Protecting the planet and preserving its resources are goals many people aspire to. Energy-efficient electronics have been around for decades, and advancements continue to be made with regard to eco-friendly building materials that can dramatically reduce the carbon footprint of the homes and buildings where we live and work.
Men and women with an eye toward protecting the planet also can employ several eco-friendly eating habits that don’t require substantial lifestyle changes but can produce substantial, long-lasting and positive effects on the environment.
1. Use reusable cloth bags to transport groceries
According to the nonprofit Earth Policy Institute, more than one trillion plastic bags are used across the globe each year. That’s a cause for concern among environmentalists who know that a single plastic bag can take as long as 500 years to degrade. In addition, the United Nations Environment Programme estimates that every square mile of ocean contains approximately 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in it. By opting for reusable cloth bags over plastic bags, consumers can dramatically reduce their carbon footprints and benefit the planet in a myriad of ways.
2. Buy locally grown foods
Locally grown foods do not need to be transported across the globe or across the country. That means less fuel is consumed to get your dinner from farm to table, and less emissions are finding their way into the air you breathe.
3. Only buy what you need and finish your meals
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations reports that 28 per cent of the world’s agricultural area is used annually to produce food that is lost or wasted. In addition, the FAO reports that the total volume of water used each year to produce food that is lost or wasted is three times the volume of Lake Geneva. To reduce food waste, which can release harmful gases into the environment, only buy what you need, preparing adequate portions so you don’t end up throwing much of your meal away.
The right approach to purchasing and eating food can have a dramatic and positive impact on the planet for decades to come.