I was inspired today by a school assignment (yeah…weird, huh?). The assignment was to think of three ways in which we could choose environmentally friendly foods. Most people automatically stand on a soapbox and scream, “reduce the carbon footprint!” I’ll admit, I was tempted to do the same, until I realized I needed to think outside the (soap)box. <– See what I did there?
First, I’ll start off by saying I love, love LOVE farmers markets. They always seem to present the freshest options and not to mention the fact that we can support our local economy. Therefore, I will always suggest going to a farmers market. That being said, let’s delve into some other ways in which we can choose environmentally friendly food.
- Take the Bus (It’s not as bad as you think!):
Transportation of foods to you is one thing, but what about transportation of yourself to the foods? Driving to and from the grocery store or the farmers market can rack up a hefty bill that the environment hates, but has to pay (kind of like taxes :0 ). I know riding your bike sounds like a great idea. You get exercise and save the environment! However, balancing several full grocery bags on each handle bar can become quite the comedic scene to bystanders. This is why I recommend the bus. It’s comfy, more temperature controlled, and saves gas!
- Use Cloth Bags:
Okay, we all know of the cloth bags most, if not all, grocery stores are promoting now-a-days. So my tip is to simply use them! It saves the environment as well as time required to stash all the old bags and return them to the recycle bins in front of the store (which I know you all do!)
Not everyone has access to several vital acres of land that produce the most luscious fruits and vegetables, but we do all have access to water, sunshine, and bags of soil. I do not claim to be a super green thumb by any means, in fact several plants have gone towards the light under my care, and I’m not talking sunlight. However, I do admit to loving a good garden grown tomato on occasion. Not only do you get a rewarding feeling of accomplishment after consuming something you’ve grown, but you help reduce that carbon footprint we all stress about.
- Use Manual Kitchen Equipment:
What is something most people don’t consider when it comes to going green? The energy we use every day when we plug in the mixer, can opener, electric knife, or other electric tools that perform exactly the same function as their brothers and sisters that lack an electrical cord. Using a manual can opener isn’t as hard as those late night infomercials make them out to be. You know the ones I’m talking about, where the can opener or good old fashioned knife flies out of their hands and slices their most prized possessions open. I recently stepped out of my comfort zone and found that it’s not necessary to consume all that energy because it is surprisingly easy to cut a strawberry without a chainsaw.
- Use Cloth Towels and Napkins:
This one is a complicated one. If you use the towel once and then throw it in the was it may become a bit counter productive because you’re running the washing machine nearly every day. However, I wouldn’t recommend never washing it! The point is, instead of wiping your mouth with a new paper napkin after each bite, use a cloth napkin that can get several uses before being washed. This will help you reduce the addition to landfills.
- Use reusable storage containers and dishes:
Instead of using paper plates or plastic wrap to store food, use real plates, bowls, and dinnerware to eat and glass storage bins to store food. Once again, you reduce the pollution to landfills.
These are all just a few ways in which we can choose environmentally green options when it comes to food. There are several more I left out or simply didn’t think of. I’d love to hear any suggestions as I’m always looking to do a better job at going green!