Being a sustainable consumer can take a little bit of work, but with these 10 simple tips you can start doing your part to minimize your impact on the environment while also eating well.
Most of the time when we cook there are leftovers. By saving uneaten food for meals later in the week, we reduce waste while also minimizing the amount of food we have to buy and the meals we have to prepare.
A vegetarian diet can do wonders for the environment. Planting and harvesting vegetables is easy and leaves a much smaller footprint on the earth compared to what it takes to process meat. In addition, vegetables contain a lot of great nutrients and minerals that your body needs in order to remain healthy.
When you do go to the store, stock up! If you keep your pantries well stocked with nonperishable dry goods you can minimize the number of times you have to make one-off trips to the grocery store to pick up individual items.
A lot of people have their freezer and refrigerator set to the maximum setting, thinking colder is better, but ideal temperatures for your foods are rarely in the coldest range of your appliances. Consider raising the temperature a bit to save your food from frostbite and your electricity bill from waste.
If you've followed our suggestion to save your leftovers, you will inevitably need to reheat food at some point. When this scenario arises, be sure to use the toaster rather than heating up the full over...if your portion will fit!
Plastic bags are quickly filling up landfills and causing havoc as they take a long time to decompose. Rather than adding to this issue, you can choose to bring your own bags to the store and reuse them each time you go.
Gardening is highly recommended. Not only does it help to preserve the environment, but you result in delicious veggies. You can do this whether you are in an apartment or have your own backyard.
With drought-tolerant native species in your yard. Plant shade trees and vines to keep cool in the summer.
For your biodegradable trash, consider a compost pile. Composting takes some maintenance and space, but should result in some great fertilizer for your new garden!
When you purchase foods that are locally grown and in season, you help avoid the significant environmental impact of shipping foods internationally. You also support a local farmer! Find out more on The Benefits of Buying Local.
Laura Holt, for Agrilicious!