Shop local to save the planet.

14th November

Cuculo, Heathfield High Street – staff preparing to make a delivery during lockdown last year

People, Planet and Mindful Shopping

If lockdown taught us one thing it was how lucky we are in the Heathfield area to have so many wonderful independent shops and services. When you couldn’t get a delivery from your usual supermarket, it was the local traders and volunteer services who took to their vans, electric bikes and on foot to keep us supplied. An unplanned beneficiary was the environment and Joanne makes a plea here for us not to forget the benefits of ‘ save the planet, shop local’.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has changed our lives in ways that could not have been foreseen.  Whilst many of these impacts have been upsetting and stressful, the breathing space given to our natural environment during lockdowns, has been a timely reminder of the damage that we all do to our planet day by day.

As the world’s attention turned to COP26 in Glasgow for the climate change conference, it is clear that we all have to take personal responsibility for our actions, rather than wait for government organisations to take the lead.  

Making purposeful changes to the way we live today, to help the planet tomorrow, is urgent and we all have a part to play – we simply can’t wait for the policymakers.  So what small steps can we each take, to make a big collective difference? 

Shop local, an easy way to lower your impact on the environment

While you might feel there is not much you can personally do about climate change, continuing to support local businesses in Heathfield is an excellent way to make an impact that matters.  Local consumption is an easy way to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions and lower your overall environmental impact.  

Shopping locally with independent retailers and at farm shops and markets means we consume less packaging. While many items in supermarkets are protected for shipping, locally produced food and drink does not have such a long and arduous journey – and you can choose how much packaging you need, if any!  

And have you looked at the origin labels of your food and drink buys lately?  Where possible, choose items that are in season rather than things shipped in from overseas.  Shopping in this way means your food has not been frozen or preserved using chemicals harmful to the planet.  It has also travelled less, reducing those airmiles.   And of course we travel less by buying locally!  It is a simple way in which to reduce congestion and pollution on our roads.

Local businesses have stepped up brilliantly to support their local communities at a time of crisis – now we need to ensure their efforts are rewarded and reciprocated in the longer term.  And I can think of no easier way for us all to start to do our bit for climate change too.  It’s a win-win so THINK HEATHFIELD!”

Save the planet, shop local an opinion piece from Joanne Rogers, Founder of the ‘Shop & Dine Well in Wealden’ campaign on behalf of Wealden District Council.

The Shop & Dine Well in Wealden campaign will run at least until March 2022 and has been created to support independent businesses as the pandemic continues.

A wide-ranging marketing campaign is underway to encourage visitors to our town and village centres and there is activity focused on encouraging residents to continue to ‘buy locally’ and support local Wealden businesses including our high streets and local farmers’ markets and craft fairs.

Marcellus Edmonds, one of the elders at Kings Church, delivering a prescription during lockdown as part of the Happy to Help Scheme