5 Ways You Can Help Save our Earth

5 Ways You Can Help Save our Earth

Everything you eat affects your body, but did you know that what you eat reaches far beyond your body, as well?

With the invention of factory farming and the mass production of processed food-like substances, which helps put more grub on our plates in less time, we have simultaneously taxed other systems in addition to our own! I’m talking about ecosystems, our environment.

In honor of Earth Day and US Veg Week, take a second to think about how your dietary choices impact the world around us.

Earth Day (April 22, 2013)

Each year since 1970, the birth of the modern environmental movement is celebrated. This is a time to reflect on how our actions affect our environment and what changes we can make to reduce pollution and channel our energy into a clean, healthy, sustainable world for generations to come.

What can you do to help?

1) Buy Organic! Pesticides, chemicals and toxins may not only disrupt our hormones, but also disrupt the soil and ultimately the nutrients that are present in our food. In addition, runoff from crop fields contaminates our land, air and waterways, putting unintended targets (animals and humans, alike) at risk for harm.

2) Buy a Glass Water Bottle. I’ve always wondered why water is sold in plastic bottles. With the invention of filtration systems, why not get your own BPA-free, glass bottle to tote around with you? You’ll not only stay hydrated, you will reduce the amount of waste created. It's estimated that the U.S. consumes about 1500 bottles per second. According to statistics, out of the 50 billion bottles of water bought each year, 80% end up in a landfill instead of being recycled. Which leads me to #3…

3) Recycle! It doesn't end with just water bottles. Think about soda cans and the packaging from all of those chips, frozen pizzas, candy bars, and other packaged goods lining our grocery store shelves – plus the bags we use to lug them home. Enough said.

4) Turn Your Home Green. Don't worry, you won't have to paint it! Engaging in green practices can reduce the negative impact we have on the environment.

  • Turn off your lights and water and unplug any technological device when not in use.
  • Plant a garden to grown your own food.
  • Pack leftovers in reusable containers and use these containers to transport your lunch to work.
  • Purchase Earth-friendly cleaning supplies.
  • Use Energy Star or other energy-saving appliances.
  • Ditch the TV; those cable bills are outrageous, anyway!
  • Research water filtration options instead of buying bottled beverages.
  • Insulate your home in a way that helps reduce the need for air conditioning or heaters.

What other ways do you know about or have implemented to make your home “greener”? We’d love to hear them in the comments below.

5) Pledge to Go Veg during US Veg Week (April 22nd – 28th) and maybe beyond! Reducing consumption of animal-based foods not only helps boost your health, it's also a cost-effective way to reduce our environmental impact at each meal. According to the United Nations’ Livestock’s Long Shadow report, animal agriculture (factory farming) generates 18% of all global greenhouse gas emissions. What does that mean? Well, the production of that ½ pound hamburger you ate for dinner releases as much greenhouse gas as driving a 3,000 pound car about 10 miles. For the average American, that’s driving about 1,800 miles each year in addition to your actual driving distance.

For activities in your area and more information about Earth Day, check out http://www.epa.gov/earthday/.

Registered Dietitian

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