For over 40 years, Earth Day on April 22 has reminded us to do our best to ensure a cleaner, more healthful environment for current and future generations. The three "R's" of a sustainable lifestyle are reduce, reuse, and recycle, which can be put into practice in dozens of ways, including food. Not only the way food is produced, but also the ways in which food is packaged, shipped, prepared and served are just as important to eco-friendly principals. Try putting these Earth friendly practices into your life:
Eat organic. Organically produced foods reduce pollution in the air, soil, and water by ensuring reduced use of pesticides.
Eat locally. It's the next best thing to growing your own. Buying at local farm markets helps farmers and your local economy, AND helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions due to shipping.
Eat fewer processed foods. Processed food create unnecessary packaging, and the processing and transportation is much more energy and resource intensive than buying fresh ingredients and cooking from scratch. Home canning and freezing utilizes reusable packaging.
Eat lower on the food chain. That means working toward a plant-based diet. If all Americans eliminated just one day of meat consumption per week, the reduction in global warming would be equivalent to taking 4 to 6 million cars off the road.
Small changes can make a large impact that help to sustain the Earth and it's resources. For more ideas, the 2011 Earth Day campaign A Billion Acts of Green can be found at www.earthday.org