Shannon Center Weekly Nutrition Tip – Minimizing your impact on Mother Earth
Wondering what you can do to minimize your impact on Mother Earth? Look no further! These are easy ways to start to reduce, reuse and recycle more often!
- Make a grocery list and go shopping – weekly! Don't forget to bring your reusable bags or opt for paper bags and recycle! When you shop for your food, cook from home, pack your lunches and snacks to bring with you, which will start reducing waste in a big way! Think about it: Every single time you dine out, whether it be at a fast food restaurant, food truck or grab and go's like vending machines and gas stations, you are throwing out garbage, containers and wrappers. In most recent stats, 44% of Americans eat at a fast food restaurant each week – that's a lot of waste! Example Lunch from home: Leftover taco meat from last night (in reused Brummel and Brown container), salad with veggies and cheese in Bento box, salad dressing in mini container and a fork from home – all can be washed at home and reused! VS. Lunch from Panera for lunch: Salad and sandwich, two plastic/cardboard boxes, plastic utensils, large brown paper bag.
- Buy in bulk! Yes, 100 calorie packs and mini containers of pre-cut veggies save us time, but also
increase our waste. Here are items to buy in bulk, to cut up and portion out at home;
it's cheaper and better for the environment!
- Ditch the water bottles once and for good!
I have not bought a case of water bottles in probably over 18 months thanks to my handy Aqua Tally cups. Keep a BPA free, dishwasher safe water bottle on hand and refill it! Some water bottles even have their own filtration system. Go to Target for an Aqua Tally cup if interested $10.
- Go Meatless once a week! Ditching the animal proteins once a week will save your pocketbook and it will reduce your carbon footprint. By reducing your animal protein intake just once a week you can decrease fossil fuel usage, water usage and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For my Meatless Monday (which will actually be today's dinner in honor of Earth Day!) I am simply making homemade pasta sauce with whole grain pasta, side salad with fresh veggies and a side of whole grain garlic toast.
- This one is obvious and you probably knew it was coming…eat local! By buying foods close to your home, you are reducing the distance your food must travel, thus the energy it takes to do so! Visit your local farmers market or at least shop for foods that are in season. To find a Farmers Market or CSA near you visit, visit this website.
- Plant a garden…or at least some pots of home grown veggies! Save the water for your lawn and instead use it for a garden. Don't have enough room? Join a community garden (I do believe Oak Forest and Tinley Park have one)! Check out my last post on benefits of starting a garden here! Even making one or two small changes can really add up over time!
We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children. – Native American Proverb
Kelly Devine Rickert MS RD CSSD LDN