Embracing Local Economy for a Sustainable Santa Fe

farmers market

Through the Sustainable Santa Fe 25-Year Plan, our city established multiple strategies to achieve carbon neutrality, improve quality of life and social equity, and enhance ecological resilience. A central aspect of that plan is strengthening a vibrant local economy in our city, which not only supports local farmers, artisans, and businesses, but contributes to the overall wellbeing of our community and environment.

Impacts of Shopping Locally: Economic and Environmental

Supporting local businesses helps move our city towards a stronger and more sustainable future in multiple ways. First, shopping at Santa Fe stores and farmers markets ensures that more of our money stays within our community. Ultimately, this leads to more jobs and economic stability, as local businesses reinvest earnings close to home and create a positive cycle of growth.

Shopping locally also helps protect our environment and reduce our carbon footprint. Transportation-related emissions make up a large portion of the environmental impact of shopping: 29% of GHG emissions in the United States can be traced to the transportation industry, with a high portion of that percentage coming from trucks, ships, trains and planes used to transport materials and goods both domestically and internationally.

Even food items like produce or cereal can travel over 1500 miles (about half the width of the United States) before reaching the grocery stores where you may purchase them. By choosing to shop locally, we drastically cut down on those transportation costs and emissions, supporting our city’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2040. Focusing on intentional buying on a local level helps our community limit overconsumption, which reduces emissions and moves us towards our waste reduction goals.

Santa Fe Farmers’ Markets

A great way to start embracing our local economy is by supporting the Santa Fe Farmers’ Markets. These markets support local agriculture in Northern New Mexico by hosting up to 130 local farmers and producers from 15 Northern New Mexico counties. Vendors at the market only sell goods and food items that are grown, crafted, and/or processed in the area – so every dollar spent has a direct impact. Farmers’ markets build community, bolster our local economy, and provide shoppers with a wider variety of better tasting and more nutritious food.

The Santa Fe Farmers’ Market has three market times, each with their own hours and yearly schedules:

  • Saturday Market: Open year-round, 8am-1pm @ Market Pavilion, 1607 Paseo de Peralta (Railyard)
  • Tuesday Market: Open May 3 – November 22, 8am-1pm @ Market Pavilion, 1607 Paseo de Peralta (Railyard)
  • Tuesday Del Sur Market: Open July – September 27th, 3pm-6pm @ Presbyterian at Santa Fe Medical Center

These markets take part in the Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB) program, which doubles the value of SNAP dollars and increases program recipients’ purchasing power and creates an incentive to shop local. The program has seen serious success, with DUFB purchases at Santa Fe Farmers’ Markets increasing by 152% in the last three years. In 2021 alone, 318 new participants were served through the program. Another aspect of the DUFB is that participants may purchase subscriptions to the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market’s community-supported agriculture (CSA) program at half price. CSA programs curate a weekly assortment of produce items from local farms for easy pick-up.

Call to action: Make shopping locally even more eco-friendly

When shopping for any produce, choosing fruits and vegetables that are in season is beneficial to your health, the planet, and your wallet. Year-round farmers across Northern New Mexico produce a wider variety of food than can be found at a traditional grocery story including fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, honeys and more. Before shopping or planning meals, check out what’s in season to keep your meals sustainable and delicious.