Here it is. My final "Green Tip" (for now). I've enjoyed really thinking about it this month. I've been looking into composting, raised garden beds and other fun stuff like that. Even landscaping which I'm definitely no good at. But, some day..
I can't say enough about supporting local. CSAs are a great example of that. Also, though, you need to look at boutiques that carry local artisan wares.
I don't know if it's just a Nashville thing but we are so surrounded by talented people that it's just bulging at the seams. I can think of at least 4 or 5 different areas of town that have this local theme. There are local soap makers, bakers, garden stores, grocers with local farms, candle makers, card makers, gift makers, everything! There are boutiques that sell a lot of these wares. You can find things for great unique gifts or for your home. I'm always blown away.
Then there are local grocers that carry local produce. You can even find meats and cheeses from local farmers. Milks, soaps, candles, deodorant and household cleaners all from locally made sources.
And my favorite is the restaurants that then use all of these locally grown ingredients in their menu. It's amazing to me how many local restaurants we frequent. Even in Nashville, they become "chains". You have several locations but they are all local. Amazing.
I don't know if you know of an area like this in your town, but if not, you MUST find it. Don't wait to see them on Martha Stewart and say, "hey! That's right down the street". You'd be amazed at what you can find.
Find them! Support local! The green facts? They usually use locally made or repurposed materials, saving on energy, fuel and exhaust. They help to grow your local economy and keep people in business. They are usually eco conscious folks themselves and you're helping to propagate the lifestyle. Buying close to home reduces your fuel expenses since they're not being shipped fuel is saved there, too.
The Farmer's Market is a good place to start. Ours has local handmade items and all kinds of food type things from local restaurants to farmers. Etsy.com is great and you can filter a search by the city name. So, you can find something near you and possibly meet them and save shipping. I have actually sold things this way. Flea Markets and craft fairs are awesome too. You may think they are cheesy and only have granny things. But, you'd be surprised at the fancy things you can find there with great prices. Most folks have a card or a website and they can direct you to where you can find them. You'll most likely find other things at the same shop.
Please give it a shot. Can't hurt and you'll feel a little greener. I don't know what I'd do without my local eats and finds. Probably would be bored out of my mind.