Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Shopping Green!

Where To Shop!?

So you've decided to take the first steps in Going Green! Congratulations and Thank You. So, what's next, you ask? This week, i'm bringing you the facts about Where To Shop.

Shopping locally is usually my rule of thumb when it comes to purchasing produce and even dairy and eggs-- if you can purchase goods from local sustainable growers and farmers, then you should! The obvious first reason is: you are, in essence, decreasing the demand for long distance transport for items you can purchase locally. The freeways are packed with large transport vehicles used to transport endless goods and if we can do our little part in reducing the transport of goods you can purchase from local farms, then we are doing a huge part in helping the environment in the long run (think: Cleaner Air). Another reason is you are helping the local economy! We don't want to lose our local farmers and growers--they are an integral part of the economic stability of our community.

I'm not discouraging purchasing Avocados from Chile or Mangoes from Mexico, but I am encouraging a more conscious shopping experience! Remember, if fruits or vegetables look perfect (i.e. waxy and shiny, unblemished) then they were probably sprayed with pesticides and other chemicals. Don't be afraid to buy organic fruits even though they may have a bruise or two!

Certain Fruits and Vegetables are safe to buy non-organic, especially when family budgets are tight (Also known as: OK to buy imported!!):

  • Bananas
  • Oranges
  • Limes
  • Lemons
  • Other Citrus (the pesticides do not get through)
  • Pineapple
  • Mango
  • Papaya
  • Kiwi
  • Avocadoes
  • Broccoli/Cauliflower
  • Corn
  • Asparagus

Certain Fruits and Veggies, you should always prefer organic, or peel outer layer if you buy non-organic (Also Known As: Try to Buy Local!!):

  • Apples
  • Grapes
  • Lettuce
  • Zucchini/other Squash
  • Cucumber
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Other Berries
  • Bell Peppers
  • Celery
  • Tomatoes
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pears

**I personally do not spend extra money on organic bananas when the budget does not allow, however, When we Shop for Organic Produce, we are increasing the demand for products from responsible, sustainable growers. So, if you can afford to do so, i strongly recommend always purchasing organic!

Last month, June 2009, Greenpeace USA, the nonprofit, independent organization which "acts to expose global environmental problems and achieve solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future," published the Carting Away the Oceans Retailer Scorecard report. Their findings will hopefully help consumers make informed decisions regarding where they spend their money when shopping for Seafood!

The purpose of this research was originally to inform the retailers the effect their seafood sales were having on marine life. Another purpose was to reward the sustainable and responsible retailers through public awareness of their practices. Since the original report was released one year ago, June 2008, some of the retailers have improved their practices and business operations while several others have not. I was happy to find that my favorite neighborhood store, Vons (Safeway) is among the Top 5 on the list and the company has continued to make "strides toward a more sustainable seafood regime since the original release of Carting Away the Oceans." The report is impressive and informative, please click the link below to the full pdf version of the publication.

Happy Green Shopping!

Next Week: Stocking your Green Kitchen!

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