Keeping waste to a minimum has been something ingrained in me from childhood. My mother often said, “Waste not, want not”. If as a child we chose not to eat what our mother made for dinner, it would be wrapped and placed in the refrigerator. The next morning for breakfast, it would be heated and served again. Then again that night for dinner. The cycle would repeat until we either ate it or it went bad and was tossed out. Of course that came with a spanking, so we did not allow it to go that far too many times. My mom would also make reference to children going hungry around the world, not because they did not like what was on their plate, but because their plate was empty.
Then in March this year, I made the plunge to live a vegan lifestyle. Prior to that I reduced meat consumption, transitioned from ground beef to ground turkey, moved to fresh/frozen vegetables instead of canned, and even cooked nearly all of my meals myself at home. My food waste is nearly zero, especially now that I compost all kitchen scrapes.
Growing up poor, public transit or walking has been the main form of getting around. I carried this over into adulthood and began tracking my walking miles, releasing those miles publicly beginning in January 2017. With over 4200 miles since January 2017, that equates to 4200 miles with very little carbon footprint. When you add in that the vast amount of travel is done via public transportation (bus/train), my impact on the climate in terms of transportation is very low. And I plan to keep it that way, using as much public transit as possible.
Other Green Ways
In addition to walking, using public transit, going vegan, composting my kitchen scraps, I have also:
- Begun growing my own vegetables at home
- Using reusable bags for produces & grains
- Reducing energy consumption through meal prepping
- Continuing to invest in green friendly lighting (CFL/LED)
- Using natural light during the day, conserving the need for lighting for nighttime
- Installed solar powered lighting so I no longer need to run a porch light
Many of these changes are small and simple to perform. Yet collectively they can add up to a good reduction of personal environmental waste, with an added side benefit of a reduction on the wallet.