I’ve struggled with sustainability for a while in my own head. Obviously we all understand the importance for the planet and future generations but I think that a lot of us waiver when it comes to actually putting it into practice! For most of us, it takes a shift in the way that we think and a realisation that things may take a little longer or cost a little more. This is a three part series on small ways to foster and encourage sustainability in your own life, and today I will be sharing a few tips of being sustainable with food!
Plan Your Menu with Care
With our global world, a lot of us tend to think that there are no borders to what we can cook and eat. However, eating local produce and food goes a long way in the sustainability business- taking the “local business” angle out of it (important but not necessarily relevant to this), local food and produce take less energy as it doesn’t have to travel a great distance. It also typically means that it is not pre-packaged- better for you and better for the environment! If you are curious, try and figure out where your food that you bought for a week actually originated- it can be surprising when you look into it.
Grow That Garden
Planting and tending a garden is certainly a skill set- one that I am really trying to hone this summer- and it can’t go wrong. At the worst, nothing grows. At the best, you have saved money that you would have spent on the produce that you would have had to purchase, you have saved the energy and carbon footprint of the food that would have been transported to you, and you have helped the environment/air quality through the magic of photosynthesis! I am currently growing two mint plants that I bought from Home Depot, and they are providing all of the mint that I need for infused water and cooking- for $5 in May, I’ve saved myself probably $80 in mint and I will be able to keep growing them indoors throughout the winter! We also have potatoes, carrots, beans, onions, lettuce, peppers, and rhubarb growing out in the family garden.
Make the Most of Your Food
Channel your inner Laura Ingalls Wilder and use every piece of food you have- put leftover veggies into soup, use chicken bones for broth, and plan for leftovers! I include myself in this- as a society, we tend to be very wasteful on the food front. We toss leftovers, we eat half of things and forget about the rest, and we buy things pre-made when they could easily be done at home. It may seem overwhelming to start with but pick one task to start with! Slow cooker soup is pretty much the safest thing you can do; throw some root vegetables, leftover meat if you have any, and broth in a slow cooker, and let it do it’s thing for the afternoon. I’ve started asking myself, “Is there literally nothing I could do with this?” before I throw things out now, and it has made a difference!
Next week will feature sustainability practices to use in your home (including composting) and the final week will look at having a green wardrobe!
How do you make the most of your food?