7 hacks to a more sustainable lifestyle
Wondering how you can live more sustainably? Reducing our environmental impact allows for a healthier planet and in turn yields a more productive social, economic and environmental climate. Alexa Wagner, education specialist at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center, provides her suggestions on how to live a more sustainable lifestyle.
When browsing through the grocery aisles, look for sustainable products labeled as organic or fair trade. Studies have shown that organic foods (grown without the use of artificial pesticides and fertilizers) actually contain more nutrients than conventionally grown food.
Tip: Shop farmers markets for fresh, locally grown produce.
Bring your own bottle, bag or box. Reusable water bottles are an easy way to implement sustainability into your lifestyle, and will save you money in the long run. Reusable bags also serve many purposes. Bring a few while running errands or use one to pack your lunch.
Try Meatless Mondays
Eliminating or reducing your consumption of meat is a sure way to reduce your carbon footprint. Meatless Mondays – refraining from eating meat once a week – is a sustainable option for those who do not want to cut meat out of their diet entirely.
Tip: When purchasing meat, opt for grass-fed and pasture-raised as healthier options.
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
Practicing mindfulness can improve both your health and the planet. Being more mindful about the waste we produce and learning how to recycle properly will lead to less waste in landfills. Visit cuyahogarecycles.org for more information on what can be recycled.
Grow a Garden
Organic gardening not only cuts down on the amount of fertilizers entering our environment and the amount of chemicals in our food – it’s also a rewarding hobby! No matter the color of your thumb, try planting your favorite fruits and vegetables this summer.
Tip: Did you know that head of lettuce can have a second life? Cut off the stalk of your lettuce and place in water near a window to watch new leaves grow. This trick works great with romaine!
When possible, opt for walking, biking or riding public transportation to get from Point A to Point B. Not only are you fitting in healthy exercise, you are also cutting back on emissions (and gas money) by not using your car.
Join local groups and connect with organizations that focus on sustainability. Keep an eye out for events in your community, such as Lake Erie Nature & Science Center’s Sustainability Workshop (Saturday, March 3, at 10 a.m.) where you will learn how to implement sustainable practices into your daily routine and why it is important for the health of our planet. Engage in open discussion with community leaders, learn about the all-volunteer Bay Village Green Team, take home an array of educational material and preview the Center’s new climate exhibit.
To register, visit www.lensc.org or call 440-871-2900.
Morgan Paskert is on staff at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center.