So I swear to you that I am not a crunchy granola-y dirty liberal (a.k.a Hippie). But I do have children, whom I do not want to force to live in a Mad Max-esque landscape when I die because we as a generation were lazy and irresponsible. So- we need to realize that we need to start making changes now.
Plus- even if you don't love the environment, who doesn't love money?! Right?! Well guess what- when you consume less, you spend less!
Consume Less, Think More….ways to make a difference…In the Kitchen!
- Recycle everything you can. Recycling an aluminum can takes 96% less energy than creating a new one. Check your city’s website for what can be recycled curbside. It is really not that difficult. If you can't do it curbside, most grocery stores have recycling centers. And guess what- THEY PAY YOU. Win win folks.
- Eliminate or cut down on your use of foil, ziplock bags and plastic wrap by buying containers with sealable lids & pyrex or ceramic that come with glass tops instead of using tin foil. Try these or - Reusable Mesh Bags.
- Use recycled paper towels. Americans send 3000 tons of paper towels to landfills each day. The same goes for the paper you use on that cute little bum o' yours- Trader Joes' has particularly inexpensive ones every day.
- Use hand towels to clean dishes and the kitchen instead of disposable sponges! Or if you just can't "sink" to that level (ha!) wash the sponges that you do use- you can throw them in the dishwasher, or in the laundry. Then , we they are screaming to be put to rest- use them to scrub the toilets you flushed all that recycled T.P. down. Bravo! Maybe try these.
- Change to cloth napkins. On average, a person uses about 2200 paper napkins a year. If everyone used one less each day, landfills would have 1 billion pounds less paper a year. Plus, you can really make a statement in your kitchen ladies! Like here, here, or here.
- Buy recycled paper cups, plates, cups. It takes 70 to 90% less energy to make recycled paper and it prevents the loss of forests worldwide. This is one we can all make a difference as we are all on the go and use disposables a lot! Or you could just NOT use them...
- Buy organic. Organic soils capture and store CO2 at much higher levels than the soils from conventional farms. Produce most affected by pesticides are peaches, apples, peppers, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, lettuce, celery, grapes and pears. You do not have to shop at fancy markets to buy organic. Look in the mainstream supermarkets too- anything grown organically will have their number on the sticker coded with a 5 digit number beginning with a 5. Read this-
- Buy local. The average meal in the US travels 1200 miles from the farm to your plate.(Gross!) Challenge yourself to buy only food produced within a 100 mile radius of your home. Try your local farmers market, or produce co-ops. They are almost always cheaper, and you are supporting your neighbor. Like this-
- Buy fresh instead of frozen. Frozen food uses 10 times more energy to produce, and it kinda tastes gross.
- Buy and use cloth grocery bags. Americans toss about 100 billion polyethylene plastic bags a year, and fewer than 1% of them are recycled. They can take up to 1000 years to biodegrade in landfills that emit harmful greenhouse gases. This has got to be the easiest thing to do, as it is now everywhere! Plus, again, they pay you. Most of the large supermarkets offer a bag discount when you use your own bags. Hello?! Free money. Try these-
- Buy the product with the least amount of packaging; Buy in bulk. Don't have a big enough family for wholesale? Not enough storage to keep it? Spilt it up with a friend or two. It is way cheaper.
- Skip red meat once a week. If you alone gave it up once every 7 days, you would save the 840 gallons of fresh water it takes to produce a single serving. Just one. Besides, heart attacks are EXPENSIVE. See? Saving money folks.
- Only run a full dishwasher. Don’t pre-rinse dishes for your dishwasher. Save 6500 gallons of water and 100 lbs of CO2a year. Use the shortest cycle you can manage.
- If buying new appliances, buy only Energy Star. AND! You get money back! Hello refund!
- Did you notice something here folks? Every link I gave you is one that is off the consumer grid! By handmade, re-used, you know- the better way. You save money, plus you support someone who is actually NOT a gigantic corporate powerhouse. Etsy, Ebay, Amazon, Craig's List, and there are thousands of little websites all over the net...
You can thank me when you are rolling in the dough! And your kids can thank my kids for having such awesome parents. I know, its rough.