New Year, new Nutrition Preferred! My husband has decided to join me by bringing his master gardening expertise to the nutrition world. This is perfect timing to go along with my main new years intention. I love the idea of setting intentions for my life and having a clean slate such as the change of a calendar year to do so. (Go here to see last years post about how to set and keep goals throughout the year.)
This year, my main intention is to become a more sustainable person. This all started when my friend Ann Marie shared this quiz that measures how many planets it would take if everyone lived like me. Super scary because I love this Earth and I thought I was pretty sustainable already! I pinpointed a few things that I know I can do better/see the opposite happening a lot and created the list below. **Bonus** Being more sustainable will also positively impacts our health because we’ll be ingesting less chemicals and more nutrients.
We all know we should be doing it so do it! Recycling helps keep our air pollution down and keeps landfills from continuing to grow. I immediately picture us all living on top of landfills one day because of how big they will get. If it’s not us, it may be our children. GROSS. Recycle people. To make it easier, put the recycle bin next to the trash can. You’ll also be shocked how much less you have to take out the trash.
Use Less Plastic
Did you know it takes somewhere between 100-1000 years for a plastic grocery bag to breakdown? That is longer than most of us will live. Ways to go about cutting down on all plastic products include, using glass containers for food storage, reusable food huggers instead of plastic bags, taking reusable bags to the grocery store, using biodegradable poo bags for the dog, having less trash/waste for less trash bag use, reusable water bottles and less single serving foods that come in plastic containers (buy bulk!). Also, please don’t bag your leaves – leaves make great compost!
Less Food Waste
Food waste adds to our trash piles, creates greenhouse gases, and is a huge hit on your wallet. I like to even look at it as a disrespect for farmers everywhere because I wasted their time and resources by throwing away the food they grew. Plan ahead and buy according to your week ahead. If it is going to be busier and theres a chance you’ll end up eating out more than usual, buy less at the store and rely on leftovers or previously frozen dishes from last months food prep 😉 to reduce food rot in your fridge. If you justtttt can’t resist the huge container of strawberries at Costco, freeze what you don’t eat before they spoil.
Eat Less Meat
While I will never tell anyone to completely give up their meat, eating less (preferably no more than 1-2x per a week) will cut down considerably on greenhouse gases and reduce your carbon footprint. According to a study done at Harvard, reducing or eliminating your consumption of animal products is actually more efficient at reducing carbon than buying local/in season produce. Eating less meat will also encourage you to add more interesting vegetables and grains into your diet, reducing your risk of chronic diseases. And please do not worry about not getting enough protein, most Americans are getting 2-3x the amount of protein needed in a day.
But still… Buy local and in season produce straight from the source!
Have you ever thought about the journey an avocado had to take from Mexico to Washington, DC in the dead of winter when it can’t be grown locally? Talk about pretty epic and pretty wasteful. According to Food Miles calculator, if the avocado came straight from Mexico City to Washington, DC it had to travel 1886 miles which would produce 149 kg (15.2 lbs) of carbon for ONE avocado. Also, be careful of buying from large grocery store chains, sometimes the produce has to go to a main warehouse before being shipped out again to individual stores.
Grow a Garden!
This is where my husband Joe comes in! He is going to be sharing tips on how to start a garden and the best timing to plant certain plants so that not only will you be eating local, you’ll be eating in season, organically, and best of all, inexpensively! Gardening = Sustainability
More on the garden department of Nutrition Preferred soon!
If you care at a all about the future of our planet, I suggest making your own list of ways you could be more sustainable. The Minimalist Vegan has an awesome list of different ways. Every little bit counts!