After seeing access to the local grocery store dwindle and in some cases, removed, from many communities, the pandemic has given us a sense of urgency to not take anything for granted.
When we set out to reinvent the food supply chain in America with Gardyn, we were focused on increasing the availability of nutritious and tasty produce while simultaneously reducing the impact of industrial farming on the environment. It turns out that food security is another value we are offering families today. We hear from many Gardyners that obtaining access was the motivation for them to start growing their own fresh produce at home.
Since the first official Earth Day in 1970, this powerful environmental movement has recruited organizations, partners, and countries to band together in order to drive positive action to heal our planet.
If you’re asking yourself, “what can I do in my home and small corner of the world to aid in this global initiative?” you’re not alone. The big picture of climate change is a daunting task, but together we can make small changes that positively impact this mission.
This Earth Day, take inventory of how you spend your time, the tools you regularly use, and how you can streamline your actions to better align with sustainable living. Here are three easy ways the entire family can reduce your carbon footprint:
#1 - Ditch the waste.
Think about what’s going in your trash can every day. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), paper and paperboard products made up the largest of all materials in municipal solid waste.
Paper products abound and positioned by companies to be so convenient, however, with 4.9 pounds of paper per person being thrown out each day, the impact on unnecessary waste in landfills is exponential. (source)
How to reduce your carbon footprint at home:
- Instead of venturing out by way of a gas guzzling vehicle, find an activity that you can easily travel to from home: take a long walk with a packed picnic or take a ride on your bike to a nearby library, park, or nature reserve.
- Discover household items you can recycle like books and electronics. Not sure where to take your used batteries and cell phones? Call2Recycle.com offers helpful links and resources to find a collection partner throughout the United States.
- Opt for reusable plates, cups and cutlery instead of bulk packs of paper products. We particularly love the company Ahimsa who encourages parents to put down the plastic and embrace steel.
- Make cleaning supplies instead of buying them. Oprah Daily has 15 homemade DIY cleaners that are just as good as the heavy-hitting chemical versions.
#2 - Tap into the toddlers.
Children hold in their little hands the future of the Earth. Establishing a positive connection to the environment from an early age creates a sense of place and purpose for protecting their world. An immersive education isn’t found in books, in fact, inspiring the advocates of tomorrow means interacting with the world around them. From stomping in fresh puddles in the middle of a rainstorm to quietly observing a pollinator hop from flower to flower, stepping into nature is one of the most valuable educational experiences.
The National Wildlife Federation has worked to help wildlife thrive and connect kids with nature for decades.
#3 - Grow your own food.
Of course, we’re biased here at Gardyn and want everyone to have our hydroponic growing system in their own homes, but our mission remains the same – to eliminate food insecurity and remain focused on increasing the availability of nutritious and tasty produce – all while lowering the demand for factory farmed food and allow nature to restore itself.
Consumers throw away $1600 of produce per year, and according to a study from the Council of Environmental Health about food additives and children’s health,
“…more than 10,000 chemicals are allowed to be added to food and food contact materials in the United States, either directly or indirectly, under the 1958 Food Additives Amendment to the 1938 Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) (public law number 85-929).”
The combination of waste and potential exposure to elements like chemicals and pesticides is alarming. Growing your food at home reduces the chance of exposure to pesticide runoff and carbon emissions, allowing families to eat healthy and delicious meals with complete peace of mind.
How do you lower your carbon footprint? We’d love to hear how your family is being a kind and creative steward of the environment. Share with us on social!