Here’s how we’re working to make the Proctor Farmers’ Market more sustainable.
“The earth is what we all have in common.”
~ Naturalist and writer, Wendell Berry
Farmers markets promote sustainability
- Farmers selling at markets minimize the amount of waste and pollution they create:
- Many markets sell organically labeled products, and many more sell chemical or pesticide-free labeled products.
- A 2015 survey of farmers selling at farmers’ markets showed that one in four farmers selling at farmers’ markets cultivate land that is protected from commercial development.
- Locally- or regionally-grown and sourced produce travels about 27 times less distance than conventionally sourced produce.
- Four out of five farmers discuss farming practices with their customers, educating them about farming and its interaction with the natural environment.
Recycling and solid waste
One of the many ways the Proctor Farmers’ Market helps to reduce waste in landfills is by sorting solid waste as per the City of Tacoma’s current program. Below are some steps we take to dispose of garbage, recycling, and food waste we generate:
Step 1 – Customers dispose of waste in one of three clearly marked ‘Zero Waste’ receptacles found throughout the marketplace: trash, recycling, and compost.
Step 2 – Market waste is then emptied into appropriate containers by staff for commercial disposal: vegetable and plant waste from vendors into brown bin, trash into green bin, recycling into blue bin.
Step 3 – All “Compost Only’ food waste and compostable food container waste is emptied into a specially-marked bin and collected by Cedar Grove. Cedar Grove processes it into compost rather than disposing of it as trash and shipping to landfills.
Vinyl banner repurposing
Used Market vinyl advertising banners are delivered to Tinkertopia, a Tacoma ‘Creative Reuse Center,’ and made into totes, games, and other creative items. The environmental advantages of repurposing vinyl banners are:
- Energy reduction – eliminates the need to make materials from scratch.
- Reduces solid waste, as less trash is going to landfills.
- Reduces our carbon footprint – when Tinkertopia reuses our materials.
- Reduces the use of virgin materials – the items created at Tinkertopia, can be upcycled when no longer in use, reducing the use of new materials.
Washington's Single-Use Plastic Bag Ban
As of Oct 1, 2021, vendors must comply with the new ‘Washington’s Single-Use Plastic Bag Ban.”
The Proctor Farmers’ Market supports the ban with compliance, online education, and the sale of reusable totes in the Market Info Booth.
By maximizing the use of the Market’s resources to process vendor applications, deliver vendor checks via direct deposit, and email targeted digital marketing flyers, we work to save trees, cut down on the use of fossil fuels, and help the environment and atmosphere.
The Market utilizes a great many items with working parts that need constant repair. We try to repair before we replace. Items beyond repair are then recycled where or when appropriate. Jack Sommer does double duty as both our bookkeeper and repair person who can fix almost anything.