Eat Local

     One of the best ways to live sustainably is by replacing your unsustainable habits with sustainable habits.  In some cases, you can do it, and not even notice any difference in your life.  One of the simplest things you can change to promote a sustainable community is to eat local.  Eating locally produced food reduces dependence on global supply, which reduces demand for environmentally unfriendly mass food production.  It also reduces fuels used on transportation.  Local food also has more nutrients and is healthier for you due to the reduced transportation time from farm to table.  Local food also supports the local economy, providing jobs today and security tomorrow for your community.  By eating local, you can reduce your dependency on unsustainable global food, while eating healthier.  Take a look at these 5 ways you can eat local.
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1.       When buying a quick meal, choose a locally owned restaurant, not a national chain.

Local restaurants understand the dependency that local businesses have for their communities.  This gives them an incentive to source from other local businesses.  When you buy a burger from a mom & pop shop, your money is getting spread to the many businesses that supply that restaurant.

2.       Shop at the farmers market, instead of that big grocery store.

Find out when and where the nearest farmers market in your area is.  You can find all the produce you need (and some you didn’t know you need).  Just like the restaurant option mentioned, you will be creating a cascade effect in your local economy. 
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3.       Eat seasonal foods.

Find out what grows in your area, and what time of year it will be available.  This ensures you are eating the kinds of foods that were able to grow from natural conditions, not in greenhouses or shipped from halfway across the world.  You will also learn to look forward to when your favorite foods are in season, and create meals based around the season.

4.       Grow your own food.

Have you ever wanted to be a gardener?  Well here is your chance!  Head down to your local nursery and ask for recommendations on what to grow over the next few months.  Even in a space as small as your window sill, you can have food growing in no time.  Not only will it be delicious, but you will have the satisfaction of knowing you did it yourself.

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5.       Join a CSA.

A CSA (community supported agriculture)  takes all the hassle out of trying to track down local food, because it is brought together all in one place!  A CSA is a program that allows you to buy a share in a farm, and reap a portion of the harvest.  You also have the added benefit of supporting a local farmer.  This allows the farmer to focus on the food, instead of marketing their products.

But these are not all the ways you can eat local!  Check out these great sites to learn more about eating local, and supporting your local communities!