Week 25: #Waves4Change 2020 Sustainability Challenge: Buy Local
Why Take This Challenge?
Your food often travels a great distance before it lands on your plate, and both the transportation and production of large-scale produce production takes a negative toll on the environment. Shipping food across the globe requires the use of busses, trains, airplanes, and ships, which all use oil and generate massive amounts of pollution. Additionally, large-scale farming often provides customers with fruit and vegetables that are out of season or unavailable in local growing climates, which requires greater transportation demands and greater use of other resources, including water, pesticides, and plant growth chemicals (https://www.greenmatters.com/p/why-locally-grown-food-better-environment )
How Does This Challenge Benefit Me?
Buying locally often means that your food will be sold at its peak freshness, which means it will taste better and be higher in nutrients. Local farmers often carry different varieties of heirloom produce that are delicious and fun to use in your cooking. Additionally, buying locally helps to support local businesses, which ultimately helps to build your local economy and support your neighborhood (https://sustainablecapitolhill.org/eating-locally-in-capitol-hill/ )
What if I Already Do This?
Spread the word! Tell your friends and family about your favorite local businesses, and urge them to support local farmers, too. Also, try to think about other local businesses you had not considered before – for example, you might have a local food scrap pick-up business that could use your produce peels to create compost, which can be bought and used by local farmers. Not only will this support local businesses, but it will also help put your food waste to good use, instead of ending up in landfills!
Prep This Weekend for a More Sustainable Week
Do some research to learn about your local businesses and farmers’ markets. Some small businesses and farmers’ market stalls may not accept credit cards, so be sure to bring some cash just in case. And make sure you bring your reusable shopping bags to carry your goods!
Before buying your groceries, you should plan out some meals for the week, so your lovely, local produce does not go to waste. Planning your meals can help to prevent buying too much or too little for your cooking needs. If you do buy too much food to eat before it spoils, you should learn about freezing or canning your food so you can enjoy it another day.