It’s beginning to look a lot like spring. The beautiful color change and the blooming of new life help us remember Earth Day, which we celebrate on Wednesday, April 22. This year, Earth Day turns 45 years old. Earth Day is celebrated in more than 192 counties as a way to show support for environmental protection. How will you celebrate this year?
When it comes to food and food packaging, going green is great for the environment and could save you some green in your wallet too. If you are interested in a more environmentally friendly household, here are some tips to get you started:
- Check the size. Consider whether buying a large container will serve the same purpose as many small containers for you. For example, do you need to buy individual cups of applesauce if you eat them all in the same week and all at your kitchen table?
- If you don’t carry your own reusable shopping bags, be sure to reuse the plastic or paper bags as small trash can liners, lunch sacks, or bags to transport anything you wish.
- Plan ahead and shop less often for groceries or shop in conjunction with other errands. The result is a reduction in the use and cost of fuel you use and will save you time.
- Practice the 3 Rs. Do you remember to reduce, reuse and recycle? Tossing leftovers wastes money along with the energy resources and packaging materials associated with the tossed food. Reduce the amount of leftover food tossed by serving smaller portions of foods that frequently produce leftovers. Reuse leftovers by serving them again in a day or two or freezing them for future use. Make “planned overs” by recycling leftovers into a different type of meal; for example – add that extra rice to a soup the next night.
- Throwing away spoiled food is related to tossing leftovers. Read labels for “use by,” “expiration,” or “best if used by” dates. Refrigerate and freeze foods at recommended temperatures, 0 degrees F or lower for freezers and 40 degrees F or lower for the refrigerator. An appliance thermometer assures your refrigerator/freezer is maintaining these temperatures. Follow recommended storage times for foods. Avoid buying so much food in bulk that it spoils before you can use it.
- Buy a reusable water bottle and fill it with tap water. Your investment soon will pay for itself. Some products purchased at the grocery store, such as hand soap, can be purchased in big bottles that are used to refill a smaller bottle size. Reduce the cost and the packaging by refilling the smaller bottle.
For more things you can do to live a greener lifestyle or to calculate your household emissions, visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s Website. Happy Earth Day.
Here’s to a healthier you.