Made in Canada matters

While students are easily tempted by the cheaper option, it’s not always the best one. 

In the long run, opting for locally-made products is preferable to buying cheap, mass produced goods. When buying locally, individuals fortify their economy, and by extension, improve environmental and health concerns.

Buying Canadian-made products supports local businesses and producers by circulating money and investing it back into your neighbour’s pocket. 

It’s important to take advantage of the unique, local resources at our disposal. And while operating locally endures a hefty cost, it provides a greater return.  

It’s this circulation of money from one person to another that strengthens a nation’s economy and allows for individuals to prosper.

A 2013 Civic Economics study on B.C. stores and restaurants discovered that local businesses distributed approximately 2.6 times the amount of money locally compared to chains.

Opting for locally-made goods pumps and re-circulates money in our society — whereas buying from a big-box store drains money as it’s outsourced to other places.

Locally-made products also benefit the environment by reducing our carbon footprint. Internationally-manufactured products may travel through several manufacturers during the process, consuming fuels and emitting poisonous materials before they finally arrive in stores.

While countries may implement environmental protection laws, some international manufacturers don’t adhere to them. In China, for example, past environmental protection laws included a set fine for polluters. Nevertheless, wealthier manufacturers continued polluting, because it was more cost-effective to pay the fine than to taper production.

Buying locally limits these emissions from manufacturers and keeps production as simple as farm-to-table dining. Because, good things grow in Ontario, right?

Most importantly, it deters poor labour conditions or low-cost country sourcing in places like China, Indonesia and Mexico — to name a few.

But there’s one major caveat — a homegrown diet can often be hard to maintain due to its costly nature compared to the average McDonalds or street meat diet.  

It’s also difficult to navigate local products in a sea of established and cheaply made goods from overseas.

Canada has some of the most unique brands in the world, some of which people don’t even know about. It’s essential for consumers to research products before they buy them.

Next time you go shopping be mindful of the products, but most importantly, where your money is going.

Erika is The Journal’s Lifestyle Editor. She’s a third-year English major. 

Corrections

January 12, 2016

Local businesses distribute 2.6 times the amount of money locally compared to chains, not the number of jobs.

The Journal regrets the error.

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