The ill-effects of globalization
Globalization has completely changed our society where you can easily buy a product that has been assembled with parts coming from all over the world, and then shipped to you from Amazon, or Alibaba. Same thing goes for your food, just take a look at the labels at the supermarket. You might be leaving in France but you will find fish from Korea, oranges from California or garlic from China. But the extreme degree of globalization we are seeing currently is also leading to increased pollution, less diversity, less dynamism for the local economy and a lack of social links. But we can make a difference by changing our buying habits.
The fact that we have to ship all these parts back and forth between countries and then ship the finished products to usually yet another country leads to massive release of pollutants like carbon dioxide but also fuel and acoustic pollution . And pollution is not priced in our products so the current system is giving a very unfair advantage to corporations that are using different labour, capital cost and lax regulations to enjoy huge profits without being held accountable for the incredible amount of carbon generated by the activities. By consuming local products, you effectively reduce pollution coming from shipping either by road, sea or air.
Get more diversity
Have you seen how our city centers are changing? Same brands, same stores colonizing our streets and everywhere you go, cities are looking more and more like your standard American city. Do you remember this feeling when you arrived in a foreign city and you were enjoying the fact that the food, the stores, the people and what they were wearing were different. I don’t know for you but I really miss it and I think we are destroying a large part of what makes our world exceptional: our diversity. By buying local, you can fight back, restore local heritage and preserve ancient skills.
When it comes to food, it is also highly disturbing for our bodies. Since we can find vegetables and fruits from all over the world, we are progressively losing touch with our local environment and we don’t know anymore what is in season or not. Seasons are important and eating local vegetables and fruits makes you more healthy because the journey from the producer to you is much shorter so you get more nutrients and less preservatives. Above all, you know where your food is coming from and after all the recent food scandals, it’s paramount for your health.
Boost the local economy
Buying local products is also a great way to help the local economy. Take the local farmers for instance, you can buy directly from them to skip the intermediaries (like supermarkets), get fresh products, and contribute to their sustainability especially if they respect the soil, don’t use pesticides and produce high quality food. Don’t forget either your local artisans. Rather than going to a global clothes store where the clothes will be produced in sweat shops in Bangladesh, you should check out your local tailor, you will get much better clothes that will fit you perfectly for the same price or less. The same goes for local craft like leather, you can find excellent quality and original design. For my wife’s birthday, I found a great handbag from a local producer with incredible quality for a third of the price compared to a luxury brand.
Recreate social links
One thing that is missing when all our local providers are gone are the familiar faces that you see regularly like the local butcher, the baker or the barber. I don’t think we value these small businesses enough and their contributions to the community. Our daily interactions with them lead to real solidarity, friendship and better exchanges embedded in our daily purchases.
Post initially published on Steemit