Every little bit helps when it comes to reducing waste and cutting emissions.
1. Combine Errands.
The obvious ways to minimize transportation is to walk (or bike) and carpool, but another good option is to simply combine errands. Taking one big trip to go to the grocery store, dry cleaners, and post office is one way to easily cut down on gas emissions. In fact, taking multiple short trips starting from a cold engine can use twice as much fuel as one longer trip when your engine is already warm.
2. Make a List.
This is a great grocery shopping tip in general–whether you’re trying to tighten the purse strings or your waistline, but it’s also great for cutting down on waste, so you don’t buy too much food and throw it away.
3. Watch Expiration Dates.
Another way to cut down on food waste is to understand the difference between “Sell-By” and “Use-By” dates. The “Sell-By” date is the deadline for grocers to sell the product, and the “Use-By” is the date when the product starts to lose freshness and flavor.
4. Reuse to Reduce.
Try reducing trash by cutting back on disposable items like paper cups, plastic utensils and grocery bags. Some restaurants and coffee shops even offer a discount if you bring in your reusable cup. Another great way to reuse and reduce at home is to repurpose food containers such as jars and bottles— like using a pickle jar to store homemade marinara sauce.
5. Show Some Local Love.
Buying local produce is a great way to go green! You’re supporting local farmers and agriculture, while simultaneously cutting down on the amount of energy it takes to transport food from here and there. Community Supported Agriculture is a great way to connect farm-fresh produce with your dinner table. You can even sign up to get local farm grown fruits and vegetables delivered to your door!
6. Pay Attention to Packaging.
Buying products with as little packaging as possible slows the perpetuating cycle of material waste. Also watch for packaging that is BPA-free. Bisphenol A is a synthetic compound used in plastics and other packaging materials. It’s use is so wide-spread that releases of BPA to the environment exceed 1 million pounds per year. That number is astonishing, so support a healthy environment by purchasing products that are 100% BPA-free including product packaging and/or recycled, biodegradable packing material.