Part 2 - Here are some tips on how to treat every day like it is Earth Day.
6. Get Rid of the Television
Most households today have both TVs and computers. TVs take up a lot of space and use a lot of energy, even when they’re turned off. Therefore, the money spent on electricity to power multiple devices will add up quite quickly. With the advancements of internet technology, most entertainment media can be found online with a subscription and a lot of times, free!
Getting rid of the TV will also allow people to become more active, sleep better, and spend less money on energy consumption. Without a TV, one can find more productive things to do. Less access to television provides more time to be creative: read more books, play musical instruments, or play games with the family. One of the greatest benefits of not having a television has come in the form of deeper and more meaningful conversations with the people around you.
7. Eat Less Red Meat
The livestock industry is one of the largest contributors to environmental degradation worldwide. Modern practices of raising animals for food contribute to air and water pollution, land degradation, climate change, and loss of biodiversity on a massive scale.
Eating meat in moderation can be a good source of complete protein and key vitamins and nutrients. However, eating too much red meat is especially harmful to human health and contributes to a wide variety of serious health problems such as heart disease, cancer and obesity. Thus, the best way to reduce the health risks is by eating less meat in general.
Giving up meat for one day each week will help reduce the environmental problems associated with the meat industry as well as improve one’s personal health.
8. Eat Local and Seasonal Food
Eating local and seasonal food is better for the health of humans and the environment. They taste fresher and better than the food that has been shipped from thousands of miles away.
Buying food grown and raised closer to where one lives can help maintain local farmlands. Farmers who run community-supported agriculture programs sell at farmers' markets and provide local restaurants the supplies they need.
Foods like corn were originally available only seasonally but are now produced year round. By eating corn only when it’s in season ensures a high quality product. Produce grown year-round are usually lower in quality and are laden with chemicals.
A macrobiotic diet’s approach is to become sensitive to the actual effects of foods on health and well-being, rather than follow dietary rules and regulations. The macrobiotic diet emphasizes locally grown whole grain cereals, pulses (legumes), vegetables, and fruit combined to form a balanced diet.
9. Preserving Food
Home food preservation is about flavor, quality, and purity. The environmental impact of food preservation is minimal and reduces the waste associated with pre-packed foods.
Canned foods are convenient to use and won't be ruined by prolonged power outages. They can last for up to five years if stored carefully in a cool, dry, dark place.
Freezing food is much quicker than canning and preserves more nutrients and fresh flavor. However, the freezer must maintain a temperature of zero degrees. Even then, the storage life of fruits and vegetables are limited to a year or less.
Food drying is one of the oldest methods of preserving food. Since drying reduces the moisture in foods making them lightweight and convenient to store, it can easily be used in place of other food preservation techniques. In fact, one can even use drying along with other food preservation techniques such as freezing or canning, making the process of food preservation even better. With modern food dehydrators, foods such as fruit leathers, fruit chips, dried nuts and seeds and meat jerky, can all be dried year-round at home.
Preserving food with salt is an ancient human practice that dates back before written records. Beef jerky, pickles, and smoked salmon are all examples of common foods that are preserved using salt. Cut vegetables up in pieces before putting them in the salt water to preserve food by “salt-curing.” Let the vegetables stand in the salt water for at least 10 days in order to "pickle." Fish, pork, beef, or poultry can also be salt-cured and will remain edible indefinitely by removing all the moisture from the meat.
Historically, smoking was performed as a means of preserving food because the smoke itself acts like an acidic coating on the surface of the meat, preventing the growth of bacteria. In modern times, smoking of food is done primarily as a way to enhance food’s flavor and color, rather than preserve it. Smoking and curing food will increase its resiliency and sustains high-quality meat that contains little to no artificial ingredients.