“I should be paying, last night he went overdrawn doing a supermarket shop,” I winked at the waiter.
“I hate those supermarket bills,” she said.
“Buying food in small shops, over a month we spend less than a single supermarket bill.”
“Wow, that’s amazing. I never thought of doing that,” the waiter smiled.
Supermarkets are monsters. They lure you in with a promise of everything under one roof. You go in with a small list and on your way to the essentials stocked at the far end of the stall, you are tempted to pick stuff off the isles. You end up with an over filled trolley and a huge bill and weeks later, some of those items still linger in your larder.
Shop in the little independent places along the street and you buy what you want and you spend less. On top of this, you’ve engaged with the owners, you’ve had some exercise, fresh air and fun, you also return home enriched. Your money has stayed local, it’s not gone to fill the pockets of city investors. Most of the goods, if you pick with intent, are also local.
Supermarkets come to town and kill such shops. Once one threatened to come to a place where we lived, they promised they’d not copy what the little shops did, but as soon as they were open they did just that. Trying to survive, the butcher kept creating new produce to keep alive. Guess what, each week the supermarket did what he’d just done. They killed him. They killed the fruit and veg shop, the clothes shop, the hardware shop, the newsagents. The town emptied of character as the high street became an open mouth with teeth removed.
Supermarkets drive consumerism. They convince shoppers to buy, buy, buy, to fill trolleys with stuff they don’t really need, don’t really want, but they have become addicted to getting stuff. Supermarkets are the basis of capitalism gone wild. They are the root of Climate Change. Think of all the milage of all the goods they sell, of the vast CO2 footprint the production of all these goods generate, think of the CO2 supermarkets themselves create….. To think nothing of the plastic they generate and five years ago I wrote to all British supermarkets, asking what they were doing to change this. They wrote back saying they were shifting away from plastic wrappers and boxes, but they lied. Nothing has changed.
On top of this, supermarkets are nasty to their suppliers. Farmers sell milk, cheeses, fruits to them at near break-even prices because they have been trapped in by initially good deals which slowly turn to falling payments. A pick your own farm near here stopped selling to supermarkets because it became crippling, so now they make good money selling directly to the public.
Small shops, which have tiny carbon footprints, are in touch with their customers and have mostly shifted to local, environmental thinking. Using them, you support your local community! Lot’s to gain. Nothing to lose.