I’ve still got a few days to talk about Earth Day, right?
Sometimes I get it right for future post planning. Other times, not so much. Getting a round-up of appetizer favorites 2 weeks before the Superbowl? Excellent! The time I finally posted all my holiday favorites a day before Christmas… epic timing fail.
Well, here is another one to add to the list. My thoughts on Earth day and your diet, a good 5 days AFTER the holiday.
A dollar short and a day late. Or something like that.
Oh well, hopefully it’s not too late to chat about the subject because no matter what day it is, this is a pretty important topic.
I get asked about my dietary choices about 84329x per day so this is as good as a time as ever to chat about one of the biggest reasons I don’t do meat: planet earth.
Does it surprise you that our current food system is responsible for 1/3 of global greenhouse gas emissions?
I feel like this is one of those facts that we all “know”, we just don’t “know enough to change”. Or reduce. I’m not naive. While a good % of my clients are vegetarian, vegan or leaning that way- the rest are not. Not even close.
No worries, I don’t need to convert everyone to vegetarian or veganism. I don’t think that’s realistic and will lose the majority of folks on the way down. I am however a huge proponent of Meatless Monday, Tofukey Tuesday, or Vegan Before 6 campaigns. Simple ways that all of us can change our diets to help the earth, our health, and animals.
That’s really the main purpose of this blog/recipe corner. Making plant-based foods attractive, healthy and accessible. While reducing meat/cheese is one of the biggest impacts you can make to reduce your carbon footprint, it certainly isn’t the only one. In fact, our diets have just as much impact on the environment as the type of car we drive. Interested in decreasing your carbon footprint? Try one or all of the tips below:
- You bought it, you eat it.
About 25% of edible food is thrown away ever year! It’s enough to fill the Rose Bowl every single day. Planning ahead will help you reduce the amount of food you buy, so throw away less. If you find yourself with excess food, get creative! Most produce and made ahead meals can be frozen. You can throw extra produce into scrambles, stir-fry, pasta, or smoothies.
- Try to eat seasonally and regionally as often as you can.
Farmer’s Markets are a great source! If your food needs an airplane to get to you, it has a higher carbon footprint than local items. One of the biggest culprits: seafood and out of season produce. Not sure where your farmers market is located? Check out localharvest.org for a complete list of markets, CSA’s, and farm stands.
- Reduce your carbon footprint by reducing your consumption of beef and cheese.
Cows have a unique digestive system that generates methane, a greenhouse gas that’s 25% more powerful than carbon dioxide. Raising cattle also requires a significant amount of feed, water, and land. You don’t have to give up meat entirely to have an impact. If all Americans skipped meat and cheese once per week, it would be equivalent to taking 7.6 million cars off the road.
- Enjoy unprocessed foods!
Not only are unprocessed foods better for you, they also contain less preservatives and wasteful packaging. Enjoy fruit, nuts, and seeds over processed snack mixes. Choose larger packaged options over small, individual sized servings. More bags, tags, and seals mean more waste in the landfills. A local co-op or bulk store is great for this! Bring mason jars or resuable bags and go to town on rice, quinoa, pasta, beans, and more. Not only do you save money in bulk, you also have the option to purchase only the amount you need. Perfect for trying out new recipes or tip #1!
What are your go-green tips? Let’s hear them!