Let's make it a habit to become acquainted with all the local merchants on Pine Island. Gather a friend or two and schedule a day once or twice a year for a fun Island safari. Drive the length of the island to check out shops, gardening centers, galleries, produce stands and major businesses. Learn about what they offer in the way of earth friendly shopping. Ask if their products are American made and how far they travel to the store. Encourage merchants to adopt earth friendly practices. It's easy to lessen our impact on the earth by choosing healthy shopping alternatives:
- Buy one new item; recycle or repurpose two old items. Donate to and purchase from local thrift stores, which is not only less expensive, but an earth-friendly decision, rather than purchasing new, dye, or tie-dye bedraggled clothing, linens, etc.
- Use the backs of old computer printed sheets or advertising flyers, etc. for making grocery lists or writing notes to family members.
- Eliminate expensive "middle men" - buy people and earth-friendly, locally made or Certified Fair Trade products (Earth & Spirit Garden Gallery and other island merchants)
- Buy certified organic and/or local produce (fresh from the farm - several island locations)
- Urge island businesses to serve/stock local fish and produce
- Plant native landscapes (lots of choices for these products on the island)
- Purchase BPA-free plastic water bottles (check out the supply at Winn Dixie) and refill them at home
- Google "re-usable BPA-free lunch bags" for products that will cut down on your use of plastic baggies, foil and plastic wrap
- Exchange or share instead of purchasing
- Get a library card and use it to borrow books, CDs and DVDs or read books on Kindle, etc. Share books among friends or donate/purchase books through Pine Island Library sales
Island businesses: please discuss and share your earth-friendly practices with Pine Island Earth Friends, so we can help others learn about them. Call Diane at 239-246-3930.