The Soil Association believes that our current energy-intensive consumption habits are unsustainable, in the face of depleting energy, oil and water supplies and the UK's commitment to cut our climate change emissions 80% by 2050. There is no magic bullet to tackle the challenges that face us, but the buying decisions we make every day are a simple but powerful form of direct action.
There are lots of things that you can do as an individual or as part of a community, to help to reduce part of the environmental impact of your food and to support your local food economy. Shopping at farmers' markets, buying direct from producers via box schemes or joining a community supported agriculture scheme for example are all great ways of driving change through your buying decisions.
While many of us associate organic with food, there is also a growing market in organic textiles and health and beauty products. Because organic describes the underlying system of agricultural production buying organic products helps to support the climate-friendly farming that is going to be so important as we face up to the environmental challenges of the 21st century.
You can find information in this section on finding a local box scheme or farmers market and discover more about organic textiles and health and beauty products. And for those of us who worry about the extra cost of buying organic we've got a guide to buying organic on a budget or setting up an organic buying group to help you save money.