When it comes to being a sustainable brand, it’s not just about how your products are made but where they are made as well. At Polly Products, in addition to our outdoor furniture and recreational products being made of recycled materials, they are also American-made. But unfortunately, the same is not true for all brands that claim to be sustainable.
While more and more companies are adopting sustainable and ethical business practices by creating more environmentally-friendly products, many of them still have their products manufactured and shipped from overseas. This is because it is generally considered more economical—a.k.a. cheaper—to have products manufactured overseas in other countries, such as China.
And while it makes sense that a company might want to look for ways to cut costs to save money, manufacturing overseas can have serious environmental and socioeconomic implications. In today’s environment, there are simply no more excuses. If we want to stop climate change and mitigate further damage to our planet and our economies, we must start manufacturing and buying more locally made products.
Let’s take a look at some of the top reasons why manufacturing and buying local can benefit the environment and the economy:
1. Buying Local Reduces Carbon Emissions
Products made and purchased in the US travel fewer miles to reach their final destination than those manufactured overseas. And the farther a product travels, the more fuel it takes to get it where it needs to go—thus, producing more carbon emissions.
A product you buy that is made and ships from within the U.S., for example, might only have to travel a few hundred or a couple thousand miles. Something purchased that is manufactured overseas, however, often travels triple the distance—if not more—to reach you. So it’s always best to buy locally made products whenever possible, even if just to reduce carbon emissions.
2. U.S. Made Products Are More Regulated
In addition to reducing emissions, buying local also means you are supporting manufacturing processes that are more regulated. American factories are required to comply with more strict standards as defined by the Clean Air Act. In contrast, many factories in other countries do not abide by the same restrictions to protect the environment.
Furthermore, working conditions in overseas factories are also often unethical. So when you buy products that are not locally made, you could potentially be supporting unhealthy, unsafe, and unfair practices that put workers at risk. Not only that, but overseas companies also tend to pay their workers less than we do in the U.S.
3. Purchasing Locally Made Products Uses Fewer Resources
The consumption of resources is also a major threat to our society and the environment. The way we live our lives on average uses up a lot of precious resources, which includes our manufacturing and purchasing practices.
A product that has to travel from overseas uses more non-renewable petroleum resources as well as packaging materials, such as protective plastic wraps, packing foam, and other materials. And these materials typically get thrown out, which means they pile up in landfills or end up polluting natural environments.
Buying locally-made then means fewer petroleum resources are used, and less packaging is needed to protect the product since it is much safer traveling shorter distances.
4. Buying American-Made Supports Local Economies
Of course, when companies choose to have their products manufactured overseas, it also impacts American jobs. For decades, the U.S. has seen hundreds of thousands of people lose their jobs as companies shut down their factories to have their products made in other countries instead. And this has had a significant impact on local economies.
So by purchasing more locally made products, it incentivizes American companies to revert back to U.S. manufacturing, which can provide more employment opportunities and financially boost local economies. And the more money an economy has, the more money it can put into environmentally-friendly changes and more sustainable infrastructure.
Polly Products: American-Made Recycled Plastic Outdoor Furniture
At Polly Products, our green mission is to reduce our environmental impact as much as possible by providing 100% recycled products, using sustainable business practices, and manufacturing right here in the USA.
Based in Michigan, our team of compassionate environmental advocates shares humble values and believes in delivering quality, environmentally-friendly products.
Check out our website for more information about how Polly Products is making a difference.