Today’s Star columnist: David Sorby

Columnist David Sorby,  founded LiveLight.org to see how sustainable living and wealth can co-exist
Columnist David Sorby, founded LiveLight.org to see how sustainable living and wealth can co-exist
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I guess we’ve all done it. You go into the supermarket for a loaf of bread and re-emerge an hour later, blinking in the sunlight, clutching a very long bill.

The shopping trolley is full of BOGOF pop and crisps, along with some tempting looking Peruvian strawberries (that turn out to be a bit rubbery), Israeli new potatoes and enough cooked ham to feed an army. How did that happen?

It is well known that the supermarkets employ Jedi mind tricks to get us to buy more than we need or want. Enticing packaging, mood lighting, store layout and ‘special’ deals such as BOGOFs all serve to make stuff look like a must-have bargain when it isn’t. We wander down the aisles like zombies looking for fresh brains. We spend a fortune, and we chuck tons of food in the bin each year.

Maybe the bland experience of supermarkets – and a whiff that all is not well in our food supply chain following the horse meat scandal – are driving the shift towards more local shopping at independent shops.

Sheffield is blessed with growing numbers of excellent independent bakeries, delis, grocers, fishmongers and butchers, providing fantastic produce, great customer service, and a more fun, exciting shopping experience than you could ever find in a supermarket.

People who work or are housebound struggle to get to local shops, but new online services make it easier. Wedeliverlocal.co.uk offers easy, online shopping at multiple shops, with a single checkout and delivery.

Local shopping is considered more sustainable than buying from supermarkets, and We Deliver Local was recently nominated for the Observer Ethical Business of the Year. While buying a tin of dodgy tuna from your local shop will not stop any dolphins from dying needlessly in tuna nets, buying good products from local independents is a huge step in the right direction – not least because more wealth stays in the city instead of offshore tax havens and shareholder dividends.

I believe if independent shops can find ways to make it easier to shop local, and offer a fun and relaxed shopping experience, they really deserve to flourish with our support.

Share your local shopping experiences – good and bad.