Wondering what you can do to minimize your impact on Mother Earth? Look no further! These are (in my opinion) easy ways you can start to reduce, reuse and recycle more often.
1. Make a grocery list and go shopping. Weekly! (Bring your reusable bags or opt for paper bags and recycle!) When you shop for your food, cook from home, pack your lunches and snacks to bring with you, you are reducing waste in a big way.
Think about it. Every time you dine out, whether it be at a fast food restaurant, food truck or grab and go’s like vending machines and gas stations, you are throwing out garbage, containers and wrappers.
In most recent stats, 44% of Americans eat at a fast food restaurant each week. That is a lot of waste!
Example Lunch from home:
Leftover taco meat from last night (in reused Brummel and Brown container)
Salad with veggies and cheese in Bento box
Salad dressing in mini container
Fork from home
All can be washed at home and reused!
Lunch from Panera
Salad and sandwich
2- Plastic/carboard boxes
large brown paper bag
2. Buy in bulk!
Yes, 100 calorie packs and mini containers of pre-cut veggies save us time, but also increases our waste.
Here are items to buy in bulk, to cut up and portion out at home. It’s cheaper and better for the environment!
3. Ditch the water bottles ONCE AND FOR ALL
I have not bought a case of water bottles in probably over 9 years.
Keep a BPA free, dishwasher safe water bottle on hand and refill it up! Some water bottles even have their own filtration system.
4. Go Meatless once a week
Ditching the animal proteins once a week will save your pocketbook AND reduce your carbon footprint.
By reducing your animal protein intake just once a week you can decrease fossil fuel usage, water usage AND reduce greenhouse gas emmissions.
For my Meatless Monday (which will actually be today’s dinner in honor of Earth Day!)…
I am simply making homemade pasta sauce with whole grain pasta, side salad with fresh veggies and a side of whole grain garlic toast. Easy Peasy.
5. This one is obvious and you probably knew it was coming…. EAT. Local.
By buying foods close to your home, you are reducing the distance your food must travel, thus the energy it takes to do so!
Visit your local farmers market or at least shop for foods that are in season. To find a Farmers Market or CSA near you visit, visit this website: http://search.ams.usda.gov/FARMERSMARKETS/default.aspx
6. Plant a garden… or at least some pots of home grown veggies.
Save the water from your lawn and use it instead for a garden. Don’t have enough room? Join a community garden! Even making 1 or 2 small changes can really add up over time!
We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. ~Native American Proverb
Kelly Devine Rickert, MS RDN CSSD
Moraine Valley Wellness Coordinator