Purchase Locally

What, when and where we buy items can make a significant difference on our environmental impact and for our community. We have a lot of power as consumers to enable change. This page explores the benefits of local purchasing.

Economic benefits for our community

Businesses selling locally-produced food, products or services provide economic benefits that stay in the local communities. These businesses are more likely to be closely connected to and support their local communities in a variety of ways, as are their employees. As consumers, we can visit their sites to help us appreciate their products even more. Our purchasing power can also encourage more socially and environmentally friendly practices and energy efficiencies that are harder to monitor in imported goods.

Environmental benefits

Bringing goods from afar requires using more energy and produces more air-borne pollutants or carbon emissions than transporting goods locally. Sixty per cent of the carbon footprint of food comes from its long distance transport.

Purchasing sustainably resourced products, organically grown foods and GE free foods are other ways we can support more environmentally friendly practices through our consumer choice. They are usually higher quality than cheaper imported foods, so last longer.

Locally produced product requires less packaging so there is also less waste to our landfill.   Even better, grow your own food and change from food-miles to food-feet.

Benefits for our health

Eating the rotation of foods being offered each season is known to be better for our health. We can see these foods being produced locally and our bodies match adapting to the seasons at the same time. We can also be assured of GE free food choices.

Not available locally?

When we are unable to purchase what we need locally, we have choices. Questions to ask yourself: Is there a local alternative? Do we really need this? Can we buy second-hand? Or, is there an enterprising opportunity for this to be produced locally?

Still needing the item, then think about the social and environmental effects of the product you choose. You can support Fair Trade products where what you pay is fair for the producer in developed countries and you will know their conditions of work are also acceptable. Choose quality, and items able to be mended or repaired. 

Farmers Markets

Farmers Markets have doubled in NZ in the last two years. Excellent resources to find out where your 'local' is, or help set one up in your town!