Nice article. I've switched to using a reusable sandwich container and reusable lunch bag (which keeps the food cooler as well). Also, I've been using straight vinegar as my cleaner for kitchen counters, the stove top, refrigerator, etc. Vinegar works so well. I buy a large container and fill a reusable spray bottle. Not only is vinegar cheaper, it can also be used without worries of getting chemicals in or near your food.
I will for sure start buying my bulk food at the Bulk Barn and bring my own containers with me.. that is a great idea.. I even started to carry cloth grocery bags.. I do alot of recylng . I only have to put one geen garbage bag a month out at the curb
Coach Nicole--it is sometimes true. I just read The Omnivore's Dilemma a few months ago, and Michael Pollan specifically addressed this conundrum. Depending on how how much energy the local farmer uses producing and transporting the food to market, it may actually be "greener" to purchase an apple from say, the Netherlands, if they used greener methods to produce, package and transport it. I also heard an NPR interview a while back discussing the same issue (although I don't remember offhand who the guests were). It often is greener to buy local, but it is not automatically greener.
CONNECTED1- I find that hard to believe--I wonder about the source of that information. Most food travels over 1,000 miles from farm to table in America, while local food produced by farmers in your area usually makes a trip less than 100 miles. Also, if you're "going out of your way" to visit a farmer's market, you might consider another alternative, such as browsing the produce in a closer grocery store that is labeled "local."
I just read yesterday that the benefits on "buy local" have not been proven. Having 5-6 farmers drive their trucks to a market, and having you drive out of your way to get to the market, may actually use more gas than having one large vehicle truck it into your local store. There are other benefits to consider, like supporting the local farmers and fresher produce, but in terms of fuel efficiency you may not be making the difference you thought you were.
I was happy to see that I already do most of these things, plus I have a small garden so I am my own little farmer's market.
I noticed when I started Spark that I was using lots of little pieces of paper to track my food in the kitchen to log in the computer later. I bought a small (9x11 inch) dry erase board, so now I just jot down my food items during the day, log them in when I get online, and then wipe clean and reuse it again tomorrow. Much better than going through stacks of note paper or Post-its, plus as the board gets full I know it's probably time for me to be done eating for the day! :-)
This is so odd that I got read this today. I started just last night to begin composting my kitchen refuse. I've been doing most of these things already, mostly to save money! It's so great to know that you can save the earth AND save money at the same time.
What a great article! I always forget that you can start doing small things to lower your impact on the environment.
In some areas now, like Toronto, they have "Green Bin" programs that will pick up your compost. My family has been using the program for a month now, and it is *amazing* how much our garbage output has decreased. They take stuff you can't put in your own compost, like bones and pizza boxes, and it prevents animals from getting into your compost pile, which was a big problem in my area.
My sister-in-law is one of the greening experts. I follow her at home tips: 1 - never use plastic bags in groceries - always bring a reusable bag. 2 - If you are buying a few items at a department store or discount store - if you don't have your reusable bag - just carry your items. 3 - Switch to a water efficient toilet and washer. I just switched mine and the washing machine is fantastic. It uses just enough water to clean instead of the old way of filling up the entire tub. And my clothes are cleaner!! 4 - Buying locally is not always feasible and it can be expensive. Buy seasonally. Find out what's in season and buy that and not strawberries in the winter. 5 - Rain buckets!!! If you have plants to water or brown grass buy rain buckets for your downspouts. Then you use a smaller bucket and can water everything! You can't imagine the water that comes off your roof.
So, I have a problem with this "Eat locally: When you buy food that's been shipped across the globe, you have to "eat" those transportation costs when you buy." Every time I go to fresh market and one comes to my work every first Thu of the month I try to buy my fruits and vegetables there but the prices are outrages, the markup is at leadt 75% to the prices I get in local supermarket. I don't see any $ savings by buying local produce.
You can also leave empty gallon sized milk jugs near the kitchen. When running the water to warm it up, stick the jug under the sink to catch the extra water. You can use it to water your plants and save water and money!
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