(NC) We all need to eat, so why not consume in a way that protects the environment, promotes personal health and supports rural communities? Shopping sustainably isn’t as hard as you think. By simply changing a few of your purchasing habits, you can help reduce your carbon footprint. And with spring here, there’s no better time to get outside and explore your options.
Check out farmers’ markets.
These local markets support a sustainable food system by offering regionally grown foods, creating less waste, and using certified organic practices that reduce the amount of pesticides and chemicals that pollute our soil and water. Sustainable farming also creates a mutually beneficial relationship between farmers and consumers. They provide us with fresh, healthy food like vegetables, cheeses, meats and herbs, and we in turn contribute to their success by making sure small family farms stay in business and that their land remains protected from development.
Visit an organic farm.
Get your kids involved by encouraging them to pick their own fruits and vegetables so they can learn where their food comes from and the process of farm to table. You can also take a farm tour to better understand the types of sustainable practices that organic farmers follow to enhance biodiversity, maintain good soil health and foster ecological balance. Engaging on this level with the people responsible for producing your food is not something you can do at many grocery stores, so take this opportunity to learn and get to know your local farmers.
Grow your own food.
Producing your own food doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Whether you start small by growing a couple of herbs inside or decide to create your own rooftop or backyard garden, growing your own food can be very rewarding. You’re eating locally, wasting less by growing only what you want, and experiencing the taste of fruits and vegetables right off the vine. If none of these are viable options for you, consider taking part in a community garden or joining a co-op.
To stock up on supplies or learn more about sustainable practices, visit chfa.ca or your local Canadian Health Food Association member health food store.