October 01, 2021

How Can I Live More Sustainably?

By Elisa Rerolle
How Can I Live More Sustainably?

It's so easy live more sustainably. In last week's blog post, we talked about how small steps each of us takes to live a more sustainable life adds up and really makes a difference for the planet. Read the daily tips here. This week, we cover some weekly and monthly things you can do. Dive in a little deeper, read on.

Weekly tip: shop at the local farmer’s market

There’s more to produce than taste and ripeness. Where you shop matters, so why not shop at your local farmer’s market?

The key reason boils back down to what we covered last week: transportation, and how your food gets to your commercial supermarket. The facts are scary: “Food in the U.S. travels an average of 1,500 miles to get to your plate. All this shipping uses large amounts of natural resources (especially fossil fuels), contributes to pollution, and creates trash with extra packaging. Conventional agriculture also uses many more resources than sustainable agriculture and pollutes water, land, and air with toxic agricultural by-products.”1 Our food is traveling more than most of us!

[f]ruits are allowed to ripen fully in the field and are brought directly to you—no long-distance shipping, no gassing to simulate the ripening process, no sitting for weeks in storage.

That worrisome fact is changed when you support local farmer’s markets, as “[f]ood at the farmers market is transported shorter distances and is generally grown using methods that minimize the impact on the earth.”1 Investing in local produce can play a huge role in reducing your carbon footprint. More than that, you are often supporting family farmers, which helps develop the local economy. This means farmers markets directly benefit the community in multiple ways.

You win too! The veggies and fruit are on another level because “[f]ruits are allowed to ripen fully in the field and are brought directly to you—no long-distance shipping, no gassing to simulate the ripening process, no sitting for weeks in storage.1 Eating in season means no shipping items from halfway around the world - and you get to connect with nature’s natural rhythm. Yet another reason to shop at your local farmers marketShop local - your plate, your palate and the planet will thank you.

Monthly tip: volunteer for environmental initiatives

And lastly, when you have time and if you can, give back. Give your time directly to movements and organizations that are working hard to mitigate some of the destructive impacts of climate change. 

For example: “Participate in a beach, river, or stream clean-up event in your area and make a difference! By removing trash and other debris from around your local waterway, you are helping to keep your water clean and safe from pollution! Contact your state or local Parks and Recreation Department or environmental organizations for information about clean-ups in your area. And, ... you can always organize your own!2 Make it a social outing and grab some friends or family! Or make it into a friendly competition to help motivate. If you can, make it a regular action, but if that is not possible, any single contribution makes a difference.

The daily, weekly, monthly lifestyle choices you make add up and matter, so starting to shift some of them - or most of them - to be environmentally friendly makes a real difference. The process and speed of change is up to you! After all, sustainable habits that are sustainable over a long time make more of a difference than those that overwhelm and are given up. Becoming aware and going in with an open mind is already a huge step.

Tips for Sustainable Living Poster

The best way to remember something is to see it every day, so why not have a reminder of sustainable living tips up on the wall in front of you. We’ve got one for you! Just download the PDF and put it on the wall. Please share this blog post with your friends.

Mother Earth needs us to practice sustainable living. Let us know in the comments 👇🏼 what small steps you're taking to live a sustainable life. 

  1. https://cuesa.org/learn/10-reasons-support-farmers-markets
  2. https://www.epa.gov/beaches/act-your-community