Are we shopping away our rosy retirement future?
There was an interesting news segment about the positive impact of shopping at home. It caught my attention because in a way we are all guilty of not doing it but could easily change our shopping habits.Read article here ( in German )
Especially in Europe, the average European counts on their country to provide a pension, schooling, medical and a good life. At the moment, the lucky baby boomers are reaping the benefit of this system but, how about the Millennials, will they get a pension one day in the future?
Just like with medical aid, a pension system only works if there are enough people paying in.
But let's get back to basics. Thirty years ago ( or so ), almost everyone bought not far from where they lived. Groceries, clothing, appliances etc. Granted, not all of it was made @home, but the majority was. Which resulted in local people having a job. If not in the manufacturing of it, than in the supporting jobs that came with it.
Growing up in a small town in Bavaria, it was as natural as breathing air, that our family would buy bread at the local baker's, meat at the local butcher's etc. That was just how it was done. Fast forward to now, and most ( of us ) shop either online or in huge warehouses. Hypermarkets are temptingly cheap, but most of their wares come from half way across the world.
Some of the things we buy from foreign climes can only be made or grown there, but many things we buy can easily be made in our backyard.
If most of what we consume is made abroad, than in a way we are rather arrogant to still demand all those social benefits that living in Europe entails.
This study is rather easy on our psyche, because it just asks us to buy at least 10 % worth's of goods and services in our own backyard. Regional, and that is not too difficult.
- Instead of taking 3-4 holidays abroad, take one of them in your own backyard. Luckily with us, Burgenland is a smorgasboard of divine holiday destinations.
- Even the supermarket giants are now stocking products made in our region. Take potatoes, a staple which I love and that can be had for next to nothing! Yet, for a few Euros more, you can buy a bag of delicious home grown potatoes. Regional tastes better because there aren't so many chemicals used to keep them fresh longer and also, by buying regional, we are keeping jobs at home.
- Shopping online, is of course easy and addictive, but have you ever wondered what happens to all those staff members of the many shops that had to close down because of the online shopping habit?
We are an integrated commercial world, and that is good. But I think that at the moment we are shopping mostly from the East and one just needs to peep at the Balance of payment to see that the trading is imbalanced. None of us can only shop regionally, but trying for that 10%, is extremely doable for most of us...
As an added bonus ( and I think the most important bit ) buying regionally helps save our climate more than anything else can...