BONUS: Kitchens generate a lot of waste, but when you compost, you can significantly reduce the amount of trash in your kitchen and at your curb. But make sure you do it properly, as certain foods should not be composted.
3. Buy organic. Choosing organically grown foods, which aren’t treated with chemical pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers, when you have the option helps to reduce the pesticide burden on the earth. Read more about the reasons to choose organic food here, and then learn how to buy organic on a budget.
BONUS: Organic foods are usually richer in nutrients too—they do a body good.
4. Eat locally. Besides tasting fresher, locally-grown food is more ecologically sustainable. It benefits farmers and the local economy, as the profits from what is grown near you stay in your community. Check out your local farmer’s market for the best just-picked fruits and vegetables of the season, and select produce that was grown using organic methods to compound the eco-benefits. Buy large quantities and freeze, can, or dry them to enjoy locally-grown food all winter long. Or start your own organic backyard garden—the ultimate in local food.
BONUS: When you buy food that's been shipped across the globe, you have to "eat" those transportation costs when you buy. Local food is also seasonal, which means it tastes better and is also more affordable.
5. Use greener cleaners. Chlorine-free automatic dishwashing powder, petroleum-free soap, and non-toxic floor cleaner are all easy to find in most grocery stores. These products work just as well as their conventional competition, but leave behind less toxic residue for our bodies and the environment to process. You can also make your own cleaners with common household items like baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, borax, and washing soda.
BONUS: "Green" cleaners are usually better for people who have chemical sensitivities. Besides being better for the planet, they're healthier for everyone in your household.
6. Drink filtered, not bottled. If you’re buying bottled water, consider this fact: In the state of California alone, nearly three million used plastic water bottles wind up in the landfill every day. Although you might recycle yours, keep in mind that it takes energy and resources to manufacture and transport these bottles—and to recycle them too. A better option is to buy a water filter that attaches to your kitchen faucet, and fill reusable bottles at the tap.