|My two best mates|
2. BUY LOCAL IN-SEASON PRODUCE – Preferably at a local market. They’re popping up all over the place, even in the big bad capital cities, so there’s no excuse. Aside from the produce, there’s normally other organic and healthy stuff to try. Sometimes there’s music, clothes, bags, candles and other fun stuff to look at. You’ll be supporting local farmers, keeping Aussie dollars in Australia, and keeping those dollars local. You support real people, not massive corporations who don’t care what they put in or spray on your food. If you can’t go to a market, there are stacks of online delivery options. At the very least, you can buy in season; it’s healthier for you and for the environment as it hasn’t been refrigerated, flown and trucked across the globe, just so you can enjoy a pineapple in the dead of winter. This makes price whining unrealistic too. Some organic produce may cost a little more, but in-season foods cost way less than those internationally shipped pineapples. Get serious. Just think about where your food comes from.
3. COMPOST AND RECYCLE – I’m including recycling here because I’m amazed how many people simply can’t be bothered to separate cans, bottles and plastics, or newspapers, egg cartons and magazines. The hard work is done for you. There are special bins. It’s SO easy, and makes SUCH a difference. Just comply - it all helps. Composting is even better. We started composting a few years ago, and it cut our general rubbish in half. Every banana skin, vegetable peel, left over dinner and uneaten crust from every sandwich you lovingly made for your spoilt kids - all of it, in the compost. This does require a bit of work. Luckily my husband loves it. He takes the compost out, mooshes it around, turns it, looks at it, turns it over again, and eventually uses it to make a little part of the garden nicer. You can get special compost bins or worm farms (some councils give them away) and use them to make your own herb or vege garden. All keeping you away from the supermarket, saving a few dollars, keeping you healthy and doing that wee bit extra for Mother Earth.
4. CUT DOWN ON RED MEAT– There's so much information and environmental recommendations out there about this. The biggest problems associated with eating beef in particular are the levels of emissions it produces, the cost and energy used in grain/feed production and the deforestation and land degradation caused by producing all that feed. Put aside the nasty way animals are slaughtered, the hideous conditions they live in and the drugs they’re given to prevent disease, and consider this: the methane produced by cattle is responsible for up to 18% of ALL Greenhouse Gas emissions. It requires 8kg of grain to produce 1kg of beef. The land used to grow that grain now occupies almost 30% of the Earth’s surface. There go a few good rainforests. Astonishingly, it can take up to 100,000 litres of water to produce ONE KILO of beef! Then there are all the studies that suggest meat isn’t so hot for your health anyway. Not saying don’t eat red meat, just saying maybe not so often. You can start here: http://www.meatfreemondays.com/
5. HANG YOUR CLOTHES ON THE LINE – I’m pretty good with all of the above, but I struggle like crazy with this one. My ‘be nicer to nature’ side competes with my ‘I hate doing the washing’ side, and I wish the first team would win more often. This is one of those things that’s so simple, yet so hard to embrace, but here’s the deal; it’s better for your clothes to air-dry. It’s better for you to get outside and move. Yes…you bend over and get up again, several times, for ten minutes each day. It’s better for your hip pocket and it is SO much better for the environment. Them dryers suck lots of energy, and if you have a family, you’re using it all the time. If you live in a small place or if its winter, get a clothes horse! It’s annoying, it makes your home untidy and sometimes it can even smell, but it’s just something else, little, not time consuming better for you, better for the environment.
Funny how almost everything that makes the environment a bit healthier seems to make us a bit healthier too, ain't it?