It can seem like there is little that any one individual can do to turn the tide of our collective and fairly unconscious use of our natural resources, but this isn't so. Being complacent is probably the worst action to take, so I encourage you to start where you are - in your local community - to find out what's going on there.
Obviously, the best place to start is in with your food. Here are a few links that have information or national lists of local farmers markets:
This is a great site to find out about markets, CSA's (Community Supported Agriculture) Food Hubs and Farm Markets (actual farm where you purchase food). It's updated often and provided by the USDA.
A simple internet search can help you tremendously and I recommend taking the time to do that. You'll find there are numerous ways that you can help; donating your time and your money, volunteering, sharing information with your community... Just start where you are and make it fun!
See below for a list of my absolute favorite organizations for you to investigate, research and get involved with:
Ecotrust - Committed to inspiring fresh thinking that creates economic opportunity, social equity and environmental well-being. Ecotrust cofounded the world's first environmental bank, started the world's first ecosystem investment fund, creates a range of programs in fisheries, forestry, food, farms and children's health as well as developing new scientific & information tools to improve social, economic & environmental decision making. Over nearly 20 years, Ecotrust has converted $80 million in grants into more than $500 million in capital for local people, businesses, and organizations from Alaska to California. www.ecotrust.org
Wholesome Wave - In 2008, Wholesome Wave piloted the Double Value Coupon Program at 12 markets in three states. Since then, the organization has launched numerous initiatives, including the Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program and Healthy Food Commerce Investments and is recognized as a compelling model for expanding regional food access. www.wholesomewave.org
Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive: CoFed - A national cooperative network and training program committed to empowering students to create ethically-sourced, cooperatively-run food enterprises on college campuses. Their mission is to cultivate a more sustainable, community-oriented culture through college campuses.www.cofed.org
Farm Aid: Farmer Resource Network - A part of Farm Aid, an organization started 26 years ago by Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp to raise awareness about the loss of family farms, raising funds to keep families on their land. Farmer Resource Network connects farmers to more than 500 organizations developing innovative approaches to producing, processing and marketing food from family farms.www.farmaid.org
FERN -Food and Environment Reporting Network - is an independent, non-profit news organization that produces investigative reporting on food, agriculture, and environmental health. Their stories fall under the classic mandate of investigative reporting–to reveal corruption, abuse of power, and exploitation wherever it happens; to expose activities and subjects that the powerful work to keep hidden or which are simply overlooked by major media; and to give a voice to the voiceless. www.thefern.org
Organic Seed Alliance - advances the ethical development and stewardship of the genetic resources of agricultural seed, accomplishing their goals through collaborative education, advisory services, and research programs with organic farmers and other seed professionals. www.seedalliance.org
As You Sow - founded in 1992 and has grown into two programs that strive to increase corporate accountability. The Environmental Enforcement Program seeks to reduce and remove carcinogenic exposures by pursuing compliance with California's Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act and the Corporate Social Responsibility Program (CSRP) to use shareholder advocacy and the financial markets to catalyze positive change within publicly held companies. www.asyousow.org
Center for Food Safety - uses multifaceted strategies, including legal actions, submission of policy comments and public eduction to accomplish its goals of curtailing industrial agricultural production methods that harm human health and the environment, and promoting sustainable alternatives. www.centerforfoodsafety.org
Real Food Media Project/Food Myth Busters – is a collaborative project that uses online videos, a web-based action and resource center and grassroots events to inspire, educate and grow the movement for sustainable food and farming. They aim to debunk myths about sustainability, spread stories of solutions and motivate millions to get involved in food system change. www.foodmyths.org
Mother Jones – Foundation for National Progress is a nonprofit news organization that specializes in investigative, political and social justice reporting. Their mission is to produce revelatory journalism that in its power and reach seeks to inform and inspire a more just and democratic world. www.motherjones.com