While COVID-19 has been a significant public health crisis worldwide, climate change is the biggest threat to public health of the 21st century.
The pandemic has taught us that people can change their behavior in the interest of protecting themselves and others. We can all do our part to reduce the greenhouse gases that are emitted into our atmosphere. Our actions and choices make an impact on ourselves, our local communities, and the global environment at large.
Wondering what you can do to make a difference? Read on and try one (or a bunch!) of these simple tips:
-Meal planning is a great way to reduce food waste, control what goes into your body, and save money.
-Make your food go further: Try saving scraps to make your own bone or vegetable broth. Start a compost to keep your food waste to a minimum.
-Reduce your animal-protein consumption. Planet-friendly and budget-friendly options are available; try to use plant-based proteins (such as lentils, beans and tofu) more often.
-Consider using a bicycle or public transit when you can. Cars are convenient, but not great for the environment. Planning ahead, so you can walk, bike or take transit, or making a gradual transition away from always using your personal vehicle is a great place to start.
-Source food and goods as locally as possible. Shipping meat and produce from across the continent comes with a hefty cost to the environment.
-Consider investing in a low-to-zero emissions vehicle. Electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids still impact the environment, but much less than combustion engines. While generally more expensive off the lot, EVs have a much lower cost to operate and maintain.
–Store your food in glass, ceramic, or steel containers. Chemicals from plastic containers can leach into hot food and enter your body. You can repurpose your plastic containers as storage containers or pots for small plants.
–Make earth-friendly choices when shopping. Many food products are available in plastic or glass; choosing the glass option gives you a new storage container for home, without the wasted plastic. Choose “naked” produce over packaged alternatives. Ask your butcher to pack meat in paper instead of Styrofoam. The options are endless!
-Plastic is made from the fossil fuels that are driving climate change. Choosing alternatives to plastic reduces the need for companies to produce them in the first place, and prevents plastic pollution.