#EarthDay Everyday: Shop Local

Happy Earth Day, Momma Earth!!

Having Brooks really made me hyper aware of the world we live in. As a parent, it is not only about the present time you start to obsess over, but you consider the future and the world we will leave behind for our kids. It can be very overwhelming to take on the task of overhauling your household to make your life greener, so my very best advice is to take it one step at a time. I’m nowhere near perfect, but every day I try to become more aware and work toward a greener existence.

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When thinking about Earth Day this year I wanted to commit to a change that would positively effect the environment and my community. My goal is to shop more locally and utilize my farmer’s markets in order to reduce my carbon footprint.  The theory is to accumulate less “food miles”. Food miles are the distance food is transported from the time of its production until is reaches the consumer. Basically put, if you are shopping locally, then it takes less gas overall to get your food to your doorstep.  Food miles are one of the factors used when assessing your carbon footprint.

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What is my carbon footprint?

Your carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases produced to directly and indirectly support human activities, usually expressed in equivalent tons of carbon dioxide.  Click here to see how you can calculate your carbon footprint for free.

There are many ways that we can reduce our carbon footprint. Take a look here for some great tips on reducing from the carbon fund. What is amazing is that one of my favorite new companies, Thrive Market, is 100% carbon neutral.  Makes me adore them even more!!

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Every time I go to the farmer’s market I literally say to myself “why don’t I do this more often?” You couldn’t ask for a more family friendly activity.  Yes, you have to keep your eyes on the prize (aka your toddler from running off in 40 directions) but all of the sights, sounds and tastes of the farmer’s market are perfect for toddlers incredibly inquisitive minds.  Brooks LOVED seeing all the baskets of fruit lined up on the tables and loved even more that he was offered a sample or two. You can’t ask for fresher farm products.  Clearly, every farmer’s market varies depending on vendors but that just means you should check out more than one to find your favorite.

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The farmer’s market is a great opportunity to see and try different types of locally grown products you might not be familiar with.  Ever tasted a quail egg?  Or how about a microgreen? The prices are great, too!  When was the last time you paid $1 for a bunch of organic herbs?  I found lots of incredible delicious yummies at the Atwater Village farmer’s market that is held every Sunday here in Los Angeles.  I’m super excited to tell you more about my delicious finds (and recipes) in the coming weeks here on my site.  I’ve got an amazing Meatless Monday recipe in store for you!

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Where do I start?

Where do I find my local farmer’s market, you ask? The department of agriculture has an online local food directory to help you locate farmer’s markets, on- farm markets, and CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) that deliver locally grown farm products right to your door.  Simply put in your zip code and find the nearest location to you. It is that easy!

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Engage the future (our children)

Last year, I started the conversation about empowering our kids to be an active part of saving our planet.

I’m a firm believer of every bit counting.  If we all take steps, in a greener direction, together we can make profound changes. One of the Earth Day projects Brooks and I worked on was making painted rock markers for our herb garden. I’m not sure who had more fun painting!

Here in Los Angeles we have adopted an ordinance banning single use plastic bags to promote the use of reusable bags and reduce the environmental impacts associated with single use bags. I’m as guilty as the next person for sometimes forgetting my reusable bags at home, so Brooks and I decided we needed to personalize our bags as a helpful reminder.

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The Challenge

Now since I know everyone loves a free treat now and then … I thought it would be a fun project and contest to have your kids decorate a reusable grocery bag, too!  Decorate your bag and post it on Instagram tagging me (@mollybsims) and I will pick out my favorite and my wonderful friends at Navitas Naturals will send the winner a wonderful basket filled with an assortment of their amazing Superfoods!  There is NO age limit in my definition of “kid”, so feel free to let your inner child out. Contest ends Monday, April 27 and I will announce the winner via Instagram on Wednesday, April 29 so get to decorating!  (Entrants must reside in the US)

Actress, model, active humanitarian, & Mom! Author of 'Everyday Chic'.