When we think of energy and sustainability issues, we often think first of big polluting power plants, cars and factories. But we often forget about the ’embodied’ energy in the products we use. That’s the energy required to make the product and transport it to the shop where we buy it, as well as the energy we use getting to the shop itself. And that’s where local markets come in.
Local markets offer a great opportunity to reduce the impact of the products you consume. You can often walk, cycle or hop on a tram to get to your local market, rather than driving longer distances. In addition, local markets often sell local produce. This reduces the distance and thus the amount of energy required to transport the product from the farm – often referred to as ‘food miles’. Farmers’ markets and ‘slow food’ markets are often the best places to find locally sourced produce. And of course you can always just ask the seller where their produce comes from. You can also usually find organic and ‘ethical’ produce at local markets, or at least ask the seller directly about a product, where it has come from and how it was produced.