Five Baby Steps To Eating More Sustainably (Plus 45 More For Over-Achievers)

Real Food: Fresh, Local Tomatoes Ripen In The Sun

Like most of us, I’m doing my best to eat better, waste less, and nourish — not deplete  our planet. Having been a relatively conspicuous consumer much of my life, I welcome simple information, presented clearly, and designed to help me put one foot in front of the other on my incremental journey toward more sustainable living.

So the other day, I perked up when I scanned an e-mail boasting 50 tips for eco-friendly eating. I clicked, read, and appreciated the post. Nothing too fancy — just baby steps — which is perfect for me at this point in my voyage.

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Tips

I hope you will read the whole article, but if you’re short on time right now, take a look at my five favorite nuggets, culled from the list of 50.

  1. Use the whole vegetable. Don’t toss your cauliflower or broccoli stems: Peel their tough outer skins, dice them, and cook them with the florets. Don’t throw away the leafy parts of beets or radishes: Cook ’em up with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Use your celery leaves, onion stems, and fennel fronds to flavor homemade chicken broth. If all else fails, start composting your kitchen scraps to return their value to the soil.
  2. Buy local eggs. Labels on your grocery store’s egg cartons can be misleading. Cage free doesn’t mean the hens are romping about without a care in the world. Search for local eggs on sites like Local Harvest or Eggzy. You’ll be glad you did. I found a local egg source here in Dallas, and I have had some of the best scrambled, poached, and soft-boiled eggs thanks to that discovery.
  3. Read those labels. Yes, you need a magnifying glass, but when you start reading and understanding what you put in your body, you have the ability to make much wiser decisions. Nutritionist Marion Nestle states, “My criteria for choosing packaged foods are: nothing with more than five ingredients, no ingredients I can’t pronounce, nothing artificial, and no cartoons on the package.” Makes sense to me Marion!
  4. Make your own seltzer. In the summer, I drink wine with a bit of bubbly water to counter the Texas heat. We just bought a Sodastream, so I now make my own seltzer water in reusable bottles instead of contributing empty seltzer bottles to the landfill.
  5. Save that cooking water. I’ve read about catching rainwater and saving the early, cold shower water to use in your garden. But I never considered reusing my cooking water for other purposes. Use blanching water to make stock or rice. Use pasta water to thicken sauces. And if your cooking water contains no salt or oil, use it to water your plants.

I write with a group of wise, experienced ecovores, but I’m just learning. If you share my need to know more about “eco-friendly eating for dummies,” I hope you enjoy, embrace, and employ one, two, or maybe even ten, of the simple tips presented in this original article.

Call For Tips: Eco-friendly Eating For Dummies

I have one more request — and it’s very important.

Please share your own sustainable eating or living tips in the comments section below. Then tweet, e-mail, and post this article and your comments, so your friends can help us turn 50 tips into 100! Or 200! Or one billion tips!

C’mon friends! Mama has a few more baby steps in her.

Image Credit: Mary Gerush

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3 thoughts on “Five Baby Steps To Eating More Sustainably (Plus 45 More For Over-Achievers)”

  1. Yay for the Sodastream! My husband and I were going through case after case of La Croix before we made the switch. It’s cheaper and so much less wasteful.

    I also love beet and radish greens. Beet greens taste just like chard, but they’re so much less expensive!

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