Go green for Earth Day

April 22, 2013

FootprintsApril 22, 2013, marks the 43rd celebration of Earth Day. The initiative was founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson in 1970, and it is considered the start of the environmental movement. Today, more than 1 billion people around the world participate in Earth Day activities, many of which have become year-round projects, spanning issues well beyond clean air and recycling.

What and how we eat is one of the factors that can increase or decrease our carbon footprint—greenhouse gas emissions. Our dietary choices contribute to our carbon footprint because of related elements such as fertilizer used to grow crops and energy used to process, transport and cook food.

ShrinkThatFootprint.com recently quoted studies that theorize “food system emissions could account for as much as a quarter of all human emissions (12% agriculture; 9% farming-related deforestation, 3% freight/refrigeration). The same article stated that a vegetarian’s “foodprint” is a third less than that of the average American and less than half that of a carnivorous eater.

FIVE TIPS FOR AN EARTH-FRIENDLY DIET

Eat Low Carbon, a program developed by Bon Appétit Management Company in 2007, offers these five tips for a “greener” diet:

  • Don’t waste food
  • Consume “seasonal” and “regional”
  • Reduce your intake of beef and cheese
  • Eliminate use of processed, packaged food items
  • Avoid purchasing air-freighted food such as fish and fruit

ALREADY GREEN? FOUR WAYS TO TAKE IT FROM LIME TO FOREST

If you are patting yourself on the back because you’re already an environmentally friendly eater, see if you can go even greener with these clever suggestions.

LIME

 

FOREST

If you brown-bag it … …trade throw-away wrappers for reusable containers.
If you buy produce from a local farmers market … …plant a garden.
If you rarely eat out and fix meals at home… …use a crock pot or the grill instead of the oven to save energy.
If you’ve swapped high-fat beef for leaner meats like chicken… …go vegetarian twice a week (or more).

WHAT DO YOU KNOW?

Measure your carbon footprint here and learn more ways to protect Plant Earth.

Test your knowledge about planet-friendly food via this interactive quiz.

Did you know meat and dairy have the worst environmental impact? Learn more by taking the EWG’s Meat Wiz Quiz.

Sources:
EarthDay.org
EatLowCarbon.org
EnvironmentalWorkingGroup (EWG.org)
FineCooking.com
Nature.org
ShrinkThatFootprint.com

Image courtesy of Digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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