Making our way through Pennsylvania and into New York, we’ve stopped at Leg Up Farmer’s Market in York and spent a day hiking in the stately Allegheny National Forest. We camped deep into the woods, but we must have intruded on a city of fireflies, because they flickered around us as the night was falling!
One thing we’ve loved about visiting so many cooperatives has been the care they take in providing products good for people and the planet. Shelves stocked with local, organic, and vegan foods, plus placards explaining terms like “fair trade” and “equal exchange,” promote a more thoughtful way of living. We’ve started looking at our own impact; although Tree-Free prides itself on its sustainability, it’s a challenge to be eco-friendly while on the road. Starbucks cups, plastic utensils, and takeout containers have been piling up.
At one of our Vermont booths, we met a representative from Be Zero, a zero waste campaign. The nonprofit aims to “inspire, educate, and activate individuals to dramatically reduce their individual plastic and trash footprint and to create simple and sustainable lifestyle habits.” Since then, we’ve been on the lookout for ways to reduce our waste as we travel.
Leg Up Farmer’s Market had an awesome wall of treats for buying in bulk, plus fun stuff like grind-your-own nut butter (we finished a jar of honey-roasted in two days flat). All it takes is bringing your own container.
Our efforts also led us to discover a new life hack: bringing your own thermos to Starbucks saves you 10 cents with each coffee (and they’ll fill up an entire Hydro Flask with no increase in the price)! Check out my Tree-Free penguin barista –
After chatting with the owners of Allegheny Antiques, we spent the night at their recommendation: what we’ve deemed the World’s Prettiest Rest Area in Chautauqua, NY. And rest we did with some rejuvenating yoga and frisbee tosses overlooking the lake!