Buying Local benefits not just the consumer
To some, buying groceries can be a daunting task. Having to walk up and down aisles of processed food, boxes of food shipped from who knows where and “fresh” produce that may have traveled thousands of miles to get there, it is not unheard of for people to stop and question the food they are about to purchase to eat. In the city of Eugene, more and more grocery stores and restaurants are buying locally. Local farmers are providing fresh produce and goods that requires less travel from producer to consumer.
Eugene Local Foods is an online website devoted to local farmers and people who want to buy locally, that allows people to buy or sell their local products. Doug Frazier, one of the leaders of Eugene Local Food, said the company was a spinoff of Local Food Marketplace, an online software that provides services for farmers markets. “I believe the program has been successful,” Frazier says. “We have been doing it for almost four years now.” Although there is no money in it, Frazier says that Eugene Local Food has reached a lot of people. Products that can be bought include, but are not limited to vegetables, fruits, dairy and bee products.
New Frontier Market, located on 8th and Van Buren, was established in 1915 and has continued to serve the citizens of Eugene with local and organic products. They offer beer and wine testing on Monday and Friday, respectively. The market also offers shoppers the opportunity to purchase Divine Cupcakes, which is an organic café located on West 11th.
If one is looking to indulge their sweet spot, Sweet Life Patisserie located on 8th and Monroe is a must stop. The baked goods offer both organic and locally grown ingredients. According to Sweet Life, they use local hormone-free dairy, natural flavorings and fair-trade and pesticide-free vanilla. About 50% of their products are organic, sustainably farmed or wild-harvested ingredients. Like most Eugene businesses, they compost and recycle their own trash and use recycled paper products and use solar panels to provide 10% of their electricity.
Everyone is cutting back these days. Whether it is how much one spends to how much they eat, people are finding ways to make life easier and to save money, time and calories. Here is a list of 10 ways to create a more eco-friendly home. Thanks to Simple Mom, a blog about household management, these ideas are simple and easy to do, and will save you time, money and the earth in the long run.
- Plant a garden. Tessa Barker from the Eugene Solutions Team is currently working on at an aspiring ecovillage/permaculture educational center.
- Switch out light bulbs to compact fluorescent lamps.
- Create compost bins or buy one premade. $15 is all that is needed to DIY a bin.
- Use reusable bags versus plastic or paper. Most stores sell these for $1 and some will give portions to Susan G. Komen for breast cancer research.
- Switch from plastic water bottles to a reusable one. Emma Newman, a Climate Justice League member, is a strong advocate for the University of Oregon’s Take Back The Tap initiative.
- Turn off lights when you leave the room or are out of the house.
- Ride a bike or take public transportation. The Lane Transit District offers a system that covers most the greater Eugene area. There are over 100 miles of bike paths throughout the Eugene city.
- Turn off your computer each night and unplug chargers.
- Eat and shop at restaurants and stores that use local vendors.
- Collect rainwater to use on plants and garden areas.