The Environmental Benefits of Shopping Small
The holiday season is upon us, and with it comes the exciting yet sometimes overwhelming tradition of shopping for gifts. The holiday retail sales forecast for 2023 predicts a 3-4% increase over 2022, potentially reaching a staggering $957.3B to $966.6B.1 In fact, the average holiday shopper is projected to spend about $875 on food, decor, seasonal items and more, which is $42 more than last year.
And where will most people shop this year? According to the National Retail Federation, only 24% of adults report they are planning on shopping at a small business.2 In the rush to snag the best deals and the trendiest gifts, the vital role that small businesses play in providing sustainable options and fostering community well-being often goes unnoticed. We hope after reading this blog post you will consider shopping local and small this holiday season!
Shopping Small and Local: A Greener, Healthier Choice
Shopping at small, local businesses isn't just about finding unique gifts; it's a choice that can make a real impact on the environment and reduce your carbon footprint. Here are a few reasons why:
- When you support local businesses, you're helping to reduce emissions and keep the air cleaner. Many of the products offered by local businesses are sourced from nearby suppliers, reducing the need for long-distance shipping and cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions.3
- More small businesses in a neighborhood mean less traffic congestion and, in turn, less pollution. In areas with a strong local business presence, residents drive 26% fewer miles, leading to a cleaner and happier environment.4
- Local businesses often focus on providing high-quality, sustainable products. Think organic, hormone-free, and pesticide-free goods. By choosing to shop local, you're actively supporting the availability of these eco-friendly choices.3
Small Businesses: Boosting More Than Just the Economy
Shopping small has a ripple effect that goes far beyond your purchases:
- When you spend $100 at a small, local business, a significant $68 stays within your local economy. This is in contrast to only $43 that remains when you shop at a large, national chain store. By keeping money in your community, you're supporting infrastructure, community programs, and more.4
- Small businesses are vital job creators, responsible for up to 90% of new jobs in the United States.4 When you choose local, you're bolstering the job market close to home.
- Small businesses thrive on community relationships. They buy local, hire local, and do business with local folks. This network ensures that money keeps flowing in your neighborhood, contributing to financial stability and resilience.5
Shopping Local: Benefits for Your Community
Not only does shopping local benefit the environment and the economy, but it also enriches the lives of the people in your community:
- When you buy locally-made products, you're investing in the individuals living right in your community. Your favorite small business owners might be your neighbors, and your support directly impacts their livelihood and the overall community spirit.
- Locally-sourced food products don't need to travel long distances, so they're fresher and contain fewer preservatives, offering healthier options to local residents and reducing waste.6
- Small businesses are known for their generosity. They donate almost 2.5 times more per employee to local charitable causes than larger corporations.4 Your purchases from small businesses not only sustain them but also make your community a kinder place to live.
Small and Local Businesses: Sustainability Superheroes
Choosing to shop at small, local businesses isn't just about buying gifts; it's about contributing to a sustainable planet, a thriving local economy, and a closely-knit community. We like to think of small businesses as the neighborhood superheroes of sustainability.
Tare Market is a zero-waste store that is on a mission to fight climate change and promote sustainable living. Our wide range of eco-friendly, package-free and plastic-free items includes cleaning products, kitchen essentials, hygiene products, bulk groceries and more. This holiday season, you can make a meaningful impact on the environment and your community by opting for local and small businesses. Join the movement today and enjoy your holiday shopping with a positive twist!