What does going green mean to you? From celebrating St. Patrick’s Day and the start of spring, to making more sustainable lifestyle and food choices, March is the perfect month for greener, better choices for you, your community, and the planet:
- Green tea – Drinking a cup or two of green tea a day for adults has been linked to better heart health.
- Green fruits and vegetables – Each color of fruit and veggie gives you loads of nutrition. Deep green (and red/orange) are recommended weekly specifically for all the nutrition they provide.
- Salad – With the weather getting warmer, crisp, cool salads are a refreshing way to make half your plate full of fruits and veggies. Add your favorite lean meat and/or beans, reduced fat cheese, and try salsa for a dressing with about 10-15 calories per serving. Read labels to pick the best choices for yourself and your family.
- Recycling – Think about packaging and use a reusable thermal lunch bag, containers that can be washed and reused, and recycle any packaging that you can.
- Reducing food waste – Wasting food wastes your money, but did you know it also contributes to greenhouse gas when food gets thrown out? Buy what you need, freeze leftovers if you won’t be eating them all, and think of other ways to use what you have on hand. Check out some of our recipes for inspiration!
- Energy efficiency – From light bulbs to using the right size pot for your burner to using your oven to full capacity, there are many little ways you can make your energy usage more efficient. Start today by turning the water off when you brush your teeth.
- Repurposing leftovers – If the family isn’t a fan of leftovers, transform them. Take leftover cooked chicken or shrimp and make a wrap sandwich the next day. Use leftover roasted veggies in a soup or tossed cold in a salad for interest and nutrition. Casseroles are another way to use up what you have on hand.
- The great outdoors – Take a walk, park farther from the store, start prepping your garden! Spend some time in the green to get in some activity.
- Defining “local” – Oftentimes, we talk about local food and supporting our community, which is great! Be sure to define what you mean by local and think about what’s best for the actual food you are talking about. Look for signs in the store to tell you where different foods are coming from in your area.
- Community connections – Grocery stores are so important to communities, from supplying food for us to purchase to supporting different organizations. Find out what your favorite IGA store is doing in your community.
Kim Kirchherr, MS, RD, LDN, CDE, FAND