The average American throws out 2.5 pounds of trash per day (that is if you recycle, if you don’t it is closer to 4.5 pounds per day). Most of this comes from food packaging, glass and plastic containers, paper, or things that are not biodegradable and just sit in the landfill.
Since eating is a big part of our lives (We do it at least 3 times a day right?), this is a great place to start in reducing the waste and trash that is coming out of our homes.
Here are 4 easy steps you can try to take part in saving our planet through waste reduction. Not only are these things good for the planet but will also reduce your waistline! If you can’t do them all at once, then try a new thing each week or one a month.
1. Buy Local & Organic
This means buying local fruits and veggies that are produced within a 200 mile radius of your home. How do you do that? You can start shopping at your local Farmer’s Market or you can join a CSA (http://www.localharvest.org/csa.jsp). Also, ask your favorite grocery to start carrying more local produce. You will do the planet a great service if you buy foods that did not travel thousands of miles to get on your plate.
2. Buy In Bulk
Does your local natural food store have a bulk bin department? Buying your staple items in the bulk department is the best way to cut down on trash. You can get beans, grains, seeds, nuts, dried fruit, flours, sea salt, spices, you name it, in the bulk section! If your store doesn’t have bulk bins then ask the grocer if you can order large quantities, like a 25 pound bag of brown rice. Sometimes they even give you a 10% discount when you do this!
When buying other food products that you use often (maple syrup, oil, etc), always choose the largest size. Do not buy mini-package foods or individually wrapped things. You end up saving money in the long run and creating a lot less trash in the landfills.
3. Eat & Cook More Whole Foods
Eating a diet rich in whole foods is well known to combat disease, keep you fit, and create less waste. Animal production is one of the leaders in causing climate change and polluting the planet, so try eating less meat each week. If you can’t go full-time Vegetarian, then adopt a Flexitarian diet (http://www.macmillandictionary.com/new-words/040618-flexitarian.htm) where you eat as many plant-based whole foods as possible.
4. Buy Less Packaged Foods
Junk food isn’t good for us anyways! Cutting out sugary and salty junk foods will help your waistline and the planet. Stop buying bottled water! You spend a lot less money and reduce your waste SO much if you invest in a good water filter that attaches to your sink or set up a system for your whole house.