Buy Local, Buy Green: Good for you and for our planet!

Why Buy Locally?
It’s better for the environment. It is estimated that most food products take around 1,500 to 3,000 miles to travel from the producer to your table. The transportation needed for this can contribute greatly to carbon emissions. Less transportation time cuts out this unnecessary added emissions and waste.

Less transportation time and distance also equates to fresher and better quality food. It also allows you as the consumer to know where your food is coming from. Large monoculture farms and factory farms can often employ environmentally exploitative and unsustainable practices that favor maximizing export at the expense of the animals, environment, and even our own health! The extreme waste of many of these facilities can cause great environmental degradation and pollute the air, land, and waterways. Buying locally puts the power back in the hands of the consumer and allows you to ensure that the farm or producer you’re purchasing from is employing sustainable and environmentally and animal-friendly practices.

It also supports the local economy and farmers, instead of exporting your money elsewhere. This is especially important for areas like Hamilton where buying locally from small businesses and farms upholds the character of the community.

Why Buy Green?
Many products we use as consumers contribute to air and water pollution, the depletion of our planet’s natural resources, and waste build up. All of these degrade our planet’s ecosystems.

What is a Green Product: Term Breakdown
There are many different types of products that may be considered “green” in different ways and often to different extents. Each, however, is more “earth-friendly” or “sustainable” in some way. Some terms to look out for:

~“Energy-efficient” and “water-efficient” refers to products that waste little energy or water input.

~Products made from “recycled” materials are goods that have used waste material to create new products.

~“Biodegradable” products are made from materials, like food, cotton, wool, and wood, that can be quickly broken down by microorganisms. Some products made out of materials like glass and plastic will take hundreds, thousands, or even millions of years to break down if at all.

~Products made from “renewable” materials are made from materials that can be quickly replenished, like bamboo and recycled glass.

How do I identify a Green Product:
Labels and Certifications can be an easy and quick way of identifying different products that are a smart and environmentally-friendly choice.
Energy Star: An Energy Star certification indicates that appliances or electronics are an energy efficient choice.

Fair Trade: Fair Trade provides certification for staple goods and food products to signify the goods were produced using equitable labor practices and reimbursement as well as sustainable farming practices.

Green Seal: The Green Seal indicates that various cleaning products, paints, paper products and other materials are sustainable and minimally impactful to the environment.

USDA Organic: USDA Organic certifications are for food and agricultural products that meet various “organic” standards, indicating that ecologically friendly farming practices and no synthetic additives, including fertilizers and pesticides, were used.

US Forest Product Stewardship Council: They evaluate responsible forest use for a variety of forest products.

American Forest and Paper Association: These companies and organizations produce goods from recyclable and renewable materials.

Farmers Markets:
Going to a local farmers market is a great way to buy locally and support local farmers and vendors! Luckily, we have many great markets around here!

Hamilton Farmers Market: Takes place Saturday mornings from May through October.

Poolville Winter Farmers Market: Takes place at the Poolville Community Center (7484 Willey Road, Poolville NY 13332) on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month from November to April from 10 am to noon.

Clinton Farmers Market: Takes place Thursdays from 10 am to 4 pm from June to October at the Clinton Village Green in Clinton, NY 13323

Thrift Shops:
Thrift Shops are another great way of preventing waste by purchasing gently used goods that would otherwise likely find their way to a landfill. And you’re also likely to find a great deal! Here are some great local secondhand stores near us.

Second Chance Thrift Shoppe
5111 State Route 20, Morrisville NY 13408

Worn Again Thrift Shop in Parry’s Hardware
100 Utica Street, Hamilton NY 13346

Bargain Basket Thrift Shop
6 Greene Street, Earlville NY 13332

Great Finds by Dawn
Norwich Shopping Plaza, Norwich NY 13815

Encore Thrift Shop
119 Brooklea Drive, Fayetteville NY 13066

Additional Resources:
MIT – Working Green