Local purchasing

Local purchasing

Local purchasing is a preference to buy locally produced goods and services over those produced more distantly. It is very often abbreviated as a positive goal 'buy local' to parallel the phrase think globally, act locally common in green politics.

On the national level, the equivalent of local purchasing is import substitution, the deliberate industrial policy or agricultural policy of replacing goods or services produced on the far side of a national border with those produced on the near side, i.e. in the same country or trade bloc.

Historically, there have been so many incentives to buy locally that no one had to make any kind of point to do so, but with current market conditions, it is often cheaper to buy distantly produced goods, despite the added costs in terms of packaging, transport, inspection, retail facilities, etc.. As such, one must now often take explicit action if one wants to purchase locally produced goods.

Rationale for local purchasing

Advocates often suggest local purchasing as a form of moral purchasing. Local purchasing is often claimed to be better for the Earth and better for working conditions.

The first potential moral benefit is environmental: Bringing goods from afar generally requires using more energy than transporting goods locally, and some environmental advocates (for instance, Amory Lovins) see this as a serious environmental threat. Of course, locally produced goods are not "always" more energy-efficient; local agriculture or manufacturing may rely on heavy inputs (e.g. industrial agriculture) or energy-inefficient machinery and/or transportation systems.

ee also

*Energy economics
*Community-based economics
*Local food

External links

* [http://www.localharvest.org/ Local Harvest] , a resource for the buy local, farm product and other 'alternative market' food, activism, news and event
* [http://www.livingeconomies.org/ BALLE - Business Alliance for Local Living Economies] , a network of communities supporting their independent businesses
* [http://www.pluggingtheleaks.org/ New Economics Foundation] , case studies and information on the economic impacts of local purchasing.
* [http://greenfabric.com/ Green Fabric] , a buy-local-what-was-made-local website, trying to fill the need for a listing of local creatives and producers.

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