Sustainable Living: Food
I wanted to start a new series on the blog to dive deeper into a topic I am extremely passionate about: sustainable living. It is a lifestyle that aims to reduce the use of the earth's natural resources in an effort to cultivate the earths bounty, less waste and more conscious living practices. Now you are probably not going to be running off and moving into an earthship anytime soon, even though they are so cool and sustainable! But I wanted to touch on some simple tips to integrate into your existing life, if we all start doing little things it will lead to more and make a difference. When it comes to food waste in North America about 30-40% for food supply is wasted. What is crazy is that so much resources goes into producing food and then we are just throwing it away. The documentary 'Just Eat It' is a comprehensive and startling look at food waste. All of this waste is producing harmful methane gas from garbage in the landfills, it is released during the breakdown of organic matter. The documentary revealed that much of the waste was coming from the consumer, meaning household waste. This shocking truth is also an opportunity as each of us can control the amount of waste we create. Here are my tips:
- Only buy what you know you will eat! This sounds simple but many do not practice this idea. I go to the market every other day which allows me to only buy what I need for those days. Make a plan and before you make your shopping list find ways to create many different meals with the produce you buy. Get creative and use all the food you have before going back to the grocery store.
- Hang out at farmers markets. It is the best way to get healthy produce directly from the farmers themselves. It is usually lower in cost and has the freshest food. It's also a great way to find out what is in season.
- Bring reusable supplies! Always have a tote bag ready for your groceries, plastic bags are used once and then tossed. I recently discovered reusable produce bags that I purchased from the Food Co-op, so no more plastic for produce anymore.
- Buy a really good thermos. My boyfriend bought me a klean kanteen for my birthday and put a carabiner on it so I can hook it onto my backpack while I ride my bike. Such a perfect and smart gift! I use it all the time and never have to waste coffee cups again.
- Stock up at the bulk barn and then transfer those spices, pasta noodles etc into glass jars.
- Grow your own food. Balcony gardens are such a trendy yet amazing thing right now. I love how people are really investing in their own food. This is such a great idea for city dwellers. An easy one to have is mint!
- Share with your friends. I'll admit I am not the greatest cook and am working on getting better but I have a friend at work that will bring me leftovers like a pasta sauce she made too much of. This is a super kind gesture and allows you to show off your cooking skills and not waste.
- When you do go out to a restaurant why not bring an empty container for leftovers. Most restaurants do not use eco-friendly take away boxes so bring your own if you can! Also ask for your drinks to come without a straw or any fruit, you help the restaurant save on product and you help the planet too! win-win.
Have anymore tips you can share with me? I am always looking for more sustainable practices so I would love to hear them. Looking forward to more ideas on this ever expanding topic.
Hair, Makeup and Photography: Alison Sharp
Tank Top: Society6
Tote bag: Fitzroy Boutique
Hat: Janessa Leone