Guest Blogger: Katie Repsis. Fort Collins, CO
Photo: Harry Strharsky
Looking outside these past few weeks the sky has been so much clearer. Have you seen the pictures of the canals in Venice with clear water and a recent video of a jellyfish gliding through the water? India’s air quality has improved so much during the lock-down that the Himalayas have been visible for the first time in 30 years. It makes me smile knowing the national parks have been closed for a month, thinking about the animals roaming freely and letting trails grow again where they were trampled down by people.
I hope more of us see this pandemic as a wake-up call to the importance of protecting and preserving this fragile planet we all call home. There are things we all can do to be better advocates for this Earth.
I wanted to highlight a few environmental changes anyone can make while at home.
Reduce Meat & Dairy: Try reducing your meat and dairy consumption, even if you just start with one or two days. Quinoa is an excellent source of protein and is also a complete plant protein. It contains all 9 essential amino acids. It’s an easy ingredient to mix in with any meal and provides vitamins, mineral, protein, fiber and happens to be gluten-free.
Compost: Composting your food and organic material greatly reduces waste, creates healthy living soil, provides added nutrients to your garden/plants and reduces greenhouse gases.
Plant a Garden: Planting food even if it’s just a few pots is empowering and reminds us to eat healthier, it’s money saving, time saving, and teaches us the value of food.
Photo: Katie Repsis
Re-wear & Repair: Wear that outfit a few days in a row, before you toss it in the washing machine, especially if you’re at home. Repairing clothes is rewarding and when it’s a quick fix, is easy to do with a needle and thread.
Save Seeds: Save your old flower heads, seeds from past years, save seeds/roots from vegetable scraps to re-grow instead of buying plants.
Buy Food Staples in Bulk: Flour, rice, beans, quinoa, vegetable oil, coffee, and baking staples in bulk are a great way to save money, reduce packaging, and support local businesses. Many local businesses and restaurants have been providing customers with the ability to order bulk staples.
Reduce Food Waste: Cook with scraps, get creative and reduce food waste while trying new recipes. Save your vegetable scraps in the freezer for broth or soup, turn those wilted herbs into pesto or smoothies, save stale or hard bread for breadcrumbs, and save that cheese rind for soup.
Support Local: Many of us have wonderful local farms, co-ops, farmer’s markets, wineries, breweries, distilleries, coffee roasters that would love the business. Plus, these stores are typically fully stocked versus big box stores that everyone frequents. I recently ordered a 5 lb bag of coffee beans from a local, fair trade roaster. They are conveniently very close by and when I ordered the beans they ended up delivering them!
Happy Earth Day! Stay safe, healthy, and keep advocating for our wonderful mother Earth.