Celebrate the Planet for Earth Day and start thinking about shopping local. Today you might be taking notice of these signs of spring: songbirds, the first shoots of green in your flower beds, and the opening day of Farmer’s Markets all around the country.
Unless you’re lucky enough to live in a climate with a year-round growing season the next few months will herald the opening days of early season produce in the open air environment of your local farmers market. It can be easy to walk into the market with a menu plan but the lure of fresh, bright local vegetables, hand canned jams, jellies and salsas, and fresh baked bread from the hands of the person who nurtured or prepared them can easily lead to an armload of parcels.
Keep your trip a green one by investing in your own re-usable bags or baskets – we have a great line of fabric and mesh market baskets that have a sturdy collapsible frame to protect your purchases while shopping, but then fold down flat for storage in your car or pantry so they take up minimal space. Choose from a variety of patterns and colors to add a hint of fun to your trip.
If your market also has space for organic meats, cheeses and other dairy items that could spoil while you take your time exploring, invest in an insulated cooler tote or collapsible basket to keep perishables at a safe temperature.
For people who have a lot of shopping to do, or who head to the market on foot, you’ll find that a rolling cart allows you hands-free shopping and increases your mobility. With durable wheels a cart can get your purchases to and from the car or your home and eliminate strain on your arms from carrying multiple bags.
Challenge yourself this spring and summer to see how much of an impact you can make by buying local and implementing sustainable practices where you can. A first, simple step, is to take an inventory of your shopping tools so you can say “no, thank you” to plastic bags and reduce waste in landfills with re-usable bags and baskets.
Step two, shop local and enjoy the health benefits of fresh, seasonal produce. Walking around the market will incorporate exercise into your day and the atmosphere of a farmer’s market can help foster a good mood as you get to know the vendors who are there regularly and build relationships.
We’ve gathered all of our favorite items for Farmers Market shopping in one place, check it out and have a happy Earth day.