I just came across this infographic about the environmental and economic benefits of buying locally-produced products via Food and Tech Connect. The argument here is that we gain disproportionate environmental, economic, and social benefits from purchasing locally-sourced products (mainly food) or purchasing goods from locally-owned businesses, rather than purchasing goods produced far away or from large retail chains.
I don’t disagree with the general argument of the graphic, though I will point out that there are additional nuances to these issues that this graphic doesn’t explore. For example, the environmental costs of shipping produce a long distance via ship can be lower than shipping it a shorter distance via truck. But these types of arguments are notoriously difficult to make in a small space, and this graphic probably serves a purpose in getting people who are completely unaware of these issues to think about them.
I’m also not sure I like the top-down viewpoint and general “sprawl” of the graphic. Granted, it does a good job of conveying far-flung supply chains, but I’d probably want to create something a bit more compact. At any rate, it’s interesting to take a look at.
(Click to view larger original version at eLocal.com.)