We all want to do our bit for the environment, but when you’re busy, putting the planet first can be hard. The good news, it doesn’t have to be. Here are 5 simple ways to help the environment, with hardly any effort at all.
Reduce Food Waste
The average Australian household throws away a whopping $1,036 worth of food every year. Not only could that money be put to better use (new shoes anyone?), landfill produces green house gases, which contribute to global warming – yikes! But its not all doom and gloom, there are heaps of practical ways you can start reducing food waste right now.
Plan your meals and do a shopping list – You will be less likely to buy food you won’t eat, and more likely to eat the healthy meals you have planned. Its a total win win!
Be wary of expiration dates – The best before date, ignore it! This is a sign of food quality, not safety. So if it looks and smells okay, do the world a favour, just eat it.
Use it up – That cup of chicken stock you have leftover. Use it to add flavour when cooking rice or veggies for dinner later in the week. And don’t bin that oil from a can of tuna. Drain it into a sealed container, and use it for frying. With a little creativity, its easy to use up every last bit of everything in your kitchen, and smash food waste while you’re at it.
Storage wars – Storing food in the right way can help it last longer. Did you know that certain foods should not be stored together? Its all to do with gas…yep, fruit and veggies have that problem too. Check out this awesome infographic, which shows you how to store your produce to keep it fresher for longer.
The freezer is your BFF– If you have leftover food, just freeze it. The freezer is not just for leftovers and boring frozen veggies. In fact, you can freeze almost anything – herbs, lemons , cheese I’m looking at you. Check out this post for 8 surprising things you can actually freeze, it will change your life.
Shop local – When you buy food which is produced locally less fuel and resources are used to get it onto your plate. But, if the local farmer’s market is not an option for your weekly shop, that’s okay, just plan your meals around fruit and vegetables that are in season. This means even if you shop at the supermarket, your produce is more likely to have been sourced from local producers. If you are in Australia and wondering what’s in season and when, check out this seasonal food guide
Other simple ways to help the environment …
Make recycling easy by having a separate rubbish and recycling bin, or if you are short on room, try a small container under the bench or in the cupboard to collect recycling. Plus, keep an eye out for new ways to recycle. In Australia, you can now buy a prepaid satchel, so you can collect and return your Nespresso coffee pods to be recycled. Its genius, you can find out more here.
Switch Up Your Dishwashing Liquid
Make the switch to a dishwashing liquid made from biodegradable, plant and mineral based products. These cleaners cut through grease, but without the nasties that threaten our waterways and leave chemical residue on our dishes. Switching will make it safer for you, your family and the environment.
Did you know, old toothbrushes are great for cleaning the nooks and crannies in your bathroom, or that you can create an ice block by freezing an old plastic milk bottle filled with water? Reusing everyday items is one of the easiest ways to reduce your load on the environment, and maybe even save a buck or two while you’re at it.
Get the family involved
Kids looking for pocket money? Get them to sort out the recycling, or make coming up with creative ways to reuse leftovers a family challenge. Getting the family on board will make it easier for you, but best of all it will show your kids how easy it is to help save the environment, and in the long run, that will make the biggest difference of all.
Do you have any ideas for simple ways to help the environment? I would love to hear what they are, let me know in the comments below.
Image Credit: <a href=’http://www.123rf.com/profile_teddybearpicnic’>teddybearpicnic / 123RF Stock Photo</a>