Strahbary's Fields

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Earth Day Resolutions April 22, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — dianatierney3 @ 8:42 pm
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As with every earth day we hear all about the ways that we can decrease our carbon footprint, how we can help save our natural resources, or how to use less oil. It’s all grandiose but have we thought of looking closer to home, like in our own kitchens?
Most people have heard, the average plate of food travels 1,500 miles to get from the farm to the plate. Once it gets to our homes, it has roughly a 40% chance of being wasted. On average American throws away 30 billion pounds of food per year, that’s 1lb per person per day. Given that waste fills up our landfills it takes 350 million barrels of oil per year to process it.
So for this Earth Day, my resolution will be to eat greener….but how?
Well not eating meat is a start, beef accounts for 7.5 CO2 pollution per ½ pound. Just ½ of a pound! (in comparison to less than 1 CO2 for a potato or asparagus according to the National Resource Defense Council) For a vegisaurus such as myself that’s not much of an issue. For those who aren’t, Meatless Monday is a good option. Just being a vegetarian for one day a week can make a difference for your health and the planet!
Buying local. That is the one that makes the most sense given the number of miles that food travels to get to our plates. According to “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” if every US citizen ate just one meal a week from fully local sources we could cut our barrel consumption by over 1.1 million barrels of oil per week! My plan of attack for this is to most of my shopping at my local farmer’s markets. I already enjoy doing this, Huntington Beach and Orange have some great ones. Also the Great Park in Irvine is a lovely Sunday morning market to hit up. When grocery shopping I plan on looking as closely to where my food comes from as I do for what’s in it. Going the local route will also make a positive difference on the local economy and my community. Granted not everything is going to be local, there are some Italian delicacies I absolutely cannot live without.
Another way I plan on greening up my diet is cutting back on the amount of food that gets thrown out. As it is, when produce starts to wilt it goes to the tortoise or bearded dragon or put in the juicer but there is still produce that goes to waste. Making an effort to plan out my meals for the week, and trying to carry through the ingredients I buy will help me use up the produce I have to cut down waste. As I saw it put by someone today “eat what you buy, buy what you eat.”
However, there is a matter of the left overs. We all have them, the clog up the fridge, turn into science experiments as we forget when it was that we made them and don’t have the courage to open them and check. Those unused left overs are a part of the 30 billion pounds of food waste and massive amount of oil being used. I will be making a greater effort to use up those left overs, even experimenting with freezing some of them. A big factor will be cutting down the amount of food I cook and making a conscious effort to use up my left overs. Perhaps even finding ways to give them new life.
Growing my own food. I understand that not everyone can do this but even a little herb garden makes a difference. My apartment patio runs the length of our apartment, it’s not huge but I have a patch of land to plant food directly along with a number of containers. I can attest to the fact that it is extremely rewarding to walk out into the back yard with a basket and pick at least half of your meal. I have been steadily growing my garden for the last two years. Just this weekend at the green scene event I was very excited to get a Meyers lemon tree, some new tomato plants and a star fruit plant (that’s going to be an interesting plant to grow).
The above are the aspects I am going to adopt in my daily life to be able to create a more sustainable way of eating. It was little things compiling that got our environment into the state it’s in, and its little steps compiling by each individual to get us out of it.

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