So Much More Than Salads: 10 New Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

By Sarah Wilson, RHN on April 20, 2015 , categorized in Plant-based Nutrition

Always wanted to lower your carbon foot print but can’t find something that works with you and your lifestyle? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!

What the heck is a carbon footprint? Basically it’s the amount of greenhouse gases and specifically carbon dioxide emitted by something during a given period.1 At the end of the day almost everything you do will have an impact on your carbon emissions. From the foods you choose to the way you hang with your friends, you can eat to either increase or decrease your carbon footprint.

Here’s my top 10 realistic ways to lower your carbon footprint:

1. Party buses and limo rides are so 2010.

If you want to tour the city with a group of friends hop on your bikes. Make your own biker gang, peddling around to your favorite restaurants and local breweries. This makes for a really fun summer night, heck; it might even turn into a tradition or weekly rendezvous.

2. Growl…er.

Love indulging in your favorite local craft beer? Visit the brewery and pick yourself up a growler. Not only will you be saving the use of cans and extra bottles but you’ll look really cool when you show up at a party with their awesome branded oversized bottle.

3. Raise the steaks.

Making your favorite steak dinner? Why not swap it out the meat for a cauliflower steak dinner. Changing the foods you consume on a regular basis can have a drastic effect on your carbon foot print. Plant-based foods require fewer resources from growth all the way to production than animal products. Did you know that agricultural is one of the main contributors to greenhouse gas emissions? This has a larger footprint then transportation!2 All it takes is just making the change to one plant-based meal a day and you’ll be well on your way to lowering your carbon footprint.

4. Life Unplugged.

Have you ever noticed how many appliances you have in your house that are plugged in at all times? Toasters, blenders, and coffee machines, just to name a few, are some of the culprits that will be still using up energy while being plugged in, even though you might not be using them. Solution? Unplug them when you’re not using them.  I’m not one for clutter, so I keep these small appliances in my cupboard until I need them. You’ll soon find yourself with the clean chic living space you’ve only seen in magazines.

5. Run commute.

Practicing for your next marathon? Get in your training on your way to and from work by running there! Find a small fitting back pack to pack your work clothes in and anything else you need and you’re set.  Too many miles running to and from work? Carpool to work with a co-worker then run home. This will not only lower your carbon foot print by leaving your car at home, you’ll also be in tip top shape before you know it.

6. The new bookworm.

Say no to buying the daily paper or your favorite magazine and download it onto your mobile reader. Just think of all the paper you’ll be saving! Say bye-bye to ink stained fingers and hello to your favorite novel, paper, short story and blogger all with the point of a finger.

7. One person’s trash…..

Or should I say closet? Getting sick and tired of your old clothes but aren’t ready to part with them just yet? Hold a clothing swap with some of your friends, bring the clothes you’re not willing to get rid of completely, for something you’ve always loved of your friends. This will not only be great for the wallet, you’ll also be lowering your carbon footprint at the same time.

8. Just say no….to junk mail.

How many times do you have to open your mailbox to find it spilling over with junk mail before you do something about it? Here’s a couple steps to de-clutter your inbox: One: If you’ve subscribed to any flyers you can call the company and unsubscribe and sign up for their online version). Two: decorate a beautifully scripted sign for your mail person so they know you mean business.

9. The Mason jar queen.

This is what my friends call me. Why? Because I re-use all my mason and old pasta sauce jars to restore my bulk goods and to use as drinking glasses. Why not?!

10. Check it before you wreck it.

I challenge you to take your label reading to the next level and start looking for sustainable packaging in the foods you choose to purchase. One of the hottest things right now is PCR packaging. This stands for Post-Consumer Recycled Plastic, rather than packaging your products in virgin plastic, companies are using plastic that would otherwise end up in their landfills. Vega One™ and Vega Sport® Performance Protein proudly use 100% PCR bottles. Now that’s something to brag about. Learn more about PCR and making the world a greener place on Vega’s Sustainability Page.

How do you practice sustainability?

References
1. Merriam Webster. Definition: Carbon Footprint. Retrieved 3/24/15 from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/carbon footprint
2. United Nations Environment Programme (2012). Growing greenhouse gas emissions  due to meat production. Accessed 6/5/13 from http://www.unep.org/pdf/UNEP-GEAS_OCT_2012.pdf

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earth month sustainability

Sarah Wilson, RHN

Sarah is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Personal Trainer and works at Vega as a Product Specialist. Sarah educates from experience! Drawing on her retail leadership in the natural health industry, her own nutrition consulting, and a personal passion, she equips audiences with tools and inspiration to feel their absolute best from the inside, out. Specializing in sports and fitness recommendations, Sarah is active as a runner, playing soccer or enjoying the Rocky Mountains on her snowboard.

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