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Earth Tip: Buy organic and local

A single week's fruits and vegetables from com...

As part of my “Countdown to Earth Day” series, I wanted to highlight even more ways that you can take actions to help our planet. Today’s tip is to buy organic and locally produced foods.

Now, I realize that buying organic can sometimes be more costly than other choices. We used to buy almost everything organic, but have had to cut back drastically with the current economy and our current salaries. If you have to pick a few to buy, check out this article: “The New Dirty Dozen: 12 Foods to Eat Organic.”

However, as we continue to promote the demand for these products, eventually prices will come down. Even buying one or two items each week can make a difference. There are many advantages to buying organic and local (to list just a few):

  • Fresher food for your families
  • No chemicals, pesticides, etc.
  • Less travel time for products from farm to market (which produces less pollution)
  • Protects our ecosystem
  • Promotes fair treatment of farm laborers and humane treatment of animals
  • Focus on sustainable life for farmers
  • Helps local businesses stay in business

To find out where to get locally grown or organic food in your area, here are two resources:

Eat Well Guide:

This is a free online directory for anyone who wants locally grown and sustainably produced food in the United States and Canada. It lists thousands of family farms, restaurants, farmer’s markets, grocery stores, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs, U-pick orchards, and more. You can search in a variety of ways: by location, keyword, category, or product.

Local Harvest:

This is another directory geared for just the United States. They maintain a directory of small farms, farmer’s markets, and other local food sources. Their website also features an online store, a forum, a listing of events, blogs, and a newsletter. It is a great resource for learning about ways to get involved, how to use your “local harvest,” and more.

 

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What are you doing for Earth Day?

The Earth flag is not an official flag, since ...

Earth Day is April 22 and cities around the world are sponsoring volunteer efforts, fairs, festivals, and speakers. To find out what is going on in your town, here are a few resources. If you cannot find a listing for your town, you may need to do a Google search for your city and “Earth Day.”

Earth Day Network:

This organization “works with over 22,000 partners in 192 countries to broaden, diversify and mobilize the environmental movement.” You can search for events in your area, find actions you can take, and more.

Environmental Protection Agency’s Earth Day website:

Includes search tool to find EPA events in your area, a video, pledges and actions to take, a Greenquest game, and a daily email list with tips.

St. Louis Earth Day:

If you live here in St. Louis, check out all the events and resources on the St. Louis Earth Day website. Note that at the Recycling Extravaganza you can recycle medicines, as I mentioned in my post “Recycle your unused medicines.”

* If you haven’t already begun to take small actions to protect our Earth, see my post “Countdown to Earth Day.”

Related articles:

 

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Countdown to Earth Day

Crystal earth recycle icon

Earth Day is on April 22. However, I truly believe that every day should be Earth Day. I have already written about it in many of my previous posts.

To guide you in undertaking simple things for our Earth, check out the ideas and links below. Fortunately, protecting the environment often results in money savings, too. See “How much your green habits really save” from Earth 911.

REDUCE …

∞ packaging by buying in bulk.

See my post on “Bulk discounts.”

∞ waste by bringing your own bags to the grocery store.

See my post on “Reusable shopping bags = savings.”

∞ waste by finding new uses for old things or repairing things when you can.

See my posts “Don’t throw it out,” “Revamp and wear again!” and “Quick fixes without a repair call.”

∞ trash by making homemade whenever you can instead of buying store-bought items.

See my post on “(More) Make your own…”

∞ electricity usage by installing compact fluorescents in your home.

See my post on “Brighter savings.”

∞ water usage by making some small changes in your home.

See my post on “Not just a drop in the bucket!”

∞ energy usage by purchasing energy-efficient appliances.

See my post “Cash back for protecting Mother Earth.”

∞ energy usage through ways you prepare for Shabbos.

See my post on “Saving money and energy on Shabbos.”

REUSE …

∞ books by swapping books you no longer want with others.

See my post on “My favorite find – swapping books.”

∞ a plastic or stainless steel water bottle every day for work, day trips, your kids’ lunches.

∞ cloth napkins for meals.

See my post on “Switch over your disposables.”

∞ your coffee filters and use dryer balls instead of dryer sheets.

See my post on “Filter and fluff without waste.”

RECYCLE …

∞ find ways to recycle everything you can!

See my post on “Recycle, recycle, recycle” for how to get started or for resources on where to recycle various items.

∞ items in your home that you are done with by giving them away to others in need.

See my posts “Declutter responsibly,” “Finding a home for used stuffed animals,” “Give your old shoes a new life,” and “Spring cleaning for a good cause.”

∞ old medications by disposing of them properly or taking them to places that can recycle them.

See my post on “Recycle your unused medicines.”

 

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