Why should you shop and buy local? The holiday season is busy, it can be overwhelming, and sometimes it’s easier just to pop to the high street – or sit online – and buy everything from a chain store. But if you choose to resist this temptation, and instead buy local, the impact on the community, the planet, and the receiver of your gift, is far more positive.
If you’re yet to be convinced, here are five top reasons why you should consider buying your vegan and cruelty-free gifts from a small, local business this holiday season.
5 Reasons to Shop Locally This Holiday Season
1. There is Less Packaging
Often when we order things online from a high street chain or e-commerce site, we don’t have a say in the (often several) layers of plastic packaging it arrives in. However, if you pop to a small boutique or independent shop, you have more control over how much packaging is used to wrap your gift. Even if they do give too much for your liking, you have the option to hand it back for them to re-use. If you bring your own canvas tote or re-use an old shopping bag, you can even avoid a plastic carrier to take it home in.
2. Ethical Businesses Will Grow
Small, vegan businesses will only grow if they make enough money – it’s simple. If you want your local ethical businesses to survive, you have to buy from them. So don’t ignore your local cruelty-free healthfood shops or ethical boutiques. For example, if you’re looking for a dairy-free chocolate stocking filler, take a trip to your local whole foods co-operative instead of the nearest major supermarket.
3. You Know Where Your Money is Going
If you shop from a local, independent business, you know where your hard-earned money is going. You can chat with the owner about what their mission is, maybe they’re passionate about sustainability and veganism, or ethically sourcing materials for clothes. If you buy from a small business that cares instead of a larger corporation, you’re voting with your wallet for the kind of world you want to live in.
4. It’s Better for the Planet
Locally produced goods from artists, jewelry makers, vegan bakers, and other small businesses have often traveled much fewer air miles than say, that novelty pair of Christmas socks you ordered from China. So, not only can you cut down on the amount of plastic that gets thrown away, but you can also cut down on the carbon footprint of your gift, if you buy from a small, local business.
5. It’s a Gift to the Local Business, Too
If you buy from a large chain or corporation, if you put enough thought into what you’re buying, you’re going to make your loved one happy. But if you buy, for example, a vegan soy wax candle from a local market stall, your gesture of goodwill has a ripple effect, spreading the kindness and Christmas joy to the family or individual that owns that business, too. The money from your gift allows them to continue with their passion, whatever it may be. And that’s one of the best gifts of all.
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