How far?

I would like to wander for a bit into the world of economics/transportation – and to wander in such a way that I could be very close to the real world at the same time.

In the simplest language I can use, the possible issue I want to rise is “using products from further away when there are just as good products close”.

In economics, I would be arguing against free trade – for some kind of trade limitations. But to discuss now free trade or protectionism (a thing quite opposite to free trade) is not necessary. I will consider an example instead.

Chocolate is a very popular candy and is produced in many different countries, and exported to many others.  (also, it’s often harvested in one country, then processed in another..) When I visit one of the supermarkets in my country, I see a lot of those different chocolates.. (Karūna, Laima, Kalev, Fazer, Milka, Kinder, Schogetten..). None of these chocolates is produced closer than 100km from the supermarket, so it has to, in some way, be transported from the factory. 100, or 200, or 1000.

Then, sometimes people transport chocolate on their own – Estonians come to Finland to buy Fazer, Fins come to Estonia to buy Kalev (I am not suggesting that it’s the main reason for coming)..

I think that when we participate in such activities or we buy products  (not only chocolate), we should consider how far away have they traveled from, how much gas has been burned and if there is any nature-friendly choices.  Also, multiply whatever numbers we get by the amount of people who live in your city.

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