Did you know that the US population is 4% of the planet but generates 15% of greenhouse gas emissions? I know we can do better as a country and as individuals, starting in our own homes and lives. If you’re wondering how you can contribute, there are many ways you can reduce your environmental impact. What better time to start than this Earth Day, April 22nd? Read below for some simple steps we can take in our daily lives to reduce our environmental impact.
1) Eat less meat
Am I the only one that gets dismayed every time I see another steak or burger joint open in my neighborhood? By eating a vegetarian diet, you can cut the contribution to CO2 emissions from your diet by 50%! If your whole family of 4 goes meatless even 2 days a week, you can have the same impact. We could use more tempting veggie-centric restaurants like Beefsteak by Jose Andres instead of more burger joints (unless those are meatless burgers—like our grilled portobello mushroom burgers!) (You can customize The Scramble menus for a vegetarian diet, or try this 6-week vegetarian meal plan to get you started.)
2) Drive less
Reducing your errands, including your grocery trips, by planning ahead, can have a big payoff on reduced greenhouse gas emissions. By planning weekly meals with The Scramble you can shop once and get all your family’s food in one trip. Here’s a healthy idea: This spring, get a basket or saddle bags for your bicycle and run some smaller errands without a car, improving the lifespan for both you and the planet – (if you don’t have a bike, how about walking to your local shops?)!
3) Using less water
Not only does cutting down on water usage save you money, but it also reduces the impact we have on our waterways and reservoirs and reduces the energy needed to treat, pump, and heat water. Reduce water consumption by only running the washing machine and dishwasher when full (and for most dishwashers, you don’t need to use extra water by pre-rinsing dishes–just scrape scraps into the trash or compost bin).
4) Composting your scraps
Turning food scraps into usable soil is a winner because it reduces greenhouse emissions by cutting the amount of waste in landfills, while also giving us nutrient-packed earth so that we can grow more healthy plants. My family has gotten our curbside waste down to just one kitchen trash bag a week since we started composting. Composting is so easy! Here’s how Aviva composts her family’s scraps at home.
5) Reduce packaging and waste
When we plan our meals and cook at home, not only do we end up wasting less food, but we also cut down on the packaging used for pre-processed foods and take out. And if you want to take it a step further, use refillable water bottles and stop buying those wasteful plastic water bottles!
Get more ideas to reduce your environmental impact here from the Environmental Protection Agency.
Which of the above ways to reduce your environmental impact do you already do, which can you start doing today, and what else do you do to minimize your impact on global warming?