Eco Home Northern Ireland facebook logo
login | contact us

Shop local

Transport not only concerns the movement of people, it also relates to the movement of goods, and therefore our consumption patterns are also closely linked with the issue of travel.

Food in a lorry

Food miles

How often have you gone into a supermarket and come home with apples from New Zealand instead of fruit that was produced locally?

Every product that is not made or produced in your local area has to be transported from a farm or production site, to a factory or processors, to a distribution centre, to an airport, to another airport, to another distribution centre, to your local shop or supermarket. Think of the 'food miles' attached to something as simple as an apple! Have a look at the labels on your clothes and furniture to see where they come from. Often produce from far away is chosen for its ability to 'travel well' rather than for its taste! It is often picked when it is still unripe and artificially ripened along the many miles it has to travel to make it to our supermarkets.

Local food and local goods

Would it be possible to source any of the products you use in your home from a local supplier? You'd be reducing the energy used to bring that product to you, as well as supporting your local economy. Considering that we are heavily dependent on imported oil products for energy, sourcing products locally would be a step towards self-sufficiency.Consider buying food from your local famers market or country market - it is likely that the goods have been grown or produced close to your home and if in doubt, you can always ask the seller! Visiting markets is a great way to get the freshest local produce and mingle with the community while supporting local producers - again, asking the stall holder about the origin of the goods is often the only way to find out where the produce comes from.

Try visiting St. George's Market, one of Belfast's oldest attractions; this market has been shortlisted for various local and national titles and awards for its fresh, local produce and great atmosphere. It holds a weekly Friday Variety Market as well as the City Food and Craft Market on Saturdays. It also hosts a range of events throughout the year.

Food in a trolley

Supermarket shopping

When you are in the supermarket, try to buy the fruit and vegetables that have been grown in your own country, as buying the local food guarantees that the transport costs are lower, the food is likely to be fresher and have more flavour and your choice will help support home industries.