1. Make your own cleaners and home products.
While you can purchase environmentally friendly cleaning products, making things from scratch at home is a perfect example of sustainable living. It allows you to use things you already have on hand, thus reducing the need to buy more. And it means you can re-use or upcycle other items to give them new life — which all leads to less trash and waste, less packaging, and less overall consumption.
2. Green your plate and your kitchen.
Did you know animal agriculture is the second-largest contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions and is a leading cause of deforestation, biodiversity loss, and water pollution? These statistics shared by Climate Nexus citing multiple trusted research sources, including the United Nations, help support the value of making more sustainable food practices.
In their session “Greener Plates for a Better World” at Good Housekeeping‘s 2020 Raise the Green Bar Sustainability Summit, celebrated author and actress Tracy Pollan, food columnist Mark Bittman and regional farming advocate Kathleen Finlay spoke with GH’s Registered Dietitian, Stefani Sassos, M.S., R.D., about the topic. Together they stressed that plant-based eating, cooking at home, and prioritizing local and seasonal foods were smart ways to eat more sustainably.
Eating vegetarian just one day a week can save the annual greenhouse gas equivalent of driving 1,160 miles, says Sassos. She also recommends peanuts as a great plant-based protein source. A nutritious swap for meat, these legumes are filled with protein, heart-healthy fats, fiber, and antioxidants. Lesser-known fact: They’re as good for the planet as for you, thanks to water-efficient growing practices that use a mere five gallons of H2O per ounce (some nuts need more than 15 times that, and meat needs!).
3. Reduce food waste.
In the United States alone, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration estimated that between 30 to 40% of the food supply ends up as food waste. In 2015, we Americans threw out 133 billion pounds of food. For context that’s like leaving a quarter of your groceries behind every time you go to the store.
Composting at home is one of the most effective ways to minimize the amount of garbage your family sends to the landfill. Not only does this reduce methane gas (a major factor in climate change), but it also controls trash can odor and gives you rich fertilizer. You can start by picking up one of the GH Institute Kitchen Appliances and Technology Lab’s picks for the best compost bins, but if at-home composting isn’t for you, look to see if your municipality has a composting program; if not, let your public works department know you’d like one. Some farmers’ markets even take food matter for composting.
What is Earth5R’s Home Equals Planet project?
Home Equals Planet is an initiative comprising 15 tangible actions that citizens take on an individual level. These are a step toward a sustainable planet and a healthier lifestyle. The actions promote simple actions like eating home-cooked food, segregating waste, spending time in nature, and so on.
The 15 actions are associated with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and aim to create a better future for all by 2030. Home Equals Planet covers areas like Waste Management, Health, creating a Circular Economy, etc.
Home Equals Planet: The 5th Global Entreps Awards and 5Gcitizens International Congress (earth5r.org)
To read more of such articles, please visit https://earth5r.org.
Source: What Is Sustainability? A Sustainable Living Guide for Beginners (goodhousekeeping.com)