Support Local Business

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One of the best ways to know where your products are coming from is to  buy from the makers themselves.

How can you do this with ease? Shop locally! While there is a global ‘top-down’ push for larger scale production systems for everything from carrots to clutch bags you as a consumer can say no to mass production by investing your money locally. Your local farmers and makers market offers you the opportunity to ask the makers and growers directly how their products come into fruition. By shopping locally so you also put your dollar right where you can see it (in the farmers well worn hand) and reduce your carbon footprint. Sounds like a winning combination to me :-)

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The contents of your shopping basket may have traveled more miles than you have!

According to this study a the contents of a typical food basket in Victoria can have clocked up as many as  70,803 km to get to you. This is the equivalent to travelling nearly twice around the circumference of the Earth (40,072 km), or travelling around Australia’s coastline three times. A pretty unpalatable statistic! The total greenhouse gas emissions estimate for carting your goodies to the store is 16, 989 tonnes (t) CO2–e. If all the food trucks were transporting all food items on the same day, the emissions from this one day of transportation (16, 989 t CO2–e), is equivalent to 4,247 cars driving for one year.

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Hug a Farmer, Butcher or Cobbler today!

Supporting local businesses is the easiest way to support your local economy and reduce your carbon miles. for those of us who are interested in the health of our families and our soils then you can find yourself a great local, organic,  supplier or fresh produce, meat, dairy (whatever takes your fancy) and give them a hug and your ongoing support. If you meet the maker of your products you can ask up front about what processes they use on their produce and products. They may be able to sell you spray free fruit and veggies that aren’t certified organic (organic certification is a tricky and expensive process that not all small scale farmers can afford to go through). Perhaps your after a fancy new pair of shoes? Hunt locally! There is a fabulously charismatic gent here on the Sunshine Coast who makes the most on-trend sandals from a card table at his market stall.  You can assure the product you are buying was grown or made in a way that meets your values simply by asking the people who are selling. Unlike large scale supermarkets or fast fashion stores, these frontline retail staff will be able to give you an answer about who made your goodies and how they were made!

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I’m too busy to hug my family let-alone the local butcher.

Time and life commitments can make it tricky to be able to attend leisurely Sunday farmers markets and the small scale food co-ops and fresh produce places tend to close pretty early. Fortunately there are people cottoning on to the fact that the world is a little time poor and they are bringing the joys of locally grown and/or organic produce to your door. Box schemes are packages of delicious and nutritious locally grown veggies and fruit that are sent from the suppliers to you via a friendly middle man with a van. These schemes utilise local farmers to bring you the best seasonal produce from your local area. I’m fortunate enough to know a few fab folks who have taken on this initiative on the Sunshine Coast and provide loads of folks with fresh produce every week. Good Harvest is run by a uni friend from way back, and is staffed by a couple of other friendly faces who studied environmental science with me, bring local harvest to your home. Fresh Box is another local organic food delivery system set up by the beautiful bohemian couple that I met while working in Jewellery retail. If your not on the Sunshine Coast a quick Google should point you in the direction of a local food delivery system in your area. If there isn’t one and you are passionate enough about the idea why not start one yourself? It might just be the lifestyle change of your dreams.

Want a months worth of eco eating/living tips delivered to your inbox? Join myself and a whole host of lovely ‘faces of change’ ambassadors for the Give A Fork challenge. April is going to be a blast!

Do you have a favourite way to support local business? Know a good ‘box-scheme’ in your local area? Perhaps you have another novel way of getting local produce to your table? Let us know all about it.

Author: Katie

Katie Roberts is a self confessed 'write-a-holic' Environmental Scientist with a passion for Sustainable Fashion.

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6 Comments

  1. We get a box of organic veggies every week or two. Usually every two weeks because there’s so much in there we don’t get through it all in only one haha.

    It’s great. It’s all from the one farm near Daylesford. You place your order during the week, they pick the fruit and veg on Friday, and you go and pick it up from your nearest drop off point on Saturday morning! It’s always fun digging through the box, and seeing what you’ve got this week. Boxes change depending on what’s currently in season.

    If anyone from Melbourne is interested, check out Captains Creek Organic Farm. Whole Larder Love also distributes boxes from the same farm, if his locations are more convenient.

    I should get back into going to local farmers markets. I was going quite a lot when I lived in Vancouver, because I had three regular (running weekly) within walking distance of my place (one was literally right in front of my apartment building!), but they’re a bit further away here. Yarraville’s only runs once a month, and it’s pretty small.

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    • I love seeing what comes in your Veggie box on Instagram Bec! So much fun. He he he. Veggie Voyeurism is a thing isn’t it?

      I used to love loitering around the Vic Markets when I was in Melbourne. So much variety and it was only a tram ride (or a tram and train ride in my later location) away. So delicious!!!! Especially all the deli areas. However, that would probably be a bit of a commute for you too.

      Looking forward to cooking up a storm with you one day in the (hopefully) not to distant future
      xx

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  2. Slowly but steadily I am trying to introduce this concept in most areas of our Life. Everything Sat at the farmer’s market I buy veggies and fruits, but also fresh mozzarella made in this area and eggs. When we buy fish is most of the time from around here. I can do better with meat, and I am starting to pay attention where it comes from.
    It requires a bit of though and will, but it can be done even on a busy schedule (plus, it’s often cheaper!)

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    • Ooo that all sounds totally delicious Chiara! Can I invite myself over to your place for dinner? 😉

      I’ve just recently ditched the cheese but was eating delicious local stuff before that. A decision that came about when I ran out and never bothered buying replacements and found that despite the fact I was only consuming cheese around twice a week (and no other dairy because it upsets my stomach) that my persistent KP skin condition disappeared! I still buy local cheese for the hubby when he is home from work but found it fascinating to note how my own body reacted to dairy! We are all so different.

      Totally agree on the cost factor! The farmers markets were my saviour during undergrad studies. It was nice to be able to stock up on large amounts of quality food at a very low price when you don’t have much money. Homemade gnocchi is a great uni student tummy filler on a budget.

      Thanks for your input

      xx

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  3. I’m signed up to an organic veg box that comes straight from a farm near me – it’s simple, easy, and makes me a little healthier and happier every time I use them in my kitchen!

    Besma | Curiously Conscious

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    • Such a brilliant plan Besma. It’s nice that there are ways to green your life, improve your health and make the to-do list a little shorter! Thanks for stopping by beautiful one.

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