How can I use supermarkets less?

Supermarkets have a serious impact on independent shops - many just can't compete. 13,000 specialist stores, including butchers, bakers and newsagents closed between 1997 and 2002.

Using independent and local shops is better for the environment, community and local economy. One study shows that £1 spent locally is worth 4 times as much as £1 spent in the supermarket.

The recent growth in farmers' markets - places where producers sell directly to people - also means a better deal for farmers and consumers alike.

Look out for Fairtrade goods - buying these supports small farmers in the developing world, rather than adding to multinational corporations' profits.

Another way to be sure of how your food is produced is to grow it yourself. This will give you fresh, unpackaged, chemical-free food without clocking up any food miles.

For advice on growing your own see Garden Organic's Grow Your Own pages.