Environmental charity Friends of the Earth has launched a new campaign to encourage people to shop locally rather than drive longer distances to the big supermarkets.
The campaign called Shop Local First is set to promote the benefits of small shops ahead of the imminent inquiry into the grocery market.
Friends of the Earth supermarket campaigner Sandra Bell said: "Popping to your local shop for a pint of milk will no longer be an option unless more shoppers change the way they shop. If we all shop local first, then we can help save our local shops, boost the local economy and also help do our bit to tackle climate change."
Campaigners around the country will work with local stores to develop promotions such as loyalty cards, discounts, posters and local shopping directories.
The campaign was launched in the same week that Tesco announced that it was to spend £100m on environmentally-friendly measures. However, Friends of the Earth said that the move did not go far enough and continued to call for planning curbs to restrict its growth.
It also re-stated its call for the Competition Commission to implement measures which will redress the balance between the big supermarkets and local shops. However, it warned that if consumers waited for the commission to act, it could be too late.