Local Food and Local Waste

Community Development Agency

What Can You Do?

  • Buy food from local producers and farmers when possible
    Buying local food means it traveled less distance to your plate reducing vehicle related greenhouse gas emissions. It also increases the financial security of local farmers by creating a consistent market for their products. Everyone can buy local including those receiving CalFresh benefits. To learn more, visit Grow In Marin, Marin County Farmers Markets, and CalFresh Market Match.
  • Use what you have and buy less food
    Take an inventory of food you already have and plan meals around those items. Reduce the quantities of food you make if you typically cannot finish leftovers. Consider buying only the food you really need for a meal, a day, or a week to save money and reduce waste. Visit Zero Waste Marin.
  • Compost whenever possible
    Composting organic waste (food scrapes, yard and garden waste, soiled paper goods, bamboo utensils, and wooden stir sticks) reduces methane emissions and may save you money on your garbage bill. Visit Zero Waste Marin Composting Info and UC Master Gardener Composting Info.
  • Donate excess food locally
    ExtraFood is a Marin-based nonprofit that will pick up your extra fresh food and get it to those in need. The SF Marin Food Bank accepts donations of non-perishable and unexpired food items. Cropmobster is an online community-based exchange system for the trade and exchange of items within the food and agricultural community.
  • Eat a plant-rich diet
    Eat a plant-rich diet and make mindful choices when consuming meat. If cattle were their own nation, they would be the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases. Plant-rich diets also tend to be healthier, leading to lower rates of chronic disease. Changing your diet is personal and cultural. If you cannot give up meat, consider purchasing meat that is raised in a sustainable way and eat less meat. Visit the Drawdown Project, Grown in Marin, and Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT) for more info.

What is the County Doing?

  • Marin Food Policy Council
    Marin Food Policy Council (MFPC) addresses food production, access, distribution, and nutritional health in Marin and develops targeted policies and practical solutions based on a systems approach to solving food access issues.
  • Zero Waste Marin
    Zero Waste Marin is comprised of representatives from all over Marin County. Zero Waste Marin adopted a zero waste by 2025 goal and helps residents and businesses reduce waste by hosting trainings about how you can increase compost at home and at work.
  • Marin's community gardens
    Community Gardens in Marin are a source of community and local food. With more than 120 gardens in neighborhoods, schools, connected to institutions such as hospitals, and on residential housing grounds, Marin residents have access and opportunity to grow their own fruits and vegetables. Read more about some examples of Marin's community gardens in A Garden for Everyone and learn where on is near you on the Community Garden Map.