Many people can be overly passionate about saving the environment and go to extremes that are just not realistic for everyday life. However, we do all have a responsibility to do our part for the planet we live on. Luckily, the world is making some advancements towards becoming green, particularly Iceland. This country invests in its sustainability and is the top greenest country in the world with an Environmental Performance Index of 93.5. Iceland utilizes geothermal landscapes to reduce electricity and heat, fights ocean pollution, and prioritizes protecting the environment. Being environmentally-conscious like the people of Iceland can elevate your health and wellness by improving the air you breathe, the quality of sources your food comes from, and keep your local water sources safe from hazardous waste. Even if you don’t live in Iceland, there are actually some easy, everyday ways to help the environment and improve your carbon footprint as well as your own health:
Only Buy What You Need?
According to statistics, 30-40% of the food supply is wasted in the U.S. through consumer households, restaurants, grocery stores, and farms. As consumers, we can do our part to prevent food waste by only buying the food we need. This will not only prevent throwing out unneeded food, but also allow you to save money! Before grocery shopping, check your inventory on what you already have, plan a menu for the week, and write down a shopping list. Buy food that’s seasonal and at your local farmer’s markets to do even more help for the environment!
Reuse Food Waste
Have extra herbs from that one recipe you made? Don’t waste the rest and let them rot in the fridge! Freeze the herbs by putting them in an ice cube tray with a little water. They’ll thaw a little wilted, but essentially can be used as the same ratio as fresh herbs. You can also try pickling vegetables! Preserving vegetables is a fun and yummy cooking technique. You just need an airtight jar, vinegar, water, salt, and sugar. Have leftover vegetable scraps or chicken bones? Save them to make a batch of homemade broth! There are many different ways to reuse food waste instead of just throwing out food. If possible, try implementing a food composting system in your kitchen as well!
Carry Re-Usable Food/Drink Containers
So much plastic is wasted on food containers from restaurants or take-out. Investing in your own reusable food and drink containers can be very beneficial. Instead of buying all those plastic water bottles, just carry around a reusable one that you can fill up. Make your coffee at home or bring a reusable coffee cup to your favorite coffee shop. If you’re not already on the reusable straw trend train, then hop on by buying a glass or metal straw that can be used over and over again. Instead of going out to lunch, bring your own from home with a reusable lunch box. At the grocery store, bring your own produce bags, shopping bags, and buy in bulk when possible. These are all habits that will save you money as well as the Earth!