The debate continues on whether global warming exists or not. Is it caused by humans? Is it nature just going through its phases? Or is it a little bit of both? Whether you believe in global warming or not, it’s no secret that we create a lot of waste and then dump it on other countries. According to The National Geographic, the average American throws away 4.4 pounds of trash every day. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates 27 percent of our trash is food waste, which creates methane in the landfills. This carelessness is becoming expensive, especially during these penny-pinching times. So global warming or not, how can we help the environment and save some money?
- Compost your food scraps/waste or feed it to animals. You would be surprised at how many dogs and cats love veggies, and chickens will eat just about anything. You can bring your compost to the Hollygrove Market’s compost bin, or you can feed them to the newest Hollygrove residents — our hens! Make sure that you don’t throw into the compost pile any bones, meat or oil-based substances.
- Eat more veggies! According to the U.S. Geological Survey, a meat-based diet requires more than 4,000 gallons of water per day. A plant-based diet requires 300 gallons per day. You still crave that meat? Reduction in meat and balance between the two is always a safe bet.
- You’re already doing this one – buy locally! On average, produce travels 1,500 miles before finding a tummy. Buying locally ensures that the produce is fresh and more nutritious since it is picked when ripe, and it supports your local economy!
Here are some other non-food tips:
- Set your refrigerator to 37-40 degrees. This will keep everything cool enough without wasting electricity. Along the wall or in the back is the coldest area for items that require cooler storage. If it’s time to purchase a new refrigerator, look for an Energy Star rated-fridge. The 2009 version uses 40 percent less energy than the conventional refrigerator in 2001. They also consume 20 percent less energy than required by the federal standards.
- If you have a convection oven, consider using that over your traditional oven. If you don’t have one, consider getting one. They cook 25-30 percent faster.
- Run your dishwasher only when it is full. This can reduce your water usage by up to 35 percent, not to mention savings on your energy bill. Here’s a tip that you may not have known: running the dishwasher at night saves even more energy. Power plants generate electricity more efficiently during off-peak hours.
Above all, eat your food! We’re all guilty of the need to slow down our schedules so that we not only enjoy our food but also to eat it! So sit down with your family, call a friend, or have some alone-time and eat your Hollygrove veggies!
And now for your weekly recipe and the Farms Map:
Recipe: Roasted Fairy Tale Eggplant