Success Stories

One of SLO County’s greatest attributes is its readily available supply of fresh, local produce. As a major sector of the county’s economy, agriculture brings the region both economic prosperity and tasty, healthy foods. Growing up in the greater LA region, it was difficult to come by foods produced by local farmers. In SLO this is easy! There are over 19 farmers markets located across the county, a few of which are within walking distance of my house. Every Thursday night, Higuera Street in downtown SLO is closed and blocks of locally grown food become the main display. Along with farmers fresh foods, you can also get cooked foods from local restaurant stands, and enjoy live entertainment such as singing.

Having farmers markets so readily available has decreased my dependence on imported grocery store produce. Farmers market food is local, reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with transportation of foods. But most importantly, I believe that local produce simply tastes better. Never frozen!

When I think of composting, the image that comes to mind is a stinky, rotting pile of food in my own home or backyard. Ew. Hard Pass. Because of this, I was very hesitant to try composting at home - but my idea of what composting was did not equate to what it really is: a clean and simple way to reduce food waste and greenhouse gas emissions. In SLO County, you can throw away compost in your Green Waste bin to be diverted from landfill. Almost every type of food is accepted - including meat and dairy products that are typically excluded from composting. Back in September, I picked up my free food waste composting bin from the Integrated Waste Management Authority (IWMA), and have been composting ever since. Perhaps even more exciting for SLO, the Kompogas Anaerobic Digester Facility will come online in the next year. Food waste collected in these pails and green waste bins will be diverted to this site, where the waste is then converted to produce clean electricity and high quality compost. How rad! I'm happy to see items that I simply throw away being used for other purposes, especially when the other purpose involves reducing emissions and my own carbon impact. I would highly recommend checking out the IWMA website and all of the programs they offer, including the food waste reduction program. Little actions do make a difference!