Farmers’ markets benefit the environment in many ways. Buying locally cuts back on the need to load food in a trck and drive it across the country, recucing fuel use and vehicle pollution. Local foods also require less packaging, cutting back on waste that ends up in landfills.
To make your local farmers’ markets even more eco-friendly, talk to the farmers to encourage them to grow food in environmentally sustainable ways. Ask about your food. What kinds of fertilizers are used? What about pesticides?
Farmers at local markets are usually willing to listen to their customers. If they don’t already use environmentally friendly practices, then they may be willing to start if they know their customers are concerned about it.
There are many ways that farmers markets could become more eco-friendly. One would be to always have these markets in a location that promotes people walking to them, rather than driving. Or at least put them in a location where customers can combine multiple errands in one.
As a consumer, you could bring your own re-usable containers to take the produce home in. Many farmers markets offer plastic bags, but if you do not use them, or at least re-use them, that will help, and may even keep prices lower.
If the farmers had some sort of pre-order system where you could go online and request exactly what you wanted, they could ensure they have an empty truck for the ride home, this would save on gas.
Also, as kayceeann suggests, letting them know that you care about their sustainability practices will help keep their farms much more healthy for the planet, not only for the produce, but the soil and the areas where the water drains to.
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