BUY LOCALLY

Photo Credit: Yaroslav Blokhin

The act of ordering random things on the internet is now so routine that we’ve completely forgotten the side effects.

With free shipping, it’s easy to ignore the trees cut down for all those cardboard boxes. We pretend there hasn’t been an increase in FedEx & UPS truck carbon emissions or the amounts of trash from packing materials like bubble wrap and styrofoam, not to mention the increased imports from places like China and India fueling the cheap non-US-labor industry.

But when Amazon makes it so easy to stick their little “dash” button anywhere our home for one-press reordering of things we could just as easily pick up at our local grocery store, it almost becomes fun, right?

I’ll be the first to admit I’m a comparison shopper. I frequently order things online because they’re cheaper or better than what I can find nearby. However, the argument I’d like to make is that we should at least first consider our local options before we so casually click “Add to Cart.”

Buying from local businesses means your money keeps them around while the sales tax from your purchase supports where you live. You can’t really bitch about potholes on your street if you give all of the taxes from your new bicycle to some seller in China like I did. (Sorry guys. That won’t happen again.)

Americans claim to want products made and sold here in America. Sadly, it’ll never happen if companies don’t trust that Americans will buy those products since imports are so much cheaper.

I’m not saying you can’t order anything online. Sometimes, it’s your only option. I just want you (and me) to make a habit of considering a local purchase first before you just call out to your Amazon Echo to order a hoodie. Go out. Interact with your local stores. Get to know the people who own them and work there.

And if you’re a comparison shopper like me, go online, read the reviews, check the prices, and then try to find that thing at that price somewhere in your own town. (As long as you’re not a dick about it, sometimes you can even haggle the price down locally to match what you found online.) Oh, and if you can, lean toward “Mom & Pop”-owned businesses over places like Walmart. You can’t have nice locally-operated Main Street businesses when you give your money to big-chain box stores.

Read more like this at goodfuckinghabits.com

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