What does it mean to be sustainable?
- to able to be used without being completely used up or destroyed
- to involve methods that do not completely use up or destroy natural resources
- to able to last or continue for a long time
To live sustainably, then, is to implement each of these ideas into our daily lives. We must conserve natural resources, water, and minimize our ecological footprint as best we can. But how else can we do this? By eating local, seasonal foods that have been grown sustainably.
Eating seasonally means taking advantage of farm-fresh foods at their ripest moments. Just as plants, animals, and even humans thrive best during different times of the year, certain foods are only available, or most fresh, during certain seasons. In order to minimize food waste, limit energy consumption and waste from storage and distribution, we should seek to eat foods that are in season at the very moment. It may seem difficult at first, but you might be surprised at how many food seasons you're already aware of. Our next step is to recognize where they've come from.
Now that we know what to eat, we've got to be able to get our hands on it. We recommend looking up your local Farmers' Markets, Food Co-ops, Community Gardens or Agriculture Programs, and perhaps considering starting your own garden! Even beginning your search at a place as simple as your local grocery store is the first step to finding sustainable foods. Simply ask where the food has come from. Was it grown or raised on a sustainable farm? How far did it travel? If the answer is "no," or "very far," don't give up, just check somewhere else. Ask questions at your local Farmer's Markets about where you can conveniently access sustainable foods, or consider signing up for seasonal food delivery. Remember, we are all on this journey together. If we can't get the answers we readily need, it's up to us to initiate changes that allow us to achieve them.