fresh food | support a sustainable system

Every day there is an opportunity to change how we do things. Even if it’s something so minor as not choosing the packaged tomatoes at the grocery. Despite the fact that major food stores are pretty much forcing us to buy our leafy greens wrapped in shiny cellophane (which may or may not be 100% biodegradable), there are shops and markets that don’t push the plastic. It’s up to us to find and support them…and bring along our own reusable containers, of course. Opting for unpackaged goods is just one way to reduce waste. Here are four more easy fixes from the good humans at Food Tank

1. Do More Than the Dirty Dozen: For more than a decade, the Environmental Working Group has published their list of the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen. If you have already been taking the time to buy organic produce for the top twelve pesticide-heavy fruits and vegetables, why not go a bit farther and buy pesticide-free produce for the top fifteen or twenty items? And remember, plenty of small farmers practice organic farming, but not all have certification. Stop by your local farmers market and talk to local growers to find out how they cultivate their produce.

2. Embrace the Dirt: Twenty-one percent of waste going into municipal landfills in 2012 came from food. Home composting can prevent waste from unnecessarily ending up in a landfill where it contributes to the production of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. The internet is full of great resources about how to compost, both in your backyard and in your apartment.

3. Make a Calendar: Over one billion tons of food are lost or wasted each year across the globe. Wasted food means wasted resources: the land, water, and fuel used to produce that food product is squandered if the food is not consumed. Each American household typically throws out nine kilograms (twenty pounds) of food a month. Using a template to help with weekly meal planning and consulting the portion calculator from Love Food Hate Waste before you cook can help decrease household food waste.

4. Get Off the Plastic: In 2009, 29.5 percent of waste found in municipal landfills in the U.S. came from containers and packaging. By actively choosing to buy food with little or no plastic packaging, less waste and fewer toxins will be produced. Some stores are supporting this transition by providing refillable stations for cleaning products and a small grocery store in Austin, Texas has even gone package free!

Start 2015 with a fresh shopping plan. Fantastic tips via Trash is for Tossers here and here.

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