Shop Locally: The Sustainable Practices of Farmers Markets

Learn how shopping locally and supporting farmers markets can contribute to a more sustainable life and community.

Shop Locally: The Sustainable Practices of Farmers Markets
Miami's Palmetto Bay weekly Farmers Market

Farmers Markets are some of the best small businesses to support as they are not only premiere destinations to find fresh produce and handmade products, but they also apply dozens of sustainable practices to their businesses. 


Shopping locally at farmers markets is a great way to practice sustainable living due to the many benefits it offers not only to ourselves, but to the environment as well. Supporting farmers markets and other small businesses helps to reduce carbon footprint and unnecessary waste as two prime examples. With decreased transportation energy, less resources are utilized to get products from the site of production to buyers themselves. This greatly reduces any additional exhaust fumes and air pollution associated with mass means of product transportation, as well as the reduction of food waste. Additionally, farmers markets help to decrease the amount of packaging material used to store products, such as cardboard boxes or even the plastic bags given to customers after purchases–customers are instead encouraged to bring reusable shopping bags with them to store their purchases. 


In terms of health benefits, farmers markets offer a variety of fresh produce and products that are homemade and rely on more traditional and sustainable production methods, making them healthier and more valuable than other mass methods you’d find in chain markets. With crops in particular, small vendors are less reliant on chemical agents and/or pesticides in their farming process, and instead employ more traditional methods. As a result, the fruits and vegetables grown have much higher nutritional values as they do not require preservatives or any added chemicals to stay fresh. These methods make locally grown crops much more nutritious to the average buyer than the products one would normally find in stores. 


Here in Miami, we have many great farmers markets, two of the most notable being the Coconut Grove and Pinecrest farmers markets which are open every Saturday from midday to late afternoon. Both offer dozens of vendors with a variety of edible or handmade products anyone can enjoy with their friends and family. Practice sustainable living and stimulate your health by supporting a local farmers market!