A Billion Acts of Green: Buy Local Produce

September was a big month for A Billion Acts of Green, the world’s largest environmental service campaign. We introduced a new action—Reduce Your Ecological Footprint—encouraging our followers to take our Ecological Footprint Quiz. The quiz assesses your impact on the planet by asking you what kind of food you eat, where you live, what kind of transportation you use, etc. At the end of the quiz, you can get helpful suggestions about how to reduce your ecological footprint and live more sustainably. The action was a huge success—over 4,500 people took the quiz and pledged to reduce their ecological footprint! These pledges will be added on to the nearly 1.02 billion pledges to commit acts of environmental service through A Billion Acts of Green.

Today, it’s time for a brand new action: Buy Local Produce. Buying local produce is important for two reasons. First, it’s much healthier. According to the Institute of Food Research, most produce in grocery stores has typically lost nearly 45% of its nutritional value by the time you by it. Produce starts losing its nutrients as soon as it’s harvested. Once fruits and vegetables stop receiving nutrients from their parent plant, vine, or tree, they begin to break down their own organic material for energy. As a result, carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and other key nutrients begin to disappear. Most produce at supermarkets must be transported several hundred miles from the farm to a warehouse to your grocery store, a process which takes seven days, on average. The longer the produce sits, the more nutrients it loses.

If that’s not reason enough to buy local produce, think about the environmental impact of transporting your food across the country or overseas. It's estimated that the transportation of food accounts for about 12% of food-related carbon emissions. By buying local food, you can reduce your ecological footprint and live more sustainably.

Join us in pledging to buy local produce! It's good for your health and the planet's.

TAKE THE PLEDGE