Sustainable Food for Sustainable Communities
From the moment we start writing our grocery lists, to how we store and dispose of food
waste – there are dozens of choices we can make that can decrease our environmental impact, improve our health, and the health of our communities. Here are four actions you can take today.
Reduce Food Waste
The first step to reducing waste is to start at the source and only buy what you need. Make
a plan when you go to the grocery store to avoid throwing out expired food. Donate to food banks when you have non-perishable leftovers and find creative ways to use food scraps before composting.
In Washington, around 12% of residents reported having inadequate access to food at some point in the last year. At the same time, 8% of our garbage is made up of edible food – and, uneaten food accounts for 23% of all methane emissions in the U.S. – a potent climate change contributor.
- 10 meal planning tips to help you reduce waste
- Don’t throw away food based on dates on the package.
- Before throwing out vegetable scraps, try one of these creative options
- If you have extra canned food taking up space in your pantry, donate it at a Northwest Harvest public drop-off location. or your local food bank.
Shopping in season is great for a number of reasons. When you buy in season, you often support local farmers and you’re getting fresher, healthier food. This summer, opt for the traditional berries and melons, and branch out to some lesser knowns seasonal varieties like figs, artichokes or peppers.
- Find a Farmer’s Market
- Share the Harvest
- Use PCC Community Markets’ guide to what’s in season
- Use Fresh Bucks at participating grocery stores and farmers’ markets
- Learn about Seattle’s Food Action Plan
Go Meat or Dairy Free Once a Week
Try replacing red meat with chicken or turkey, and relying on beans and nuts for protein at least one day a week.
Making different choices just a few times a month can dramatically impact your health, your wallet and your carbon footprint. Meat and dairy account for around 14.5% of the world’s greenhouse gases each year – but you don’t have to go vegan to make a difference. Replacing even 1/3 of the beef in your diet with poultry or legumes can drop your carbon footprint by about 13%.
- A three-week plan to eat less meat
- Tips for sustainable eating on a budget
- Observe ‘Meatless Monday’ and try one of these meatless recipes
- Try these plant-based dairy alternatives for baking
Take the Pledge
Ready to commit to taking action? Take the Earth Day Northwest 2020 Pledge today, and share your commitment with family and friends.