What Does Buying Local Mean To You?

What does the term “buy local” mean to you? There is an increasing push for people to start buying local foods and products of late. I think it’s a great idea. You need to first ask yourself, what does that mean to you? Does it mean that you buy foods and products from just your community? Your state? Our country?

It can mean all those things. Here in Idaho, we have a campaign called “Buy Idaho”. T.V. and radio ads encourage Idahoans to purchase goods and services within our state. I’m sure other states have this kind of program too. Buying within your community or state helps stimulate the economy. More jobs are stabilized and created. Tax money stays in your state to help fund local programs. It helps the owners of the products you like to keep producing them. It insures that you know where your food is coming from and who is growing it and how. When you keep your money local, everyone benefits.

Buying local also can mean purchasing goods and foods made in the U.S.A. The regulation to have country of origin on our food can be a helpful guide to knowing where your food is coming from. While most likely imperfect, it’s still a step in the right direction toward helping citizens of our country boost our suffering economy. Why support other economies when we can support our own first?

My rule of thumb when it comes to product purchases of any kind is:

  1. Can I buy it recycled or used? (Non-food obviously.)
  2. Can I make it at home?
  3. Can I purchase it from a local vendor who either grew it, made it or is selling goods and services made by another person or company in my community?
  4. Was is grown or made in my own state?
  5. Was it grown or made in the US?

There are obviously some things you cannot buy from our own country simply because our continent may not have the right climate for growing that particular produce item. But doing what you can to reduce the numbers of those items you buy from other countries not only helps out your community, but helps out our economy! Why not find ways you can start supporting your own local economy? Get to know your state’s products and services. Buy from local fruit stands and farms. Not sure where to start? Try Local Harvest first, then go from there!

Here are more links for finding ways to support your local economy:

Buy Local Day

Local Harvest

Co-op America

Google Search: buy local directory (This brings up many, many state directories for buying local in your state!)

Stop by Beth’s blog Coming Up For Air where she’s finishing up harvest food preservation and learning how to urban homestead!

This is an original 5 Minutes for Going Green post!

3 Responses to What Does Buying Local Mean To You?
  1. Heather @ SGF
    October 6, 2008 | 2:20 pm

    I try to buy as close to home as I can. Most all our food comes within 100 miles, but I consider the state of Texas local. We also have a campain “Go Texas” that labels food products as locally grown in Texas. It comes in really handy at the grocery.

  2. Colleen/FoodieTots
    October 8, 2008 | 1:21 am

    I’m pretty committed to buying as much of our food locally as possible (we’re participating the Eat Local Challenge this month) – but one aspect I’m struggling with is the fact that not many of our local farms are organic. Some are sorta organic, but it’s frustrating to have to choose between the two.

  3. All Rileyed Up
    October 8, 2008 | 1:26 pm

    I believe you can also contact your local Dept of Agriculture branch to find local farms.

    And anyone in Orange County reading this should check out South Coast Farms.