April is known as Earth Month, but people tend to only celebrate Earth Day on April 22. While it’s lovely to get together and celebrate a greater purpose on Earth Day, it’s important to acknowledge that sustainable living efforts can be made all year round. If you’re eager to honor the Earth, who says you can only take action for 24 hours or 30 days within the year?
Here at Byppo, we’re dedicated to helping the community we work in. Earth Month is an opportunity to do more than simply observe the wonder of this beautiful planet, we want to encourage you to take the necessary steps to help restore it. As consumers, it’s important for all of us to educate ourselves and make conscious choices about what we consume for the health of our bodies and our planet. Here are some mindful tips to help you on your journey to becoming a more mindful consumer:
1. Support local
The less that food has to travel, the lower its impact on the environment. If you’re cooking for yourself, shop for locally grown produce at the farmers market. Gainesville is home to many sources including the Alachua County Farmers Market, Haile Farmers Market and Grove Street Farmers Market. If you’re dining out, try heading to a local restaurant that is close to home and sources its ingredients locally. Choosing locally grown food can help reduce energy usage, decrease greenhouse gas emissions and use fewer resources than typically expended to transport foods across long distances. Some of our restaurant partners celebrate Earth Month every month by being sustainable and green with planet-friendly dishes.
2. Buy in bulk and in season
By shopping in bulk, you can reduce excessive packaging waste, which saves the energy and resources used to make that packaging. It’s also a cheaper alternative because there are no extra charges for individual packaging.
Not only is seasonal produce delicious and affordable but also tends to travel shorter distances to grocery stores. Therefore, it uses less fuel and creates less pollution than out-of-season produce that may require special high-energy heating and lighting to grow in unnatural conditions.
3. BYOE: Bring Your Own Everything
We’re talking bags, straws, cups, cutlery and containers. Ditch disposable plastic items and switch to reusable products. Opt for cloth totes instead of plastic bags that end up in the ocean. Invest in your own reusable cup and metal straw when you get drinks — preferably from tap or fountain. Bring your own metal or wooden cutlery to grab lunch. Bonus points if you dine in and bring home leftovers in your own glass containers. This is a simple and highly effective step toward reducing plastic waste.
4. Eat more plants & less meat
Did you know that industrially farmed meat has the greatest impact of any food product on the environment? Eating a plant-based diet is one of the easiest ways to have a positive impact on the environment. There are plenty of delicious local establishments in Gainesville for those with plant-forward diets. Soybeans and soy products — such as tofu, tempeh, legumes, nuts and seeds — provide all of the essential proteins our bodies need and are much better for the environment than animal-based proteins.
You might not want to say goodbye to meat entirely, and that’s okay! If you can’t give it up, start with baby steps like ordering with Byppo once a week for Meatless Mondays instead. You can also opt for a diet with limited protein options like fish and eggs.
Be Earthly with Byppo!
There are many mindful habits you can adopt in your daily life to create a positive impact on the planet. You don’t need to do everything, and you don’t even need to get to zero. Start with a few actions that might be simple and easy for you. It may not seem like your efforts alone can make a difference, but when you think about how you’re adding to the efforts of individuals and communities that are also going green, your contributions can have a big impact on the health of our planet and its people. Try some Earth-friendly food and start your sustainable journey today with Byppo!