Support your local natural products retailer
When the pandemic began, we were forced to stay at home, retail shops were closed and people turned to online shopping for essential supplies. Local businesses felt the impact, and many stores have struggled to remain profitable throughout these difficult times.
Yet, the news is not all dire, as many have chosen to support local retailers by shopping for natural products and other goods within their communities. By frequently sanitizing surfaces, encouraging social distancing and mask-wearing, and offering curbside pickup for customers who do not wish to come inside, many local businesses have created safe shopping environments during COVID-19.
If you are interested in supporting your community’s economy by buying your natural products locally, here are some great reasons to do so.
Reason No. 1: Support your local workforce
Local businesses are often owned by community members and employ local workers. That means when you shop locally rather than ordering online, you are supporting employment in your area. When your money stays within the community, more jobs are created and your town will prosper. If small local businesses fail, community members will have to look for work outside of their area, contributing to fuel consumption and highway congestion. Local businesses also create jobs in the community indirectly for various types of work, such as advertisers, architects, contractors and accountants.
Reason No. 2: Reduce plastic waste
Scientists estimate that about 8 million metric tons of plastic enter the ocean annually. When you shop online, your items must be packaged to avoid breaking or spilling. The result is a lot of extra plastic packaging in the form of polybags, bubble wrapping and foam packing peanuts. Of course, we can recycle plastic, but recent controversy calls into question the effectiveness of our plastic recycling programs. When you buy locally and drive the goods home yourself, you can avoid using extra plastic packaging altogether.
Reason No. 3: Reduce fossil fuels
Buying local goods not only reduces waste from packaging, but it helps to reduce the use of fossil fuels. Getting your products from the warehouse to your home often requires many different trucks mainly powered by diesel fuel. When you shop from stores directly, you’re reducing the number of trucks that are needed to get your products to your home.
Reason No. 4: Use land more productively
Big-box stores and warehouses consume large amounts of land for their use. Local stores selling natural products tend to reuse existing buildings and have smaller footprints. As a result, smaller building sizes and parking lots help the environment by producing less contaminated water runoff and helping preserve natural animal habitats.
Reason No. 5: Create a greater sense of community
When you frequent local stores, you create connections to others in your local area. This contributes to an overall sense of community and deepens relationships we all have with one other. The more often you encounter someone when you are out and about, the more you can make friends and strengthen existing relationships.
Reason No. 6: You can find unique items
Natural product retailers often carry items unique to the area, so you are more likely to discover new brands and products when you browse local stores. In general, the products you uncover in smaller stores will differ from those which you’ll find at big online retailers.
Reason No. 7: Keep wealth in your community
Shopping local not only benefits the business owners and employees, but it also helps keep your tax dollars within your city or town. For every $100 spent locally, it’s estimated that $68 of it remains in the community. Local spending benefits your community by funding things like schools, libraries, fire departments and road repairs.
Reason No. 8: Customized help from knowledgeable staff
Retailers that sell natural products tend to hire people interested in the products themselves. They are usually educated on the different brands and sometimes will even make phone calls or further inquiries for you if you have questions regarding ingredients or anything else. They can give you personalized recommendations and help guide your shopping – a human touch that simply can’t be found online.
Reason No. 9: Enhance the velocity of money
“Velocity of money” may sound like a complex term, but it simply means the rate at which money is being circulated through the economy. A high velocity is linked to a strong economy, and a low velocity is what we see during recessions. Because the money spent in a local store goes directly to others in the community for products such as marketing, supplies and employee compensation, financial experts believe buying locally increases the velocity of money. This keeps the money circulating through the community; however, when you shop online, your money does not remain in your local area.
Reason No. 10: It’s more fun!
It’s enjoyable to walk through a local store and browse the shelves. Not to mention, walking is better for your health than sitting at a computer and ordering your products online. You can talk with friendly employees and discover new products, and while you’re at it, you can feel good because you are supporting people and services in your local area.
If you’re looking for natural products, give your local retail shops a chance before you start looking online. You can benefit your community while saving the planet and bringing home your favorite brands. What’s more, you might even discover new products you weren’t aware of.