Monday, November 07, 2011
Go Green at the Grocery Store
With the holidays fast approaching it is almost time to get out those family recipes, flip through cookbooks and start planning what to feed your guests! There are a number of ways to “green up” your holiday meal as well as your kitchen. Some grocery store chains offer a better selection of eco-friendly options than others but even making one or two small changes in your shopping habits will make a difference in your carbon footprint.
Here are my suggestions:
Choose organic when it is available: It’s not necessary to purchase only organic produce if it isn't in your budget. Even if you just choose to buy organic carrots this week and the rest of your produce by what is in season, that is better than buying nothing organic. Maybe next week you will choose the organic potatoes. It’s all about the baby steps!
Choose local, in season produce: If you have the option of buying strawberries or apples in November, go for the apples. Every fruit and vegetable has a season and if you know which types of produce grow during a specific month you can go a long way toward going green! Out of season produce has to be flown in which requires a ton of jet fuel! Many other countries have fewer regulations regarding pesticide usage so choosing U.S. grown produce is often a good choice.
Reduce your meat consumption: Consider going meatless a few nights a week. The conventional system of raising animals for food is very inefficient and poor for the environment. If you can find organic, free-range meat you should consider spending the extra money. Organically raised animals are not administered antibiotics or hormones. Do some research to learn what the terms “free-range,” “grass fed,” and “organic” mean. The extra money you spend on organic meat can be offset by going meatless a few nights a week!
Buy in bulk: The less packaging you bring home the better. Swap the individually wrapped bags of cookies and crackers for reusable containers and giant bags of pretzels! You will not only cut back on the amount of packaging you use but will save a ton of money as well!
So, what are you making for your next holiday dinner? Free-range turkey? Organic sweet potatoes? What is your family's favorite holiday recipe?