as the students love to recieve them from the teachers. She had to peel all of the 'Made in China' stickers off before giving them. Kind of ironic that the flags where shipped from China to the US and then she took them back in her luggage. She found in talking with her students that they have no idea of the amount of goods that are for sale in the US that are made in China.

Anonymous said...

It's so difficult to buy local (in my case British) products, but I have tried to do just that for approx two years. Food is relatively easy, but I find clothing & household goods almost impossible, so now I've expanded my criteria to include Europe. Re: the jubilee celebrations; today I've been busy making my own bunting out of old jeans, school shirts & my husbands' old work shirts which I've dyed red - my little act of rebellion against the consumerism.