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.

Advertisement

Last Sunday at church, one of the women came up to me and said, “You look like a completely different person.”

You know what?

I am a completely different person.

Four months ago I ate fast food almost daily. Exercise was a foreign concept. I was addicted to carbohydrates. I was chronically exhausted. I didn’t feel comfortable in my own skin. I was unhappy and unfulfilled. I was fat.

While I still have LBs to drop, I have changed in wonderful and amazing ways, and the power of those changes makes all things seem possible. Even saying no to a Big Mac and fries. Even getting up at 5 a.m. to work out. Even taking up running as a hobby.

Sometimes I look in the mirror and say, “Damn. Who is that incredible woman? She looks healthy and strong and vibrant and energetic and creative and talented and joyful!”

You know, I’m not thin yet, but I don’t think that’s what this change is really about. For me, it’s about overcoming the most significant obstacle in my entire life. It’s about taking away the power of food, the power of negativity, the power of helplessness and the power of excuses. It’s about digging deep, working hard and embracing the belief that I can do this.

Heck, not only can I do this … I am doing this!

What can you do?!

Feel the burn

March 8, 2010

Okay, two posts in one day might be a bit much, but today I took up jogging.

Number Three Son said he didn’t want to accompany me because I was only going around the block.

My husband chuckled. (It’s that laugh he uses when amused by my latest crazy endeavor. I got the same reaction when I told him the guinea pig was going with us ~ by car ~ from Florida to San Diego via Michigan.)

Number Four Son asked if he could have ice cream for dessert when I got back.

I was gone for all of four minutes and thirty-six seconds.

It felt longer.

Insistent that I had indeed accomplished something of significance, I got in the minivan and clocked it. Yep, 0.4 miles exactly.  By next week, I should be ready for my first marathon.

All I can say is I need lighter shoes.

Seems like every time January rolls around, I decide this is going to be the year I lose weight, get fit and take control of my eating issues.  Well, 45 Januarys later, I’m still making that resolution but not achieving that resolution.

This year I never got around to making any resolutions. It was a hectic December that merged into an even crazier January. Somewhere in there my Number One Son (only #1 by virtual of his birth order – I’ve got a Number Two, a Number Three and a Number Four, too), home from college, nagged me into going to the YMCA with him to work out.  So, I went a couple times. Then I was so busy I missed a couple of meals, and low and behold, one day I noticed my jeans were a little looser. I stepped on the scale and screamed.

Accustomized to my brash personality and dramatic outbursts, my husband and all four sons ignored me. I called the three people I can always count on to understand (Mammy Jammy, sister ShaSha and BFF Shannon) and shared the astounding news with them.

By gosh, it felt so good — and I hadn’t really even been trying to lose weight — that I decided to put some effort into it to see what might happen.

Six weeks into 2010 and I’m down 22 LBs. And that was with me trying! I’ve realized it’s not too late to make a New Year resolution, so here I am. This is going to be The Year. The Year of wonderful things, including feeling better, trying harder, communicating more openly, moving with purpose, building a health relationship with food and living with gusto, gumption, grace and good deeds.

Join me, won’t you? Even if you don’t have any weight to lose, there are always new lessons to be learned and wisdom to be shared.