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EARTH DAY: 5 Green Things You Can Do To Help Save The Planet

The first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970. It led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the passage of the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act.

Yet 45 years later, the need to save the planet is even greater. Here are five painless food-related things you can do to live greener:

1. CARRY A REFILLABLE WATER BOTTLE

Bottled water purchases continue to grow in the beverage category. A plastic water bottle takes 1,000 years to degrade in landfill; if burned in a furnace, it releases harmful toxins into the air.

Carry a refillable water bottle. If you don’t like your municipal water, get a home water filtration system.
 
2. MAKE CARBONATED BEVERAGES AT HOME

Beyond water bottles, how much soda or sparkling water do you consume? There’s a Sodastream waiting for you!

In addition to making just about any flavor of soda—regular, diet, decaffeinated—or flavored water, you’ll save lots of money and work carrying those heavy bottles.

   

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Avoid taking stores’ plastic shopping bags for your purchases. Instead, tuck reusable, folding nylon bags into pockets, purses, glove compartments. Photo courtesy StyleHive.com.

 
3. CARRY REUSABLE SHOPPING BAGS

Don’t take plastic shopping bags from the grocery store; bring your own reusable bags instead. Most of them, like these, fold up to fit into a pocket.

 

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Make as many different flavors as you like, with reusable bottles. Photo courtesy Sodastream.

 

If you buy a lot of groceries, here are options for the trunk of your car.

Be sure to check out Hannah Grocery Cart Bags, which fit into the shopping cart. You fill them as you shop, unload them to pay, then fill and wheel to your car. They’re sturdy and don’t fall over as you drive home.
 

4. MAKE BETTER CHOICES IN TAKE-OUT FOOD & FAST FOOD

Take-out and fast food generate more landfill that won’t biodegrade in your lifetime. Avoid styrene, or any type of plastic, in coffee cups, plates and delivery containers.

Patronize stores and restaurants that use paper coffee cups and plates, and cardboard or recyclable metal take-out containers. Wash and reuse the plastic utensils.

And when you place your order, tell the establishment not to include any utensils with your order (or soy sauce, fortune cookies, ketchup packets and other things you just toss out automatically).

 

5. RECYCLE YOUR TRASH

If your community doesn’t have a mandatory recycling programs, call your Department of Sanitation to see what the options are to recycle paper, tin cans and other metals, glass and plastic.

  • Some retailers, like Whole Foods, recycle #5 plastic yogurt cups when local municipalities don’t.
  • You can also buy a gadget that cuts K-cups apart for recycling the plastic and composting the grounds.
  • There’s also a program that lets you mail in your used K-cups for recycling.
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    BONUS TIP: CUT BACK ON HOME ENERGY USE

    The average American household spends more on home energy bills and gasoline for cars, than for health care or property taxes. You can live greener, saving energy (and money!), by being aware of how you waste it.

    Turn off lights, computers, televisions and other energy-users when you don’t need them. Use this online tool to see how easy it is for you to cut back.

      




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