What’s on your plate? Did you know that eating a pound of meat emits the same amount of greenhouse gases (GHG) as driving an SUV 40 miles? However, meat isn’t the only high-carb food on your plate. The carbon footprint from long-distance transportation and refrigeration. To reduce your impact, go for locally grown foods. Fruits and vegetables grown near you taste just as good, if not better.
How do you store your leftovers? While it’s common to store leftovers in plastic containers, it’s not the healthiest option. Plastic containers often contain harmful chemicals like Bisphenol A (BPA) and other carcinogens that can enter your food and body. The waste generated by plastic packaging also sends millions of tons of chemicals and plastics to landfills each year, leaving a lasting footprint on the environment.
Be even more local: consider dedicating part of your garden to grow vegetables or fruit. Even small container gardens can produce fresh produce right outside your door or window.
10 Simple ways to make your diet and kitchen greener
- Go Local; Every pound of locally sourced food you buy saves a quarter of a pound of greenhouse gas emissions.
- Switch to glass: Choose glasses over plastic cups and be mindful of what you use to store or microwave food. Health authorities recommend using glass or BPA-free containers.
- Consider Organic: Food certified organic by the USDA means the food is made without the use of chemical pesticides and using organic fertilizers.
- Drink Local Water: Drink tap water and carry it in a reusable bottle. Filling your bottle with reusable tap water reduces waste and pollution from plastic water bottles.
- Eat Less Meat: Meat production uses more land and energy than growing vegetables.If you eat a masked meal a week, you can reduce your contribution to GHG emissions and help to ensure that everyone has enough to eat. For alternative sources of protein, try legumes, grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds.
- No to GMOs. By hampering the natural selection and adaptation of plants and animals, GMO production could leave our food supply vulnerable to disease and adverse weather conditions.
- Test out the composting: By composting or discharging organic waste into a garbage, you can lower the amount of organic matter that enters the waste stream. Composting returns the valuable nutrients back to your own yard and garden.
- Don’t wash twice: Save water by not pre-washing dishes that go into the dishwasher. While some dishes require extra scrubbing, pre-rinsing everything is unnecessary and wasteful.
- Be picky about the seafood: Fish are threatened by overfishing. Find out more about the seafood options and the dangers of mercury pollution. Choose dolphin safe labelled tuna. When shopping for the seafood at the grocery store, consider whether it’s domestic (less traffic, imported or wild, or from the farmland (more sustainable).
- Keep it Natural: Products found in most kitchens (including vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice) can be used as powerful natural cleaning products in the kitchen. Consider buying and using natural cleaning products to keep your home and kitchen clean and fresh. .
When shopping for groceries, consider how many miles the product traveled to get to you. Everything is available all year round these days, but take a moment to consider whether or not it’s in season locally or across the world. By buying things that are produced locally, or at least closer to home, our kitchens and diets can help reduce pollution and global warming GHG emissions.