Jason Hyde

Shop small: the first step towards a more sustainable life

Nothing feels better than new beginnings, which is why we like all kinds of new years. Be it the Gregorian calendar, Jewish or Chinese new year, it symbols a fresh start…something we all need a little bit of once in a while, maybe this year more than any other.

So, what can you do today to jump start your sustainable life? Our take: shop small. Locally owned and small businesses create communities that are more connected and end up being more prosperous because the money we use to shop small cycles back through the local economy, helping business owners and consumers strengthen the base of the community.

Here are 5 ways small businesses contribute to sustainability:

Reduce carbon footprint:

By supporting local and small businesses you’re traveling less miles to get what you need, which also means restocking this business requires less transportation. So, less transportation, ultimately results in diminished CO2 emissions.

Generate new jobs:

More small businesses in the area means more jobs for the local population which in turn translates into a cycling economy, providing people with means to contribute to their own community instead of looking for opportunities elsewhere.

Diversify the field, while remaining local:

As opposed to national chains, within small businesses you can find unique products that are harder to “ditch” contributing to less single use and fuller landfills. In the same way, these businesses are eye catchers and make communities stand out.

Stronger tax base

Shopping small contributes to the communities’ tax base which moves funds toward better public transport, better schools and public services in general.

Better health through agriculture:

One of the best ways to shop local is food. Small businesses like farmers market or locally sourced markets have the best impact environmentally wise. The closer the food comes from, the fresher and more sustainable in the long run. This also means less transportation of goods and less use of pesticides and preservatives to make food get to consumer in excellent shape.

So, remember, by helping small businesses you’re helping the planet and also your friends and neighbors during the trying times the world is facing this year. Let’s stop wasting TIME in national companies and start shopping small, for me, for you, for the environment.

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