For a host of reasons, shopping locally is the right thing to do. You can save fuel, help maintain communities and preserve a diversity of independent shops. Also if you're thinking ethically about other purchases then we have some ideas on where to go for advice.
Next time you head off on that weekend away to Llanberis or have booked that self-catering cottage in Ambleside, try shopping at the local green grocers, the local butchers, the market or farm shop - with a little planning, it isn't that hard to buy much of your food locally and you know you will be supporting the area you love coming to visit.
Locally produced food tends to be fresher and healthier, better for the environment having not travelled so far, and supportive to local farmers and the local economy. Local food is also grown on local land and so supporting your local food suppliers means that you’re also preserving rural areas for generations to come. By supporting local businesses in the food chain, such as farm suppliers, processing facilities and independent retailers, jobs are created and more money circulates locally.
A recent initiative called Making Links strives to strengthen the relationship between the adventure sports sector and local food producers, in particular looking at ways to improve the delivery of local food to places such as bunkhouses, encouraging local menus to reflect the seasonality of local produce and improving the promotion of local food across key areas such as National Parks. For more information take a look at Eco-Adventure Sports (ECAS). This is an organisation with charitable objectives set up by people involved in all forms of adventure sports concerned about the impact of our activities on the environment, local people and their local economy.
Shopping locally has never been easier - there are now some excellent websites, such as BigBarn and Buy-Local.net – simply enter your postcode and they will tell you where you can buy your local food produce.
If you are thinking of having a big spring clean or thinking about updating your outdoor wardrobe, or just your way of thinking about how you live, there are a number of organisations offering advice on where to go and what to buy.
Green Choices offers advice about the choices we make in our everyday lives to protect our environment, for the benefit of all. It offers advice on broad topics such as food and drink, DIY, toiletries, gardening and so on.
The Ethical Products Organisation (EPO) aims to raise awareness of the ethical products available to shoppers and to enable shoppers to find online shops that are ethical. The website has an online directory of ethical shops.
Ethical Superstore offers a range of products, including outdoor clothing from companies who champion fair trade fashion and environmentally sensitive manufacturing practices
And one for the girls (you know we love to shop) - Ethics Girls is a website for fashion, shopping and ideas, all with an ethical twist.
Shop around - there is now a greater choice of clothing that is actually made from recycled material. Patagonia for example, has a ‘Shelter Stone’ waterproof shell jacket which is made from recycled material, and is also recyclable.
The websites referred to here make up just a small fraction of the advice and places you can visit if you want to know more about where to buy ethical goods and where to shop locally. Spend a bit of time searching and you will find it easier than you thought to make that small change and be a little greener.
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