Protecting the environment and coming up with sustainable farming practices has become a hot topic in the last few years. More and more people are realizing that we can’t just keep taking from the earth without giving back and helping replenish it’s resources. It’s to our advantage to be mindful about how we harvest crops, eat food, get rid of waste, and live our daily lives.
Being vegan is a great step towards a more sustainable lifestyle and eating more plant based foods helps the environment, but you can do more! There are still some simple steps you can take to make your new lifestyle even more environmentally conscious. Try incorporating a few of these practices into your daily routine and be more mindful of your impact on our earth.
Visit your local farm stand/farmers market
With warm weather finally making its debut, farm stands and farmers markets will start popping up. Try and get some of your fruits and vegetables from local markets. This will save you money, give you the best produce of the season, and help the environment. Because you will be buying locally, you will cut down on the amount of gas used to transport produce between farm and store. This also is a great time to form a relationship with the people who grow your food. Ask them questions, get advice or recipes, and thank them for helping to feed your family!
Save your scraps
Now that you’re loaded up with local and seasonal produce, you’ll be cooking up a storm. Instead of throwing away what you think is inedible, save your scraps! Things like peels, skins, and the ends of vegetables can be used to make you own vegetable stock. If you’re a big juicer, save the pulp and add it to baked goods like breads, muffins, or cookies. Maybe you make your own nut milk, save the strained parts for crackers or breads. Start composting the scraps that are inedible. Cutting down on the amount of food that you throw away helps lower the amount of waste that sits around in landfills.
Start a garden
If you have the space, think about planting a few of your own fruits and vegetables. This is another way to save money and the environment at the same time. Start small with just a few simple crops and as you get more experienced start expanding your garden. Even if you don’t have the space or live in a place without a backyard, start a little herb garden. A lot of herbs can be grown in a pot on a windowsill and then you’ll have access to a delicious way to flavor your food.
Install low flow faucets and shower heads
This is a really simple thing that you can do to help lessen the amount of water you use in your household. If you have never purchased a new shower head or faucet you probably don’t have one that is very efficient. Luckily it is really simple to make the switch. Nicor Gas offers a free energy-saving kit that includes a shower head and faucet aerators and instructions on how to install each one. You can also find these things at your local home improvement store. Not only will these help save water but they will cut down on your water bill. That’s a win-win!
The biggest thing that you can do to help the earth and have a more sustainable lifestyle is to be aware. Do you leave the water running while you brush your teeth? Do you throw away food that is still good just because you won’t be able to eat it? Are you driving to five grocery stores to do your shopping when you could easily get it done at just one or two? Do you take the few minutes to sort out the recycling from the trash? There are a ton of simple ways that you can help the earth so start incorporating a few of these ideas into your routine. Even just one more sustainable practice can help!