Take It Up for Earth Day 2012

image courtesy snugglepup on flickr

Sunday, April 22 – is Earth Day!

In Canada, this year’s theme is ‘Take It Up’. What does that even mean? Generally speaking, it takes 21 days for something new in our lives to become part of our routine and therefore more likely that we’ll continue with it.

So what kinds of changes to our habits can we do to contribute to a healthier and happier planet this year and forever?

There are four main areas that the Take It Up movement discusses: Eat, Drink, Care and Move.

Since this is a blog about food … I’m going to focus on Eat. (You can check their site here for all the suggestions.)

From the website:

“Eating plant-based diets is literally the best thing we can do to lower our impact on the environment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization reports that livestock production is responsible for 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions—more than any other sector including transport!”

While making the switch to a full-on plant-based diet might not seem like a viable option for you or your family, you can always start small. The Meatless Monday (more info here) movement has taken North America by storm. Choosing to eat meat-free for one day a week can be an easy way to get a taste of what living a plant-based lifestyle might be like.

Some tips to Eat greener:

Meal planning – Smart menu planning can ensure less food waste and that you’re eating as healthy as possible. There are a lot of menu planning suggestions online and I found this one which broke it down quite nicely.

Buy local, organic and in season – Purchasing locally grown foods can mean less negative impact on the environment. It is less likely your food was grown in a factory-farm setting. The food also travels shorter distance to reach you, reducing the emissions from transportation. Check out your local farmers markets! Here in Saskatoon we have a nice-sized market that’s open many days a week, year-round.

Learn to make the fresh produce last – Canning or freezing in-season produce properly will allow you to enjoy it year-round. Are you new to canning? I’m not an expert on it, but you can find a lot of great tips and videos online. I found this site. And this one too.

I’d really like to know:

What is your household doing on Earth Day – and every day – to help lower your impact on the environment?

If you’re not already eating meatless all the time or on Mondays, do you think you’d give Meatless Monday a try?

And finally, if your family does Meatless Monday what are some stand-by favorites you cook on Mondays?


Leave a Reply