Eat less meat
Animals raised for meat consumption and dairy create a significant portion of food- related greenhouse pollution.The USDA reports that approximately 150-million meat animals are consumed each year in the United States, and that adds up to a lot of manure. Manure produces methane, one of the most potent greenhouse gases. Factory-farmed animals also eat high concentrations of carbon-intensive grains, such as corn, instead of grass. Eat less meat and dairy, and when you do, look for grass-fed organic. Generally, chicken and fish have a much lower foodprint.
Cool Link: To learn more about how different foods, including meat choices, have different impacts on the climate by visiting: www.ewg.org/meateatersguide
Choose fish wisely
Easting less red meat is a great way to begin reducing your carbon foodprint. And fish is a great substitute for meat, but only if from sustainably sourced seafood. Many fish populations are stressed from overfishing and destructive fishing practices. Oceans that are in balance are vital to controlling global warming, according to researches at the Monterey Bay Acquariuam. Heatlhy ecosystems absorb a tremendous amount of greenhouse gas.
Cool Link: To download your region’s Seafood Watch Pocketguide find climate-friendly fish choices. It’s easy, visit bit.ly/climatefish
Buy local, organic produce in season
Long-running studies show that organic farming is far more effective at removing greenhouse pollution from the atmosphere and fixing it as beneficial organic matter in the soil than current industrial farming practices. Eating organic local produce in season also reduces the number of “food miles” necessary to get food onto the table. Fewer miles means less greenhouse pollution. Consuming a 30-mile salad has a much lower carbon foodprint than a 3,000 mile salad.
Cool Link :Use the Local Harvest website to find local, organic, sustainably produced food, visit www.localharvest.org
Overly processed and packaged foods take a lot of energy to produce. Choose foods with eco-friendly packaging. Get in the habit of bringing your own reusable produce and shopping bags to the store. When done eating and cooking, recycle packaging as best you can.
Cool Link: 15 ways to reduce packaging, visit lifewithnature.com/greenliving/reducing-food-packaging/
Nearly half of all food in the United States is thrown away before it’s consumed. Per capita food waste has progressively increased by about 50% since 1974. It’s now estimated that 25% of all freshwater and 4% of all oil consumed in this country are used to produce food that is never eaten. Get in the habit of buying only what you plan to eat. Make room in the menu for “leftovers”, and practice composting to turn inedible food into nutrient-rich dirt for the garden.
Cool Link: Learn how to make a Worm Compost Bin, click here.