Living on organic products that are pesticide-free, chemical-free, sustainable and healthy is truly the way to go — but — where to start? Where does one find organic products? Are there local eco-friendly businesses you can support? How about farmers; are there local farmers you can purchase your fruits and veggies from?
Well, this post is a guide to finding eco-friendly, local businesses. Purchasing locally will reduce carbon emissions generated by excess transportation and will help preserve the environment. Plus, truly understand where your food (or other products) originate is a fascinating world in itself. If you’re not already living green/healthy, I highly suggest you do so. You will feel better and have a more meaningful/thankful perception of the world that surrounds you.
Please see the below tips for finding local green businesses:
1) Google Maps
If you’re looking for a local business, one you can drive to, Google Maps is your road to success (pun intended). Google allows users to search for keywords that generate local listings based on IP addresses as well as location keywords (e.g. Los Angeles). If you’re looking for a green store in Beverly Hills, simply enter that in Google Maps and a list will appear as well as a map of the area.
2) Green Directories
Directories are, simply said, websites that function like a phonebook. Directories list businesses by name, address, location, etc. Most directories are categorized, so finding niche products like organic dog treat manufacturers is relatively easy. Forget flipping through hundreds of pages that fail to list websites and photos, search for local businesses in online directories like http://www.greenmaven.com/
3) Visit Green Neighborhoods
I know this sounds hopeful, but visiting neighborhoods that are known for being green is a excellent stepping stool for your green experience. I, personally, live in West Los Angeles, which is not known for being green, but I often visit Silver Lake and Echo Park, which are known for being greencentric (ohhh I like my new word!) and are only 20 minutes away. Strolling around the main streets will surely cause you to stumble upon some awesome stuff whether it be a repurposed door at an antique shop or a piece of art made from automobile parts. Connecting with local green businesses and building relationship is invaluable, and will last for years to come.
4) Search Engines
Though you may sometimes hate them, and results seem cluttered, search engines like Yahoo and Google are truly your friend. Innovative algorithms will find precisely what you’re looking for, so be sure to choose your keywords wisely. For example, if you live in New York City and would like to purchase organic baby products, search for “organic baby products in New York City” not “baby products in New York City.” Omitting one word can make an enormous difference.
5) Niche Websites
Subscribing to niche websites or blogs, or visiting them often, will help keep you involved in the green movement and up-to-speed with local news. For example, being that I live in Los Angeles, I often visit http://www.greenopia.com/LA. The site provides information on local organic restaurants, green businesses, product reviews, and much more. Utilizing niche websites, or more focused websites, will ensure you receive the information you’re interested in.
6) Word of Mouth
Yes, you heard that right, word of mouth is one of the best ways to come across cool, new green products and businesses. After all, many green businesses, such as architectural salvages, are not easy to find on the street and lack online presence. Word of mouth is your path to finding some of the most awesome stores and food. I know it has been for me.
7) Farmer’s Markets
One of my favorite places on earth — farmer’s markets. Gotta love ’em! The West Hollywood and Santa Monica farmer’s markets are fun, though the good old, original Farmer’s Market on Fairfax and 3rd Street in Los Angeles takes the cake. Over the past 25 years I have been there over a thousand times (probably way more) and still love the place. Organic produce, excellent restaurants, cool gifts, eclectic mix of people, and gorgeous weather. What more can one ask for?
The Brainchild Group
The Brainchild Group is a leading internet marketing firm that specializes in eco-friendly, green marketing for a variety of businesses.