Integrative Nutrition Blog

Going Green 101: Tips for a Healthy Earth Day

April 19, 2010

The 40th anniversary of Earth Day is this week.  To celebrate, try incorporating sustainable practices every day for a healthier you and your earth.  To get you started we came up with a list of ‘green’ tips for your food.  Eating sustainably is easy with our Earth Day tips. 

O is for Organic:  Simply stated, organic produce and other ingredients are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or ionizing radiation. Animals that produce meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products do not take antibiotics or growth hormones.  Visit www.organic.org for more info.

Become a Locavore:  Buy food (and drink - ideally tap - water) from local companies whenever possible.  Each pound of local food you purchase prevents a quarter pound of climate change (C02) emissions.  Support your area's farmer's market.  You can find local farmers markets, community supported agriculture, restaurants that cook with regional cuisine, and food cooperatives through Local Harvest.

Meatless Mondays or any day:  The United Nations recently released Livestock's Long Shadow–Environmental Issues and Options, which concludes that the livestock sector (primarily cows, chickens, and pigs) emerges as one of the top two or three most significant contributors to our most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global.  It is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gases - responsible for 18% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions as measured in CO2 equivalents.

Be your own top chef:  When you cook your own meals and eat at home, you are reducing consumption of packaging and plastic cutlery.  It also takes the guess work out of whether your takeout is organic or not. 

Let your Garden Grow:  If possible, grow your own fruits and vegetables using organic gardening practices.  It’s the best way to ‘go green’!

A+ for good health:  Feeding kids healthy, locally grown, organic lunches is a great way to reduce the carbon footprint of a whole community.  Programs like Edible School Yards create and sustain an organic garden and landscape that is wholly integrated into the school’s curriculum, culture, and food program.

Keep it Real:  Eat unprocessed/unpackaged food whenever possible.

This Coffee is for the Birds:  Buy shade-grown coffee to protect desperately needed migratory bird habitats. Many "fair trade certified" coffees are shade-grown.

Go Native:  There are many organizations that are working to protect our food supply from genetically engineered produce.

We’ve shared ours, now you share yours…let us know your tips for going green!

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