It's even better for the planet to buy local than organic. Why? Shipping. Fruit at a farmer's market, for instance, travels approximately 45 miles to get to you. The same piece of fruit could travel 1,500 miles before reaching your supermarket. And better still than your hometown farmer's market: Join a Community-Supported Agriculture cooperative (CSA). You buy a share in the farmers' organization for $10 to $20 a week, and the return on your investment—the fresh harvest—gets dropped off weekly. Not only do you support your local farms, you get to eat what's in season in your area at its absolute peak.
+ three to grow on
A great guide that explains CSAs and how to locate one.
USDA Farmer's Market List
Find a farmer's market near you.
Farmer's Market Online
Fresh produce straight from small-scale and home-based growers.
If 10,000 people purchased their weekly fruit and vegetables from a local farmer's market, they'd have the same environmental impact as removing 17 cars from the road a year.
Jennifer Boulden is the cofounder of Idealbite.com, a free daily email offering bite-sized ideas for "light green living."
A version of this article appeared in the July/August 2007 issue of Fast Company magazine.