Remember those old movies where rich families would have exotic fruits from half way around the world that had to be transported on those old ships? In some parts of the world, exotic fruits could be just bananas and oranges. It seemed so decadent for these rich families to have such things. Well, today, we all have exactly these things available in our local supermarket, and we think nothing of it. It’s our right. But the ubiquitous availability of such things is one of the important reasons why our atmosphere is getting so polluted. It’s worth looking to buy local and to eliminate as many things as possible that are shipped great distances.

I’ve been worrying more and more about the energy used to move produce about the world and I’ve taken two steps recently to use 10 percent less, or more.

Farmdrop – buying local produce

I’ve started using the Farmdrop delivery service (I have no affiliation with them at all) because they build agreements with local producers and have a “Sourcing Policy” that starts with “Prioritise Local” and the intention to source within 150 miles where possible and to never use air freight. Their website makes it easy to see where every option comes from and I like that. I now buy only fruits and vegetables that come from nearby counties in the UK and that makes me feel better. We’re currently getting delicious plums, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and cheese from local farms, among other things.

I also like that Farmdrop do a good job of reducing plastic packaging! There is still some plastic, but they’re trying hard and doing well.

Buying locally grown nuts – Potash Farm

I like eating various raw nuts as a treat and have recently become concerned that all the nuts I buy come from sources spread all over the world. After a bit of searching, I found a farm that grows nuts in the next county, Potash Farm (again, I have no affiliation with them). I think they only grow Walnuts and Kentish Cobnuts at the farm, so I ordered some of each and also some of their Walnut oil and Kentish Cobnut oil. The oil is really cool because now I can now use some locally produced oil for cooking instead of using so much imported coconut oil – one more step to using 10 percent less. I’ve been stir frying with the Kentish Cobnut oil for about 2 weeks now and the taste is great.

The nuts arrived in a box and, inside the box, there were just nuts. No other packaging! That’s great because the nuts already have a natural, strong packaging and there’s no need to waste any energy creating something extra.

buy local to reduce emissions

Just as I opened the box from Potash Farms. Nuts only. The oil bottles were below the nuts and wrapped in some bubble wrap.

I really enjoy the quality of these nuts. They’re delicious. I wasn’t sure what the cobnuts would be like, but I enjoy them a lot – they’re probably my favourite even though I originally thought I’d like the walnuts more.

Buy local options

If we can buy more local options, we are reducing overall emissions even if we consume the same amount of food as we always have. It’s an easy way to reduce pollution without putting limits on ourselves. Of course, there may be some drawbacks like not always being able to get precisely what we want at the exact time we want it, and some things might cost more, but these don’t have to become big deals. For one thing, it’s better to eat more in line with the seasons and eat the natural foods that become available in their normal timeframes. And, focusing on globalised products that can be produced cheaply and shipped worldwide is really something we should be trying to stop because of the tremendous amount of pollution this system is causing.

Once again, in the spirit of Use 10 Percent Less, you don’t have to buy local for everything all at once. Can you find just 10 percent of your purchases that you could buy locally instead of from a distant land? That shouldn’t be too hard. And, once you’re used to that new situation, then try to find another 10 percent of your purchases that can be sourced locally. The impact of such a change will be tremendous.

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