Reducing waste at the farmers market

tees to totes Fulton
Turning T-shirts into no-sew reusable tote bags at the Fulton Farmers Market. Submitted photo

Did you know that the Neighborhood Roots farmers markets are zero-waste?

When you come to the market each week to buy your groceries and chat with your farmers, plan ahead to help us reduce waste. If you grab something to eat at the markets, make sure that all of your waste goes into the big green compost bins placed throughout the market. All servingware used at the market is certified compostable. That includes coffee cups and lids, cold drink cups, utensils, plates and napkins.

This season, we’re implementing new programs to help you reduce waste at the market, too.

Take a tote, leave a tote: If you forget to bring your reusable bag to the market, you can borrow one from us. Just stop by the information tent and ask us about it. And if you have extra reusable bags at home, donate them to our stash to share with your neighbors. You can also bring an old T-shirt to the information tent any time this season and we’ll show you how to upcycle it into a no-sew reusable tote bag.

Take a bag, leave a bag: As we’re all trying to eliminate single-use plastic from our daily lives, the market is here to help. Think about reusing the plastic bags you have for carrying home your market goodies. We’ll also have a supply of extra plastic bags for you in case you didn’t bring your own. This helps the market reduce waste by reusing plastic bags instead of giving out new ones. And if you have a bunch of them at home, bring them to the information tent to share with your community.

Produce bags from vendors: While biodegradable produce and plastic handle bags are available, they are of poor quality, tend to rip easily and are quite expensive. Some of our vendors provide them, but until there’s a quality product available, don’t expect to see too many of them at the market.

Glass recycling: Did you buy a jar of jelly, kimchi, pickles or Bloody Mary mix at the market? Bring your glass jar back to the vendor so they can re-use it, or re-use it yourself in your home.

Electronics recycling: We’re hosting electronics recycling events at each of our markets in July. Bring your old electronics to the market to recycle them.