Judging from the response we’ve been getting, you’re really enjoying our deep dive on going green around your home these past few months. So now that we’ve looked at everything from your spring cleaning to getting your garage and pool more environmentally conscious, let’s take it one step further – let’s talk about going green – with the foods you prepare and eat.
Eating green can have a huge impact on your life and the environment. And it’s easier than you think.
Of course, when we’re looking at saving the environment, the local-er the better. So why not start right in your own backyard or windowsill? You can always find space, even the smallest living conditions to grow at least a few of your own vegetables and fruits. And if you have a big back yard, plant some citrus, avocado, mango, starfruit and loquat trees, along with a garden. Our subtropical weather works to grow most vegetables and fruits.
If you have to leave the home, try and shop at the closest farmer’s market. Doing so will cut back on the fuel emissions and pollution in the air, and help support your neighboring local growers.
The next step out is locally-sourced and season foods at your local grocery store. Publix and WalMart both indicate local sourced as well as organic fruits and vegetables. And it’s not just the healthy stuff. Many meats and other items where you do your grocery shopping are locally-sourced, you just have to pay attention and watch for them. Again, you’re helping support your community with your cash and less air pollution. Non-local foods travel between 1500 and 2500 miles to get to the store where you buy them.
Locally-sourced foods also contain fewer, if any, preservatives. There’s also less energy spent on refrigeration and marketing, and local foods use a lot less packaging.
Speaking of packaging, even if you’re not buying locally-sourced foods, look for food items with minimum to no packaging. Since most packaging consists of petroleum-based plastics, you’re saving energy from the production of such containers, as well as keeping the non-biodegradable items that last forever out of the landfills and furnaces.
Some brands do use bio-based plastic packing, so look for that. And, of course try and recycle or reuse any packaging you end up with.
Plan Before You Go
Make sure you have your reusable bags in the car before you head to the farmers market or grocery store. Even though many stores offer better quality plastic reusable bags, try and stick with the cloth bags, and be sure to toss them in with the laundry every couple of weeks.
Have your menu figured out before you go – and know how much you need to cook to feed your family. This will take a little guesswork at first, if you’ve never tracked it, but a little attention will drastically reduce the amount of leftovers, even if you usually feed them to the dog. Some Living Green sites will suggest that you donate leftovers to people in need, but unfortunately, liability concerns limit what many reputable shelters and soup kitchens will take.
If you’ve got the extra space, you can also start composting your leftovers. That way, the uneaten food becomes better soil for your grass and garden – just not through the dog’s digestive system.
Another tip for your shopping trips – look for Fair Trade Certified foods. Fair Trade makes sure the workers are taken care of instead of advantage of, and comes with strong environmental standards like no GMO’s, synthetic chemicals and promote natural soil fertility and water conservation.
While going completely organic is the most expensive option for green eating, the benefits are far wider reaching than just the food you eat. While results vary, organic foods may be higher in natural nutritional value and antioxidants because they don’t rely on pesticides and preservatives. And just like free trade foods, the USDA only certifies foods organic that maintain extremely high environmental standards (always look for the green and white seal).
Organic is something we definitely support here at Good News Pest Solutions. Years ago, we led the pest control industry in converting to 100% all natural pest solutions that are safe for your whole family and we never looked back. Now we serve thousands of happy customers from Sarasota to Port Charlotte. If you want to learn more about our products and services, our knowledgeable staff is happy to help you out. Just give us a call!