Today is Earth day, a reminder to continue striving to make environmentally responsible choices throughout our lives, including our diets. Today we’re Getting the Skinny with Molly on 3 simple strategies that you can start implementing today to reduce, reuse, and recycle — and improve your health.
In addition to the usual eco-friendly recommendations of recycling, reusing, and keeping it local, here are 3 easy ways to show the environment – and your body – some love.
BYO – Mugs, Totes, Lunch Boxes
You can easily do your part to reduce, reduce, and recycle by bringing your own bags when you shop. Added bonus: Some stores will offer a small discount.
Mugs and insulated glasses offer eco-friendly alternatives to disposable water bottles and paper or Styrofoam cups. And coffee shops are often discounting for customers who BYO mugs.
Ditch single-use disposable bags for reusable lunch tote or box, ideally one that’s easy to sanitize and keep clean.
Swap out your paper napkins
If every household in the US replaced just one pack of regular napkins with 100% recycled napkins, we’d save an estimated 1 million trees, according to the National Resources Defense Counsel. And even more if we switched to cloth napkins.
Make the switch to recycled paper towels as well, or just make a habit of using cloth towels for everyday cleanup. They take up almost no space in the washing machine, so just toss them in with other laundry.
Use your freezer to minimize waste
Limiting the amount of food that ends up in the trash can is key in reducing our impact on the environment, so use your freezer to help minimize waste.
For example, many recipes call for just a tablespoon or two of an ingredient like tomato paste. Instead of tossing the rest, freeze it. Drop it by the tablespoon onto wax paper, freeze, and then store in an airtight container in the freezer.
Freeze leftover liquid ingredients (think pesto, broth, or freshly-squeezed lemon juice) in ice cube trays, then transfer the cubes to a plastic bag and freeze for later.
Even fresh herbs can be frozen for future use: Pack ice cube trays halfway full with chopped herbs, then fill with water and freeze. Store in airtight container and they’ll be ready to use for your next soup or sauté.
The bottom line: Reducing, reusing, and recycling, and incorporating more fresh, local foods will benefit our health as well as our local community, economy, and environment.