Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Pledge to "Go Local" For Earth Day

Earth Day is here once again and for those who may be hesitating or who need a "reason" to become a locavore, Earth Day might be just the thing.

Started in 1970, by Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin as the first nationwide environmental protest, its goal was "to shake up the political establishment and force this issue onto the national agenda."

On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment. That first Earth Day saw a rare alignment of all kinds of groups and political parties, including farmers and urban dwellers alike.

Ultimately, it resulted in the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.

This history is a reminder that we do have the power to make a difference. And, one way to make a start is to eat local, buy local, and consider how your purchases affect your local community and environment.

Eating foods that are produced locally or grown nearby reduces transportation fuel four to 17 times (according to the Rocky Mountain Institute). That means four to 17 times less carbon dioxide pollution.

And, when you buy locally, every dollar spent in your community adds about twice as much value to the local economy than it would if it were spent at a chain store.

All of those super "bargains" we get at those big stores, aren't so wonderful, they do come at a higher cost, the loss of local businesses, the fact that we don't really produce anything any more, more use of fuel, and that we get tainted foods and other products, even toys.

Even focusing on just eating locally can make a big impact. Here's a link to a list on the PBS website about how to start eating locally, developed by the folks at the Eat Local Challenge, http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/344/locavore.html

And for more information on the Eat Local Challenge, visit them here:

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