By buying local produce you reduce the need for your food to be transported - and therefore the oil used and carbon emissions produced. The transportation of food consumed in the UK accounts for 2.3% of all UK greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Transporting perishable foods also requires energy-intensive refridgeration, which along with home refrigeration contributes 3 to 3.5% of UK GHG emissions.
Buying local food is a great way to support local producers and retailers. When you do, 80p in every £ stays in the area, whereas when you shop in some supermarkets only 20p benefits the local economy.
Going shopping in your local area whether it’s at the shops or one of the markets is a good way to keep up with what’s going on in the area and meet the people who make your food.
Try shopping at community markets and local shops or sign up to a local vegetable box scheme. You’ll find lots of these listed in the Local Food Directory.
Eat more wild food, but be sure not to eat anything if you’re not 100% certain it’s edible, and try to avoid foraging along roadsides or taking too much from one site. It’s a good idea to take along a comprehensive foraging book.
Grow your own - whether it’s in your own back garden, on a windowsill or at one of the community gardens.
Why not try...?
If you have kids who do the shopping with you, why not keep them entertained by asking them to pick an item from your shopping list and then try to find the most local version of it they can?
Stocking up on local veg when they're in season and cheaper, and find recipes that make the most of them?