Did you see the episode from Mad Men where the family is on a picnic in a bucolic setting? At the end of the picnic they throw their trash aside. Just leave it on the green grass. I remember watching with my husband and we both gasped! How dare they just toss their trash without any concern? Thank goodness we’ve come a long way since those days where people took our natural environment for granted.
This week marks the 51st year our country has celebrated Earth Day. Earth Day began as a way to bring attention and ultimately, legislation, to support taking care of our environment. Because the first Earth Day fell on a school day, schools embraced teaching children the importance of caring for our planet. They planted trees, picked up trash on the side of the road and wrote their Congressional representatives to support environmentally friendly legislation. Those children have grown up to develop energy efficient technologies and adopted habits that were better than previous generations’ (especially the Drapers!) The youth of our world are actively pushing all of us to focus on environmental concerns.
However, we have new challenges our grandparents didn’t face when it comes to protecting our planet. We’re a “disposable” society. My grandfather would fix the toaster, not toss it and buy a new one. Folks sourced their food more locally and often had only one car, if any. But they didn’t have protections regarding pollution from factories or knowledge of how to reduce waste. And I’m not sure they understood the long-term ramifications of not taking care of our planet and how fast it can deteriorate. What you and I do today will affect our children and their children. It’s that fast.
Learn what you can do to support, educate and act to help our earth for generations to come. Let’s be environmentally friendly in our everyday actions. It starts at home.
5 Things You Can Do Today:
- Recycle: It’s a no brainer that recycling has a direct impact on helping our environment. Plus, it has social and economic benefits. Check out this really neat chart about recycling. You can click on the QR code to learn about recycling rules in your area (I learned we can recycle pizza boxes as long as there isn’t too much grease!) By recycling, less garbage winds up in our landfills and incineration plants, plus so many items can now be remade into new and exciting products.
- Compost: One might think that anything that composts would help the landfills but the opposite is true. Compostable material will emit green house emissions, meaning bad gasses in the atmosphere. However, food waste including coffee grinds, egg shells and yucky old fruits and vegetables make for great soil for your garden. If you don’t have the ability to compost you can still keep the material in a bag in your freezer and drop off at your local composting station.
- Drive less: Gas and the resultant pollution of vehicle exhaust can be reduced if preplanning is utilized. Carpool whenever you can… to work, school and soccer practice. One of the trips you make every week is to grocery shop. Your go-to tool is your DinnerTime Planner. Make sure you edit your DinnerTime Grocery List to save you time in the grocery store and cut down on the I just need to get something for dinner extra trips. Bonus, you won’t buy what you don’t need, thus reducing waste.
- Reduce food packaging: Buy the larger quantities or check the bulk food section. There will be less waste for three pounds of ground turkey in one large container than three individually wrapped one pound units. Note any extra in your DinnerTime Pantry manager so you use it up soon. Indicate “Use Soon” to advantage that ingredient in your next meal plan. Use your own bags but if you do need to use plastic remember to return them to your grocery store’s recycling bin.
- Save energy: Double up on recipes and re-heat the next night. This cuts down on the number of pots and pans on the stove to every other day. Turn off the lights and close the kitchen. No more staring in the open refrigerator looking for something to eat.
Talk with your friends, family and co-workers about the little steps you can take that will add up.
Happy Earth Day from our team at DinnerTime.
Recipes that are great re-heated.
Search for more delightful recipes in your DinnerTime Recipe Box.