Green Your Life: Go Green in Moderation

| 4/13/2009 4:02:43 PM

Buying organic and local groceries is great, but make sure to budget yourself and prioritize if money is tight. Photo by cafemama/Courtesy Flickr.

I went on my first “green” grocery shopping trip last week to The Community Mercantile near my apartment in Lawrence, Kansas. I was charged with the green spirit, determined to finally turn my life around. I wanted to buy groceries that satisfied more than just my stomach; I wanted to help support local farmers and producers. I wanted organic and all-natural foods. I wanted that feeling of knowing that my dollars were being spent responsibly and conscientiously.

In short, I wanted to practice what I’ve been preaching about greening my life.

What I ended up doing was going overboard.

The Merc is a great store. It exudes a genuine eco-friendly vibe, and I got swept up in it all. I wanted everything I saw; organic produce, local sourdough bread, homemade granola, Annie’s all-natural mac and cheese, Amy's organic soups, organic yogurts and tortillas and pastas…EVERYTHING. I went up and down the aisles spotting these all-natural crackers and those local and organic baked beans, and it was all I could do not to fill my basket to the brim.

When all was said and done, I had purchased almost $50 worth of groceries, but soon realized that I didn’t have much to show for it. Sure, I’d done just what I wanted to do (buy groceries that benefit more people than just myself), but I’d also spent $48.63 on a mere 22 items—including three avocados and four bananas—averaging out to about $2.21 per item.