With Earth Month in full swing, Canadians are taking a close look at their daily choices and discovering new and exciting ways to go green – from saving energy, to reducing water use, improving indoor air quality, reducing their exposure to harmful chemicals, choosing more sustainable food and more.
The good news is, there’s never been such a wide array of products, services and information available to help you live your greenest life as there are now. We’ll be tackling various categories all month long, but for now let’s focus on something that impacts you at least three times a day – breakfast, lunch and dinner. Going green in this case isn’t just good for our planet, it’s good for your waistline and your wallet too!
From litterless lunch ideas to portion control, here are the top 5 tips to get you started on a greener (and in some cases leaner!) path.
BYOM (Bring Your Own Mug)
Start the morning off right by hitting up your favourite local coffee spot with your own travel mug on route to work. From temperature control levels, to materials, to colours and lid styles, the options are endless! Not only will your bevvie of choice likely stay hotter longer, but some coffee shops offer a discount if you bring your own vessel. Plus, you can skip the annoying task of cleaning out the pool of leaking coffee in your car that inevitably escapes disposables no matter how tightly and carefully you put it on. Why, cup, why?!?
Pack a Litterless Lunch
It’s more than just a catchy phrase. Your kids’ school may already have strict lunch policies but have you peeked into your own lunchbox lately? Is it as ‘litterless’ as it can be? With such convenient and sleek options available today – like the entire range from Monbento there’s really no excuse for not bringing a litterless lunch. There’s a container for everything from salad dressing servings, to options for veggies and dip, to holders small enough for that handful of almonds you’ll allow yourself as a mid-day snack, so why not take on the challenge to be as waste free as you can be?
Extend the Freshness
Do you know the right way to store your fruits, vegetables and other food products? Take the time to learn whether they belong on the counter, a dark cupboard, or in a vented plastic container. From herb savers, to garlic keepers, there are lots of options available to properly preserve your ingredients and of course, prevent unnecessary waste of money and produce from good food gone bad.
Wanna take it a step further? Ice cube trays or baby food storage options can be your new best friend and help you reduce food waste in virtually every category! Sick of eating spinach salad all week? Turn the leftovers into pesto and freeze it in cubes. And that last glass of Pinot or bowl of chicken soup? Throw them in a tray for freezing too and you’ll be laughing all the way to the stove next time risotto calls.
Love Your Leftovers
Sure, nobody wants to make lunches at night, especially when they’re the one thing standing between you and your current binge-watching obsession. But bringing lunch to work is good for you in so many ways and if you pack up leftovers from dinner straight into the right size containers, it’s easier than ever to exercise portion control, avoid unwanted calories from seemingly healthy take-out options, and save cash on a daily basis. So put an extra ten minutes into your kitchen clean-up. Season four, episode two can wait.
It’s around that time of year when Supermom starts to unravel. All of their tried and true faves have now been deemed booooring, you have eight lids and only one bowl and you haven’t seen that super special insulated food container with the owl on it they just had to have since November. Make sure your cupboards are restocked with all the right storage and their favourite snacks are replenished. With the right containers, you can also save money by buying your snacks in bulk rather than the more expensive and wasteful snack packs.
Sheri Helman is a mom of two great kids, living a sassy, suburban life with her husband of almost ten years just north of Toronto. At home, Sheri is constantly striving to make great choices for her family – whether that means deciding what to make for dinner (and how to come up with new recipes her kids will actually eat!) or which environmentally friendly products will get the job done when it comes to cleaning, bathing and everything in between. Catch up with Sheri on her blog: www.babefromtheburbs.com