Thursday April 21, 2016
Earth Day is tomorrow, and to celebrate we’ve been sharing lots of information about sustainability and organic farming on the blog this month. Today we turn it back around to you. What can you do to preserve and protect our beautiful, bountiful, endangered planet?
Here are just a few ideas:
Eat More Plants
There are countless reasons why all of us should be eating less meat, particularly less meat raised in our modern industrial agricultural system. First of all, those animals are mightily abused, kept in cramped quarters, fed substandard feed, and weaned inhumanely early.
In addition, new research from the journal PNAS shows that a huge worldwide dietary shift to a vegetarian or vegan diet would save millions of lives by 2050. Doing so would cut greenhouse gas emissions by 60-70%, as well as save up to $1 trillion annually in terms of healthcare and lost productivity.
If you’re interested in reducing your meat consumption, check out our tips to incorporate more plants into your diet.
Grow a Plant or Two
One of the most fun ways to increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables is to grow them yourself. It’s possible to start gardening no matter how little space you have. Even apartment-dwellers can grow potted plants on balconies or windowsills.
Start small with a few herbs, then expand to a couple of your favorite fruits and veggies. For even your most small-scale efforts, make sure to adhere to organic principles and focus on improving the quality of your soil. That will ensure the most nutritious fruits and vegetables for you and your family. Click here for some tips to get your organic garden started!
As we mentioned, soil fertility is key to producing maximally-nutritious food. That’s why we prioritize composting and other methods of returning nutrients to the soil so heavily on our farm. You can read more about the importance of soil fertility here.
Getting started with composting yourself isn’t hard, but it takes some preparation and willingness to change your habits. As with any project, start small with just one small compost bin. You might even want to try vermicomposting (composting with worms) if you want to generate compost more quickly! The key to making good potent compost is oxygen. Turning your compost every other day injects oxygen and promotes good bacterium to make the best compost.
Add Sustainability to Your Social Feeds
Be honest — how much time do you spend each day on social media? For most of us, it’s a lot more than we’re totally comfortable with! One way you can make that time more productive is by being intentional about who you follow on social media.
If you fill your news feeds with organizations, thought leaders, and brands who post about sustainability, organics, and natural health, you’re likely to make more of those healthy, green choices in your day-to-day life. We recommend the Cornucopia Institute in particular, but there are lots of other great sites like Rodale’s Organic Life and Mother Earth News. Of course, you can also follow us!
Support Small, Local Farmers
On a related note, one of the best ways to make a lasting change is to vote for sustainability and organic practices with your dollars. Yes, whole foods are expensive. Yes, organic food is even more expensive. And yes, food from small farms often have an even higher cost.
But here’s the thing: the conventional option with the lower price tag at the supermarket has hidden costs associated with it. When you consider the damage done to the environment by the chemicals applied to conventional crops, the low nutritional density of conventional foods, and the takeover of agriculture by big industrial growers, conventional foods no longer seem so cheap.
Supporting small farmers develops America’s small business economy, while also allowing you greater insight into the practices that the farmer used while growing your food. This kind of visibility and transparency is key to restoring our nation’s food system to a healthier state, which in turn helps our planet.
What are you doing this Earth Day to make your lifestyle more sustainable? Let us know in the comments!