Ok, I’ve always wanted to do better: be more active in my community, be a more responsible citizen, get involved, do what’s right… But let’s be honest, I’m a pretty lazy person! I work long hours, and I use that as an excuse to not always do what I KNOW is right!
I’ve been involved as a volunteer with Kanu for about a year now, and I was immediately drawn to the Eat Local challenge. I fell in love the Islands from the first time I came here 6 years ago, and, being originally from a Caribbean Island, I particularly enjoy its delicious tropical bounty that reminds me of home. However, it struck me early on just how limited (and expensive) the local food supply is. I want to do my share and help, but what is a lazy/busy person, with limited funds, to do?
So I decided to think of a few small easy steps I could commit to about how I buy my food, which would allow me to do my share toward a more sustainable Hawai’i. The first commitment I made was to find 3-5 locally-made staples from my local supermarket that I could commit to buying from now on, instead of the “mainland” stuff. These are the products that I now buy exclusively local (note: I’m not endorsing any particular brand, these are just the ones that are readily available to me in my neighborhood!):
1) Hawaiian Sun jams and jellies (they also make coconut syrup for the pancake lovers out there!)
2) Old Time Brand Hawaiian sea salt
3) 100% Kona Coffee (I buy whatever brand is on sale! Just check the label to make sure it's really from Hawai'i)
4) Maui Brand natural cane sugar
5) Oils of Aloha Macadamia Nut Oil (Ok! Ok! I admit; I still buy olive oil too for some recipes)
I also noticed that there are several locally packaged tofu brands, though I still need to do some research about which company uses locally grown soy beans (more on that some other time!). By making a habit of always buying these 5 items, I was able to make my Eat Local commitment without significantly increasing my grocery bill or adding significantly to my schedule!
Also, I love going to the farmer’s market whenever I can (which is not very often, sadly), so my next commitment is going to be to try out one of those farm co-ops. This way, I will be supporting a local farmer, while getting, once a week, my box with a nice selection of seasonal fresh fruits and veggies (without having to even think about it! He! he!)
So I thought I’d share this with my fellow well-intentioned procrastinators (I know you’re out there!) and I’d love to hear back from them, about what other effortless ways I can participate in the Eat Local Challenge !!!!
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