“Earth Day is an annual event celebrated on April 22. Worldwide, various events are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First celebrated in 1970, Earth Day now includes events in more than 193 countries, which are coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network.” Wikipedia

I have included 5 areas where we can help reduce our harmful impact on the environment every day:

1. Eat Less Meat:
I am not suggesting everyone should adopt a vegan diet, just suggesting that we reduce the amount of meat we consume. Start by reducing portion size of meat per meal, then perhaps try a meal without meat at all, and finally incorporate a meatless day, like Meatless Monday!


Why?
Reducing meat consumption will reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions and decrease the pressure on land and water use.

2. Shop Organic:
Organic food production strictly avoids the use of all synthetic chemicals, it does not pose any risk of soil and underground water contamination. Organic food production also helps conserve biodiversity. The same holds true for cotton, and other farm grown materials. Organic tends to be more expensive, but start with buying foods from the dirty dozen list as organic, they are rated as the produce with the highest levels of contamination. Check out the list here: https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty-dozen.php
Keep an eye out for weekly specials, you can often find organic foods on promotion at equal pricing to conventionally grown foods, then stock up!

3. Reduce Plastic:
You know the common suggestions… bring a reusable shopping bag, refillable water bottle, say “NO” to straws, etc. But I want you to take a look around your home, what else is plastic? Storage containers, personal care and household product containers, cups, plates, furniture, accessories. We use a ton of plastic! While plastic can be recyclable, our systems can not keep up with the amount we use and therefore this is piling up in our landfills.


What can you do?
Opt for a product in a glass container. Look for a nearby shop that may offer refillable supplies for your personal and household products. Buy bulk products when possible and bring your own reusable container.

4. Personal and Household products:
It is absolutely incredible the amount of toxins that go unnoticed in our personal care and household products, especially the cleaning products. Many of them are considered safe for use in North America but are banned in the EU. Why is that? Do they know something we don’t? Well, the research is out there for you to see. While many of these toxins are absorbed by our bodies, directly or indirectly, many are flushed down the toilet or go down the drain and into our water systems.


Where to start?
Look for biodegradable household cleaning products. This means the product will break down into its safer components within the time mentioned on the label.
Just like your food, check the ingredients list. You can find very effective, and yet environmentally safe products from dish soap, laundry soap, bathroom cleaners, etc. Health food stores tend to be well stocked these days with many options to choose from. Start switching out your products as you need to replace them.

5. Avoid Take-Out Food:
That includes your morning coffee! If you do not have time in the morning to have your coffee before you head out, then bring a reusable cup to your favourite coffee shop. They will be happy to serve you! So much waste is created with takeout, and most often it is plastic or even worse… styrofoam.

Here are a few ideas if you MUST get take out:
Bring your own containers, I have done this and the shop was very pleased to accommodate me. Tell them to skip the tiny condiment packages, keep a supply of your favourites condiments at home. No plastic cutlery, please!
Only support locations using biodegradable containers, there are ones out there made from corn, sugar cane, bamboo, avocado seed, and so many other options. Perhaps even try suggesting that to your favourite take out spot.

This is a lot to take in all at once, but start little by little, every step matters in the long run.

 

Healthy, Chocolately, Energy Balls
Ingredients
1 cup grated Carrots
5 date pitted Medjool date
1/4 cup Rolled oats, dry
2 tbsp Chia seeds, ground
1/2 cup Pecans
1 tbsp Honey, raw
1/4 cup Cacao powder, raw
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 cup Coconut, shredded, unsweetened


Instructions
1. In a food processor combine all ingredients, except the coconut, until a thick paste like mixture you can easily roll into balls.
2. Roll mixture into 1″ balls
3. Roll each ball into the shredded coconut to coat
4. Let them rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes
5. Serve and enjoy!

 

 

For more recipes, check me out at Meal Garden, a wonderful meal planning and recipe resource! https://www.mealgarden.com/expert/simplyhealthyliving/

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