Celebrate Earth Day, Starting in the Kitchen
Happy Earth Day! Although we formally celebrate the protection of the planet once a year on this day, these lifestyle changes are beneficial for the other 364 days, as well as for years to come! In the food industry alone we’ve seen evidence of how climate change has already affected growing seasons, the health of fisheries, the availability of finite resources such as water, and so much more. How are we to combat these horrifying trends? The truth is we can’t change the state of the planet overnight, but by taking even the smallest steps we can help mitigate climate change. Today we’re sharing how you can do your part starting in the kitchen.
At LeRoux, as both a company and also as individual consumers we understand the importance of buying local products whenever possible from food producers and artisans. For instance, in our wine section, we focus on selecting wines that are sustainably farmed and produced with minimal intervention. We also carry a wide line of canned wine that allows for a reduced carbon footprint as they eliminate the need for shipping heavy glass bottles
Use Green Cleaning Products
Green cleaning products clean your home naturally, without the unpleasant chemical residue that can harm your family and your pets. Eco-friendly cleaning products are made using sustainable manufacturing practices and naturally-derived, safe, nontoxic, and biodegradable ingredients that don't negatively impact the environment.
Homemade Non-Toxic Cleaner Recipe:
Combine 1 2/3 cup of baking soda with 1/2 cup of dish soap in a bowl. Stir in 1/2 cup of water followed by 3 tablespoons of vinegar and continue mixing to combine the ingredients and get rid of any lumps. To easily apply this cleaner to any surface, put it in a squirt bottle.
While you’re at it be sure to use reusable cleaning cloths such as Swedish Dishcloths which are a great biodegradable alternative to plastic sponges and single-use paper towels.
Shop at a Farmer's Market
If you can't grow it yourself, at least shop locally. Locally grown food creates important economic opportunities, provides health benefits and also helps to reduce environmental impact. The switch to local also keeps harmful toxins like pesticides out of the air, which helps to improve crops and air quality. In addition, because the produce is fresh and brought directly from farm to table, there is less waste.
A great alternative to physically shopping at a farmers market is signing up for a CSA. A CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture, refers to weekly shares of food from a local farm in the region and supports independent business and raises awareness about small scale agriculture and land use.
We are excited to announce that LeRoux Portland will be serving as a pickup spot for Black Kettle Farm’s CSA members for the 2019 growing season!
Switch to Reusable Bags
Those plastic bags you get from nearly every shopping experience cannot be recycled have a significant contribution to environmental pollution, wildlife deaths, human health hazards, and other detrimental impacts. Did you know that a plastic bag can remain in our landfill for up to 400 plus years before it degrades? Next time you go grocery shopping bring your own bags and reduce the need for plastic.
At LeRoux, we carry a wide variety of durable reusable bags that come in fun shapes and prints.
You probably have some long-standing resolution to eat less take-out. Not only will it save you money, but cooking your own meals cuts back on the waste produced by takeout bags, containers, and plastic cutlery.
Our favorite spring recipes you can make at home:
Compost Food Waste
Setting aside food waste and other organic trash and letting it decompose is recycling in its natural form. This type of garbage doesn't decompose properly at landfills because it doesn't get enough air and ends up creating methane gas in the process. A kitchen compost pail is a great way to turn kitchen scraps to valuable compost. A compost pail like the RSVP Endurance Jumbo Compost Pail can sit nicely on your counter so there are less trips to the compost.
There are also services like Garbage to Garden, where you can pay a small fee to have people bring your compost to local farms to be composted.
Give Up Straws
Americans use millions of plastic straws every day. Plastic isn’t biodegradable and typically ends up in the oceans where it can kill fish and mammals. A great alternative are stainless steel straws, which can be used over and over again.
Store Food Properly
One way to help with food waste is to store your food properly so it stays fresh for as long as possible, maximizing the time you have to use it before it spoils. Instead of wrapping leftover food in single use plastic, opt for an earth-friendly alternative like Stasher bags or Bee’s Wrap.
These small steps by themselves won’t help save the climate, but if we all do one or more of them every day, the cumulative effect could be huge. Together, our individual efforts can add up to big change.