The UK’s first eco-local reward card
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The UK’s first eco-local reward card

Are you keen to support local retailers as we venture back to the high street? Or are you a local business or charity looking to promote yourself after a tough start to 2020?

Born from a passion to support all things local, Cranbrook’s very own hospitality hub, The Hive, has launched Be Local – the UK’s very first Eco-local Reward Card!

What’s it all about?

As we entered a new millennium, advances in ecommerce, new-found economies of scale, and evolving marketing channels such as social media prompted a shift towards globalisation. Almost overnight, we had the ability to search, buy and sell everything online. Convenience became our top priority, and we didn’t give a great deal of thought to just how far our products were travelling, or the impact it was having on our planet.

Fast forward to 23rd March 2020, and although many of us had already begun to change our shopping habits, it soon became apparent that we had long taken consumer choice for granted. We were suddenly faced with empty shelves at the supermarkets and so we turned to our local corner shops and farm shops in our droves, without being conscious of the fact that we had reverted to ‘eco-localism’.

What is eco-localism and why is it important?

The aim of eco-localism is to build a sustainable, self-reliant community that draws upon local knowledge, skills and resources to encourage local community and the environment to flourish. The Weald is already ahead of the game when it comes to supporting local, with many retailers sourcing their produce from within just a few miles. The Hive, for example, stocks a whole range of local produce, from award-winning wines and Kentish crisps, to the finest meat delivered from Wilkes & Sons butchers just across the road. And in turn, Wilkes have always sourced their livestock from Cranbrook and surrounding villages. There are also many others, including our wonderful gift shops, who strive to keep their shelves filled with locally-crafted items.

In keeping with eco-localism, the Be Local reward scheme brings businesses, consumers and the environment together in a community in which everyone can collaborate and benefit. As Be Local founder Emma Wood adds: “to ‘be local’ in nature means considering factors such as customer service, quality, environmental impact and realising the value that can be added to the lives of those who live nearby. Anyone can order the cheapest products to be delivered from the other side of the world, but as we become increasingly concerned about the damage this does to the planet and our neighbourhood, more of us are choosing to support local”.

How does the scheme work?

Be Local offers local residents special deals to encourage loyalty, as well as supporting shorter supply chains for the benefit of the environment and the local economy. The benefits of the scheme are three-fold:

1. Local organisations

If you’re a local business or charitable organisation, either in the high street, surrounding area, online or working from home, you can add your own FREE web listing on the Be Local website during 2020, which includes featuring in the Be Local directory and on the Be Local Google map, and being promoted on social media. You can also promote and add a link to your own chosen ‘green’ charity if applicable.

2. Local consumers

Even before the Covid-19 outbreak, many of us were looking for ways to shop sustainably and support local businesses, and it’s safe to say this has been brought to the forefront of our minds in recent months. The Be Local scheme has been designed to reward local shoppers by offering exclusive discounts and deals to members – let’s face it, who doesn’t enjoy a bargain? – so we can support the local economy while also reducing our carbon footprint. Once you’ve received your Be Local Eco-local Reward Card, to take advantage of a local offer, simply quote your membership number when placing an order or making a purchase. Also coming soon is a new feature – the ‘Eco-barometer’ – which residents can use to see which service providers are closest to them simply by entering their postcode.

3. Local environment

With the positive effects of lockdown evident both locally and globally, there has never been a better time to think about our impact on the environment and how we can harness these benefits. As part of our commitment to considering the environment in everything we do, Be Local has chosen to support The Bumblebee Conservation Trust. As food pollinators, bumblebees play a vital role in sustaining the UK’s food chain, and the Trust is doing wonders to help local communities create more bee-friendly forage, so that bumblebees can continue to play their role in eco-localism, too!

To find out more about the scheme, request an Eco-local Reward Card, or sign up for a free business listing during 2020, visit www.belocal.buzz today or call on 01580 715772.

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