How to become an "Eco-Shopper"

The “Eco-Shopper” Top Ten

Buy less
Buy local
Eat organic
Less is more (less packaging, fewer ingredients)
Fair trade saves people AND the earth
Bring bags
Make a list, group your errands
Meat is a condiment
Walk or bike
Cut waste or compost it

Why Buy Locally?

• Your food is fresher and more nutritious.
Top chefs choose locally grown food when it is available because of its superior quality. Reducing the time from farm to table ensures that food flavors are at their peak. Locally grown food can be 3-10 days fresher than food shipped in from far away. When you eat locally grown foods soon after harvest, it is fresher and riper because it is picked closer to peak. Studies have shown that the nutrient levels of food are highest closer to the time they are harvested.

• You can reduce your carbon footprint.
Growing more food locally can reduce the need for long-distance trucking, thus reducing greenhouse gas contributions. If grown efficiently, local food can also minimize the emissions of pollutants that dirty the air and cause global warming.

• You support family farmers and the regional economy.
Buying locally helps farmers and food producers thrive. This supports the regional economy by building demand for supplies and services from other regional companies, thus contributing tremendously to regional economic development.

• You contribute to a healthier environment and community.
The EPA states that agriculture is responsible for a significant amount of the pollution to the country's waterways. Responsible, local farming may be one of the best ways to keep both ecosystems and rural communities healthy and thriving.

From the Metro Independent Business Association:

"Supporting locally owned, independent businesses keeps more of your money in your community.  When you spend $1 at a local independent, an average of 68 cents is re-circulated into the local economy.  In contrast, when you spend $1 at a national chain, only about 43 cents stays at home.  If Twin Cities consumers shift even 10% of their spending from chains to locals for one day, the Twin Cities economy gains some $2 million.* 3 -50 project"

The Environmental Working Group has designated the following produce as “The Dirty Dozen” because they consistently have the highest pesticide residues, so whenever possible buy these organic: peach, apple, bell pepper, celery, nectarine, strawberry, cherries, kale, lettuce, imported grapes, carrot, pears.

On that same card they list the “Clean 15” with the lowest pesticide residues. These are the ones you may decide to buy from conventional growers: onion, avocado, sweet corn, pineapple, mango, asparagus, sweet peas, kiwi, cabbage, eggplant, papaya, watermelon, broccoli, tomato, sweet potato.