In recent years, there has been more of a push towards supporting small businesses. It’s commonly known that shopping small boosts the local economy and directly supports small business owners. However, did you know that shopping locally is also environmentally sustainable?
More importantly, shopping locally helps reduce your “food miles,” or the distance the food travels to get in your hands.  At many grocery stores, produce and other food items may travel thousands of miles, generating a larger carbon footprint due to vehicle emissions, refrigeration, packing and shipping facilities, and more. Shopping locally lessens your food’s carbon footprint dramatically. Additionally, most local farms avoid using pesticides and toxins that negatively affect air, water, and soil quality. This is just one more way that local farms foster healthier communities and protect the natural environment. 
In Walla Walla, an agricultural epicenter, there are many opportunities to find fresh, affordable, and local produce. Some of the most well-known options include:
To dig deeper, explore “Eat Local First,” an incredible resource that lists local farms, farmers markets, grocers with local produce, and farm-to-table restaurants near your location. Still feeling wary about venturing to the farmers market? Check out the Walla Walla Food Hub, which allows you to place online orders for fresh produce, meats, grains, dairy, and other food products — all from local farms in southeast Washington. 
Shopping locally is good for you, your community, and the environment. So next time your fridge is empty, consider exploring Walla Walla’s plentiful resources and choose to shop small!
Visit the links below to see what our community has to offer:
Eat Local First – Washington Food & Farm Finder
Walla Walla Food Hub – Order Locally Produced Food and Farm Goods
The environmental benefits of buying locally. (n.d.). Go Green. http://www.gogreen.org/blog/the-environmental-benefits-of-buying-locally
Why buy local? (n.d.). Sustainable Connections. https://sustainableconnections.org/why-buy-local/