People say they give a shit about the earth. “I recycle! I don’t litter! I support the factual evidence in favor of man-made climate change.” That’s great; good for you all. I support all of those actions, but there’s a little too much self-gratitude here. Should you pat yourself on the back for “saving the earth?” My mom always says, “Everyone is doing the best he/she can,” but I like to add on, “You can always do more.” So, no; don’t feel so comfy helping the environment by recycling your plastic bottles.
Believe it or not, each person can do so much more to help the earth and ease the impact we have on the environment, especially in the kitchen. There are a lot of things I want to tell you about, in detail, but I will only briefly cover them here (look out for more content).
Just in case you didn’t know, BEING ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY CAN ALSO HELP YOU SAVE BUTT LOADS OF MONEY.
When you grocery shop, do you spend a lot of time beforehand making a list? Checking it twice? You really don’t have to be the fat bastard in a red suit to get it down to perfection. This is probably one of the best actions you can take to be more environmentally friendly. You may be thinking, “What the heck? How does this have to do with the environment?” Hear me out. A chain reaction takes place when you go food shopping without a list. If you go to the grocery store or farmers market with no idea of what you want to make, you will likely buy more than you need. This causes an excess of food that is doomed to a fate in your trash can. Trash ends up in landfills, usually unable to decompose; if it can, it will release greenhouse gases in large quantities. Because you didn’t write a list, you create tons of food waste, causing more problems than the dent it makes in your wallet. Imagine buying a meal in a restaurant, then throwing it away after a bite, or not eating it at all. The meals you could have made with this food have been wasted. It costs you a lot of money! I know from experience. I used to just go to the grocery store, buying everything that looked good. To prevent food waste, plan your meals and snacks for the week and write a list based on what you want to eat. If you don’t know where to start with this, I’m in the process of writing a post that’ll help.
The goal is to reduce food waste as much as possible; however, vegetable and fruit scraps are inevitable. If you want to prevent more shit being piled up in large basins in the earth, compost! Composting can incorporate things you can’t recycle, even more than just food scraps. You can compost cardboard, paper towels, soiled paper products, egg shells, food scraps, and a lot more. I recommend looking around your community for free compost bins (that’s how I got mine!). It may be a little extra work, but you can reduce your trash output by a massive amount, allowing for the components of your garbage to decompose instead of never having the chance to in a landfill. ALSO, less trash = fewer trash bags, which means more money staying in your pocket for food! And other shit you want! If you have a garden, you can use the compost in it. My vegetable garden is bangin in the summer with my homemade compost. Again, a post is to come about composting in depth.
Meat and animal byproducts are something you can’t compost though. This doesn’t mean this stuff is useless! A lot of the meat that gets thrown away could have been cooked and used, either for you or your pets. I try to use different cuts of meat that would otherwise end up in the trash because they are less desirable. If some parts are fatty, or much less appealing, I cook them to make dog food. It’s really not that expensive. Next time just think about what you can make use of before thinking of your bins. I’ll post a recipe for meat scrap dog food soon.
Something to consider is where all your produce and meat comes from. When you buy food, where do you get it from? A farmers market is one of the best places to shop, even if it is slightly more expensive. One of the biggest reasons I utilize the local farm stands and markets is that I know the pollution that is produced by transporting the food is minimized. If the food is local, it doesn’t have to be shipped, driven, flown. A single truck has to make a trip most of the time, which is fantastic for everyone’s air. I also know exactly where the food is coming from. It may not always be organic, but it’s fresh and guaranteed to be delicious. Meat that I purchase usually has the date it was slaughtered, which can be strange at times; however, I know that animal had a better existence than the animals at the massive “farms.” I recommend buying fresh produce at farmers markets as well. If you want to support your local economy as well, stop by your farmers markets and stands. Buying from your local businesses that are based in the area is a sure fire way to help everyone around you. Not only is it environmentally friendly to buy local, it is economically better as well.
Another type of waste rarely thought about, unless you live in California, is water waste. Leaving the shower to run while it warms up, dumping out half full glasses of water, allowing the faucet to run when brushing your teeth, and pouring whole pots of water down the drain are all normal occurrences in American households because water is cheap. In the United States, water is subsidized by the government. Therefore, the customers, aka citizens, pay less for water than it is actually worth. Since water prices are lower, the thought of conserving water doesn’t cross most people’s minds. It should because drinkable water is not in large abundance. In fact, less than one percent of all water on earth is available for us to actually drink and use in our homes. So we need to give a shit, now. The price of water will increase over time, maybe even drastically, but the abundance will only continue to threaten our existence. Sure, we may get more fresh water from the melting of the polar bears’ habitats, but we will also cause more water to be evaporated by rising temperatures. There’s really not an argument in favor of wasting water. You’re lucky to have drinking water at all, let alone a hot shower. Be thankful, and turn off the water when you aren’t using it. There are other ways to conserve and use water that I will talk about in the future.
If you’re an American, you’re really fucking lucky. You can afford to waste food and fresh drinking water. You can even leave your lights on ALL the time, and turn your TV on when you’re not even watching anything! Why not leave your computer on for hours on end while you’re actually in school? Obviously, this is a waste of money. Energy is sure as shit not cheap, and in most cases it’s as dirty as your internet history. Coal is still used to generate electricity in many states across the U.S. This energy source is SUPER inefficient, meaning we get a tiny bit of energy from burning fuck tons of coal. I’m pretty sure I don’t have to tell you where I’m going with this, but just in case you’re wondering, and excuse my language, COAL POLLUTES THE FUCK OUT OF THE AIR. Turn your lights off, unplug things when they are not in use, and save as much energy as you can. You’ll thank me when you see your electricity bill, unless you’re renting. Don’t stick it to your landlord though by sticking it to the environment.
- Make a shopping list to reduce food waste
- Compost food waste
- Use cuts of meat that may be less desirable
- Utilize potential meat waste by making pet food
- Reduce water waste
- Don’t leave the faucet running
- Buy local food as much as possible
- Turn off your lights
- Conserve energy in your home