It’s Earth Day!
Create a family action plan that helps the planet I turn 50 this month. It’s a big number that causes big-time
• Plant a garden. Studies show kids are more receptive to eating veggies they help grow. Your efforts encourage a plant-based diet and a connection to nature. Find workshops at local libraries, nurseries and San Diego Botanic Garden.
reflection. What do I really want for this milestone birthday? I’m asking friends and family to do something that helps keep the Earth green. Here are things your family can do that make a big impact this Earth Day (April 22) and beyond.
We make a lot of food choices each day. Collectively, those choices make a big difference in helping the planet. According to nonprofit Project Drawdown, a research-based organization that finds and ranks climate change solutions, eating less meat and reducing food waste are two top ways that individuals can make a lasting impact.
Reduce Food Waste • Meal plan and make a shopping list to reduce impulse buys. • Eat leftovers for lunch. Why is it important? According to Natural Resources Defense Council, 40 percent of food in the U.S. is wasted.
Eat Less Meat • Commit to “Meatless Mondays” (or any day of the week). Soup, chili, tacos, pasta and more can be made without meat. • Try a “flexitarian” diet, which is mostly vegetarian, but occasionally includes meat. Why is it important? A recent study published in Science Magazine reveals that growing plant protein has a lesser impact on the environment than meat and dairy production. Need ideas on how to try a flexitarian diet? Read Anne Malinoski’s article Confessions of a Weekday Vegan at www.sandiegofamily.com/ things-to-do/dining-and-recipes/2137.
• Shop farmers markets. Get to know locals who grow without pesticides.
Why is it important? Produce grown close to home is freshest, more nutritious, and requires less fuel to transport.
Improve Kitchen Habits “It is estimated that each Californian generates 0.76 lbs. of compostable food waste every day,” says Sarah BoltwalaMesina, executive director of nonprofit, Inika Small Earth. “Over the course of the year each of us has the ability to send 277 pounds of nutrients back into the soil instead of into a landfill where they sit around emitting methane. We can do this by simply setting up a kitchen scrap collection container on our kitchen counter.” • Try composting. Use a countertop composter or drop off table scraps at a neighborhood Food2Soil program sponsored by Inika. • Reduce or eliminate single use items such as plastic bags, paper napkins or paper towels. Why is it important? Reducing use of plastics helps keep them out of oceans and landfills. cont. on p. 28
26 • SanDiegofamily.com • April 2020