Sourcing things, stuff and all sorts locally is becoming more of a hot topic these days. There are different motivations for it too, from cutting the carbon associated from transporting goods to supporting your local economy. Then there are the various counter-arguments that can really make your mind boggle, especially if you really care about what and where you buy.
Take food, for example, there’s lots to think about and there isn’t one definitive answer when it comes to life’s most fundamental purchases:
- A humble tomato – which is better, one grown locally in a heated greenhouse or one grown outdoors in a faraway land that had to make a very long trip to get here?
- Local meat or exotic vegetables? Locally sourced organic meat sounds like a good idea but what if you stopped worrying about the local aspect and became vegetarian, wouldn’t that have a bigger impact on your carbon footprint?
- Is the optimum answer to go veggie and eat locally and seasonally, maybe even grow your own? If you fancy giving that a try, it would be worth researching some local food projects like the Fife Diet for some inspiration as hearing ‘pass the turnip’ one time too often might weaken your resolve.
What about when it comes to the more luxurious purchases? Will buying locally be better or worse, cheaper or more expensive? It could well be any of these but the way to find out is probably just to give it a try.
Then, of course, there are clothes to consider. I recently had a dress made by a local tailor/dressmaker. It was genuinely my best dress-buying experience ever. To give a little context, I truly hate clothes shopping especially for dresses – I don’t conform to conventional dress-sizing (who does these days? Only a lucky few!) and I find it a thoroughly depressing and usually fruitless task.
It cost me £70 to have a dress designed and made to fit and flatter my shape. I feel good when I wear it and an added bonus is that I’ll never bump into someone wearing the same thing. For me, this local purchase was definitely a cost-effective and positive experience that I plan to repeat. It also makes me want to look at what else would be better if I bought it locally.
Are you following a local diet or do you have great tips for where to get high quality local goods? Tell us about your experiences.