7 reasons to spend local when travelling global
‘Buenos Dias Guapa!’, Señor Pepe says while watching the TV from his home-trainer. He’s wearing a T-shirt that says ‘Aqui todo es muy bueno‘, meaning ‘Here’s everything very good.’ Pepe moves from his home-trainer to the counter where his ‘caña‘ (glass of beer) is located. Before I order I’m already offered to try a piece of the local cheese. ‘How was the beach today?’ he asks. I tell him about my day and order some seasonal fruit. Enough for the day, so I can come back again tomorrow. He gives me some free naranjas (oranges), raises his beer and says ‘Salud, hasta manana Suzanna!’ meaning cheers, see you tomorrow Suzanne!
This is local grocery shopping in Tarifa. Isn’t this fantastic!? Pepe made my day!
- Here’s 7 more reasons to spend local:
- 1. You make their day!
- 2. It’s an experience
- 3. It helps to maintain the identity of a place
- 4. It’s better for the environment
- 5. Food is fresher, tastier and healthier
- 6. You know where the food comes from
- 7. It helps to preserve spaces and places
Here’s 7 more reasons to spend local:
1. You make their day!
You can go to the big supermarket but who knows where the money ends up? By spending locally, your money and appreciation goes to the local entrepreneur, stays in the family and in the community. Not to a 2nd holiday home of mr. Supermarket owner. Local vendors mostly buy from local growers in the neighbourhood. This means more community support and less dependence on distant corporate chains and politics. It makes a place stronger in times of crisis!
2. It’s an experience
Engage the senses, experience the local scene, and you’ll come home with a story! Chances are you are the one and only customer. The vendor doesn’t get paid per hour, he or she gets paid by what you buy. Everything will be done to make you happy and come back! Have a chat, try some new food and exchange cultures. It’s all part of the fun!
3. It helps to maintain the identity of a place
Every town has icons like Señor Pepe. Take Mr. Ice-cream around the corner or the Coconut man walking the beach everyday. They are part of the identity of a place. By spending your money locally, you give back to the place you visit and the money is reinvested into the destination. Good for the travellers who will come in the next years. Good for the future generations.
4. It’s better for the environment
Local vendors buy from their local farmer or friend, or even grow the food themselves. This means only little or no fuel is burned to get a meal to you. Not to mention, less plastic, less chemicals, and less pollution. Did you know that 90% of worlds goods are transferred by the pollutive tanker ships. A big percentage is of this is highly unnecessary. We really don’t need to eat a papaya from Brazil if it’s orange season in Spain. Which brings me to point 5.
5. Food is fresher, tastier and healthier
Ok. It would be cool to have mango’s all year round imported from Timbuktu. But the seasonal fruit from the neighbourhood is definitely healthiest and tastiest. Ever tried an orange straight from the orange tree? De-li-cious! And in a far away country, just try that weird looking veggy of which there are tons. It’s what’s in season, what locals buy so why not just try?
6. You know where the food comes from
When you ask a western kid these days where the eggs come from, they say ‘supermarket’, not chicken or farmer. A bit wrong, isn’t it? The local vendor can tell you exactly where the food comes from, probably with a fantastic story attached to it!
7. It helps to preserve spaces and places
Do you know these little moments of happiness when seeing endless fields of sunflowers or the greenest paddies of rice? Have it as a reminder that these beauties of landscapes, managed by the local farmer, only survive when the farmer sells enough of what’s on it. Selling land for development shouldn’t be the more tempting option. By making the food chain smaller, more money goes back to where the product comes from. Local economies are stimulated and less dependent on distant buyers.
DO try this at home too!