Do you know the term “Greenwashing”? This is what is known as marketing who tries to sell you a green car or any other product with an environmental value, but which in fact does not have any. Ecology is now trendy and advertisers have understood, so brands green themselve to be more attractive.
It is the mission of marketing, find what sells the products we consume. While our travel we see a lot of different cities and I realize that a new aspect has now made way in this advertising: the local aspect. It’s rare to see a downtown where stores do not come with a sticker to encourage local consumption. We do not always have the choice of going to supermarkets, chains, and the vegetable section also claims “locally grown”
Named something is to explain it in part, I propose that we start talking about localwashing, as we do with the greenwashing. I would not say of course that consuming local is a bad thing, but it is important to see that it is now a marketing label used to reach the consumer.
As an environmentalist, local consumption is a necessity for many reasons. This means less transport and therefore less fossil fuel energy. It also means that it is better for health, less pollution, but also products that will be adapted to my environment. The medicinal properties of honey for example, only works if it is local honey, because the bacteria present are those of the immediate environment of the bees.
Consuming locally is to be more resilient, it is less dependent on the outside and more autonomous. It is to be in direct relation, as much as possible, with the producer of what I consume. It is to weave the social link with the immediate entourage.
Local consumption also means that we are dealing with smaller companies, less hierarchical scale and that the money invested will fall back into the community and not into the account of a shareholder.
The reason to consume locally must meet a set of criteria that justifies it. It is not because a vegetable is produced locally that it is necessarily without pesticides or GMOs. Yet this is the kind of product that these supermarket chains sell us, a local vegetable but not good for health.
Local should not become a label that makes a product good, it’s not because the store is local that it necessarily sells good products. Ecological and social reasons that require local consumption are no more soluble in local capitalism than international. A local store that sells products that need thousands of miles is not what is known as resilience, but it is what we can called local washing.
We could visit 0 waste stores, the concept is necessary and we have to generalize it, but unfortunately the visual marketing was in order and the stores finally had more free space than products, to be beautiful. Is this really the model that will save the planet?
Bulk is becoming more fashionable and in many supermarkets in English Canada and the United States it can be seen, but does purchasing bulk in a huge store make sense?
When we know the environmental impact that the food industry can have, we can choose to be vegetarian or vegan. It is, however, dichotomous to see that people choose to have a particular diet and be happy to see a new industrial product that responds to it. The packaging and the whole process of transformation isn’t coming in opposition to this kind of food choice?
Consuming responsible and local is not to be a consumer, but a social actor who takes into account the global nature of his act. We must then pay attention to what we call green capitalism. The marketing must not be what make things are buy.
Also published on Medium.