When you think of living green you get an image of an electric car, solar panels, non-toxic products, etc. But rarely do people think that what’s on their dinner plate can also be sustainable. People are starting to realize that their food can be environmentally sustainable and natural. They are doing this by growing their own food in their gardens and composting their waste to minimize their impact on the environment. There are a number of strategies that can be employed to live greener – especially when it comes to environmental food waste. Here are our tips:
Reusable Bags at the Grocery Store
One of the easiest things you can do today is to stop using disposable plastic bags at the grocery store. Plastic waste is a huge issue as it takes at least 450 years for it to decompose, but could take up to 1000 years! Simply take reusable tote bags to the grocery store and use those instead.
Eat Local, Fresh Produce
Buying fruits and vegetables from the grocery store means that the food has probably traveled thousands of miles to get to you. Transporting all this food places a big carbon load on the environment and can be easily replaced by visiting a local farmers market. By doing this you’re supporting local farmers, minimizing your carbon footprint, and all the while getting fresher, organic produce that is free of harmful cancer causing chemicals.
Reduce Food Waste Now
The amount of food waste that is generated in the United States and around the world is staggering. How much food waste you ask? A whopping 70 billion pounds worth – every year! Reducing food waste should be everyone’s priority as it can save you money, reduce the environmental impact, and can reduce the load on landfills not designed to handle food waste. Reducing food waste should be relatively easy, but does require a little planning ahead and routinely organizing your fridge. Make sure the oldest food is rotated out to the front and make reminders for yourself that you have leftovers that can be eaten the next day. If this is not an option than freezing leftovers is certainly a viable option. Oftentimes we see that food goes bad prematurely due to an improper temperature settings in the fridge. Make sure you follow the correct temperature guidelines to ensure that your food doesn’t go bad too quickly.
Grow Your Own Fruits and Vegetables
Growing your own food seems like an enormous task, but is easily manageable and immensely rewarding to see the fruits of your labor (literally). There really is no down to growing your own fruits and vegetables – you save money, get to eat organic, and don’t contribute to polluting the environment as the food didn’t have to be shipped to you from a farm thousands of miles away. If you’re really feeling ambitious, compost the waste and turn it back into the soil.
Buying Organic Food
Organic foods are becoming more and more popular as the use of pesticides in traditional farming is showing its harmful effects by way of diseases and cancers. Organic farming practices don’t utilize pesticides or synthetic fertilizers ensuring that the food you eat will not harm you. Organic food is undoubtedly the only food you should eat but the issue for many is the cost as it tends to be much more expensive. But can you really put a price on your health? If you can’t afford organic foods then growing your own is the next best thing!
The bottom line is that how how “green” you want to live is totally up to you, but the most important thing is to take that first step – even if it’s as simple as using reusable bags at the grocery store.