Climate change is one of the most urgent and complex issues facing humankind. It is a global problem that is experienced differently from locale to locale. Record-high temperatures cause rising sea levels that threaten ocean life and the human inhabitants of fragile island ecosystems while the same warming trends cause prolonged droughts somewhere else. Too much water in some places, not enough in others. Though humans experience climate change differently across the globe, one truth remains: only people can stop and reverse the damage caused by the increasing levels of greenhouse gases released into Earth’s atmosphere.
Burning fossil fuels is the primary source of greenhouse gases. Reducing our dependence on them is the number-one challenge to mitigating global warming. Readers of the Information Press are people who are already recycling, avoiding food and other products laden with toxic chemicals and carpooling when they can, but there is always more we can do to reduce our carbon footprint.
Voting for political candidates who understand the urgency of climate change is one step that’s on everyone’s mind during this election season. And though it is an important one, political action isn’t the only way to stop global warming. An easy and effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is to simply consume less. Shopping at farmers’ markets is an enjoyable way to accomplish that goal. Buying food and other goods at a farmers’ market reduces the amount of unwanted packaging that comes along with most supermarket purchases. Farmers’ markets offer a variety of wholesome, organic foods including meat, poultry, eggs and other dairy foods. Eliminating processed foods from the diet not only benefits health, it benefits the environment by reducing the amount of energy used by processing factories.
The bounty of fresh foods available at farmers’ markets this summer provides the perfect chance to learn more about the local products available within our community. With markets popping up in almost every town, finding one close to you is easy. Check out slocounty.ca.gov for the full schedule of farmers’ markets in SLO County. Buying local isn’t the single solution to the most serious problem facing humankind, but it is one more step in the right direction.