buy local

Shopping


Green purchasing means buying smart. Shop with the environment in mind - that is, buy products that help conserve natural resources, save energy and prevent waste. Green purchasing also can mean not buying things you don’t need. By educating yourself about the products you buy, you can make a difference in protecting the environment.

Green purchasing involves learning about all the ways that a product can affect the environment during the course of its “life cycle” - from the materials used to manufacture it, to how you use it, to what you do with it when you’re finished with it - so that you can make smart choices.

Be an Enviroshopper:

  • Use cloth grocery bags or reuse your plastic or paper grocery bags.
  • Select products with the most purposeful, least wasteful packaging.
  • Avoid buying goods with unnecessary packaging.
  • Buy in the size that you can use and not waste.
  • Buy products that can be recycled and make sure to recycle them.  

Buy smart. Take some time to think before you buy something - maybe you don’t really need it. Maybe you can think of an alternative to buying a product, such as renting a DVD instead of buying it or sending a free e-card instead of a paper birthday card. Shopping with the environment in mind will conserve resources, prevent waste and save money.

Buy durable products. Instead of buying disposable products, which are wasteful, buy things that will last a long time, such as rechargeable batteries and reusable plastic mugs for drinks.

Think globally, buy locally. The concept of buying local is simply to buy food, goods or services that are produced, grown or raised as close to your home as possible. Choosing a product that’s harvested or made locally reduces transportation energy use and helps sustain your community’s economy. In the U.S., the average grocery store’s produce travels nearly 1,500 miles between the farm where it was grown and your refrigerator.

General produce safety guidelines:

  • Hands should be washed with hot soapy water before and after handling fresh produce.
  • Wash all fruits and vegetables with cool tap water immediately before eating. Do not use soap or detergents.
  • Scrub firm produce, such as melons and cucumbers, with a clean produce brush. Cut away bruised or damaged areas before eating.
  • Wash surfaces often. Cutting boards, dishes, utensils and counter tops should be washed with hot soapy water and sanitized after coming in contact with fresh produce. Always use clean cutting boards and utensils when handling fresh produce.
  • All fresh produce that is peeled or cut should be refrigerated within two hours or discarded. 

Texas farmers are throwing open the garden gate and inviting everyone to get the pick of the crop in person. Head to the nearest pick-your-own operation and try your hand at harvesting your own vegetables, citrus, berries, peaches, apples and cut flowers. If you don’t have time to pick, farmers markets and roadside stands are a Texan’s best route to the freshest locally grown produce. About 40 percent of our fruit is produced overseas. The broccoli we buy at the supermarket travels an average 1,800 miles to get there, even though broccoli is likely grown within 20 miles of your house. 

GO TEXAN promotes the products, culture and communities that call Texas home. Texas grows more than 45 commercial fruit and vegetable crops in addition to a large variety of regional specialties. For more information about buying local, visit www.gotexan.org.