*i chose this picture from italy because it’s so lush and green and beautiful and it breaks my heart to know that we’re hurting this!
for 2018 i had a long list of resolutions for myself. not really resolutions in the traditional sense, but things to remind myself to work on. some of those include taking time for myself and reading more – which has just turned into part of my routine now and i’m loving it; as well as my resolution to help educate you to make better buying choices and develop a different relationship with your food.
another important one on my list was reducing my carbon footprint. as a blogger i unfortunately create a lot of waste. i go shopping almost every day buying props, groceries, etc; food waste is created on shoot when things sit for too long, or things i needed for one recipe go bad sitting in my fridge while i try and plan another use for them; i receive packages from brands with styrofoam peanuts and tons of bubblewrap – and while i know some of it is part of the job, i knew there had to be a more mindful way of going about this.
i want to share with you a few simple changes i’ve made to help reduce my carbon footprint! they’re easy changes to incorporate change into your lifestyle – ways that you can shop and live with the planet in mind.
• reusable bags (for E V E R Y T H A N G!) •
i’ve started using mesh produce bags that i bring with me to the grocery store – these are the best alternative to using those plastic produce bags that you generally throw away after one use. these are good for buying a bunch of the same thing, like apples or oranges. you don’t need a bag for every single piece of produce you buy! i see people throwing like 1 jalepeno into a plastic bag – take a second and think if it’s really necessary. nothing will happen to your precious jalepeno if you throw it directly in the cart – just give it a good wash at home before you use it (obvz).
i ordered these off of amazon and are obsessed with them!
these are also a good option for buying bulk foods, since they have the little drawstring at the top to keep everything in! the mesh is fine enough for rice, nuts, seeds etc – but more on that below!
this one goes without saying (and i’m sure you’re doing it already) – but use reusable shopping bags! i use my ugly, worn down ones from the grocery store, but you can invest in some cute ones from etsy too! keep one in your purse or car at all times – i use mine even when i go clothes shopping sometimes – you can’t recycle those cheap h&m plastic bags!
• stop buying things that are unnecessarily packaged •
i’m sure you’ve seen this controversy a few years back about these peeled and plastic wrap covered bananas? it seems ridiculous, but it’s also ridiculous to buy a plastic bag with carrots when you can easily just fill one of your fancy new mesh bags with them yourself! a lot of the other grocery necessities we buy create enough waste as it is – take that extra second at the store, and save yourself from throwing more plastic in the ocean!
this goes the same for meats: you should always always be buying your meat at a butcher anyway, instead of styrofoam and plastic wrapped from the meat section at the grocery store. not only is the packaging wasteful AF, but factory farmed meat is one of the biggest contributors to co2 emissions! AND not only is fucking horrible for the environment, it’s bad for your body to be ingesting hormones and preservatives and garbage that the meat is pumped full of. and if you don’t really care about those two aspects either – think of the animal welfare issues.
ok – i’m getting slightly off topic here. i’ll probably do a blog post about ethically sourced meat veryyyyyy soon. BACK TO THE TOPIC AT HAND.
• buy everything in bulk •
not like costco sized bulk – cause as much as i love their hot dogs and fries, being in there gives me the worst feeling of consumerism anxiety – but i mean from bulk barn, health stores, or even your grocery store. i’ve been buying in bulk as often as i can, taking full advantage of bulk barns’ reusable container program. i’ve always used glass containers to store my flours, grains, spices etc at home, but would use the bags at bulk barn when i was shopping. this step is completely useless and wasteful, and i now just bring the jars that were already designated for the product directly to the store! and i know this isn’t *always* possible, especially if you happen to want to just pop in and buy a bunch of candy, but that’s why you carry one of your new mesh bags in your purse 😉• say no to one use plastic •
stop with any and all of the polyethylene food wrap!!! i’ve instead opted for abeego beeswax paper – whatever can’t go into a glass container to be stored in the fridge gets wrapped in beeswax paper. it’s self adhesive, reusable for up to a year, and lets your produce breath more naturally then plastic wrap would – it acts like the peel on a lemon! it’s beeswax, tree resin and jojoba oil that coats the hemp and cotton fabric, and it’s made sustainably and produces zero waste! i also love that i’m now supporting abeego as a company because their values are super inspiring – check out their website for more, and to order some today!
*you might think that this has a really small impact in the grand scheme of things, but when i use plastic wrap i think of it being accidentally thrown out ending up in a landfil or on a side walk and having a little animal end up with it in it’s stomach and it’s worth it.*
another thing i’m trying to cut out is use of ziplock freezer bags. i no longer use sandwich bags at all – everything gets stored in glass sealable containers – but i still use for them for the freezer, but make a point of washing and reusing and many times as possible.• reusable coffee mug •
this one is kind of a big one for me – get a reusable coffee mug! i usually make coffee at home, but some days i’m out all day for meetings, heading to different cafes or just on the go, and i’m buying 2 or 3 coffees (yes i drink a lot of coffee and yes i know it’s bad). i found out that coffee cups aren’t recyclable in toronto since there’s a wax film on the inside so iv’e started making an effort to always remember to bring my mug or making sure that i always use the “for here” option when staying in to do work since i technically don’t need a to go cup anyway!
• a note on recycling •
a few notes, actually. first up: ladies – this isn’t food related, but think about how much bathroom waste we produce. make sure to recycle your shampoo and product bottles, and think about switching to a product like o.b that produces very little waste!
second: please rinse your jars, containers, etc before throwing them into the recycling bin – by throwing in liquids, you end up damaging sometimes a whole lot of good that could have been recycled and then end up needing to be trashed!
third: visit your city’s website and check out what kinds of plastics they accept and what they don’t! you might be surprised at what you’re able to recycle that you haven’t been. every little bit counts. here’s the link for the city of toronto!
one last comment: GET A GREEN BIN and STOP WASTING FOOD. it’ll surprise you how much food waste you produce, especially if you’re not eating tip to root and nose to tail. i’m going to to a more extensive post on this very soon, but in the meantime, just call the city and get one! takes 2 seconds.
at the end of the day, it all comes down to wanting to make the lifestyle adjustments. breaking old habits can be a bitch, but mother nature (and your concious if you have one) will thank you for it! it won’t always be easy, and you won’t always be perfect everytime, but the most important thing to do is to educate yourself, be aware and to at least try.
and if you need some further inspiration – here are some accounts that i’m loving!