Sustainability Steps

During one of my nutrition classes last semester, we spent the class talking about sustainability in food service.  Prior to the class, each of us had to find a reputable article discussing sustainability in the food service industry and then share it in class.  There were some really interesting articles that people shared and we had a discussion about some of the small things that people can do to lessen their carbon footprint by having more sustainable habits.

I thought I would share some of them here so maybe you can try some of them!  I sure will!

  • Don’t use paper napkins at home.  Buy a few good quality cloth napkins and use them for a couple days before washing them.  I know when I eat, I take a napkin (or 5) and don’t really use it.  They could definitely be used again, but always get thrown away.  Anyway, use the cloth napkins and throw them into the normal loads of laundry.
  • Don’t use paper towels.  What do we use paper towels for?  We use them to clean up messes.  This can be done with old towels that have been cut into manageable sizes.  Again, just throw them in with your laundry.
  • Don’t send lunch in conventional plastic or paper bags.  This is the best suggestion yet!  When my brother and I were younger, it was a rare day when our lunch came in a brown paper bag.  Lunches were always sent in recycled boxes and bags (think granola bar boxes, cereal boxes, tasti kake boxes, and pretzel bags).  Other students would see the boxes and ask for a cake or granola bar, but “no, this is just my lunch…”.  Embarrassing, yes.  Sustainable?  Double yes.  Re-usable lunch boxes are also a great idea.  They’re normal in elementary and middle school, but they become uncool in high school.  Hey, if brought my lunch to school, I would still bring a lunch box.  No shame.Flower_Lunch_box__96317.1344577815.1280.1280(Source)
  • Turn the water off while you brush your teeth.  If you never turn it off, think about how much water gets wasted every day…week..month…year…over the course of your life!
  • Use every part of the food.  Buying a chicken or turkey?  Boil the carcass for soup.
  • Making vegetables?  Juice or saute the stems.
  • Turn off the shower while you shave or condition or whatever else it is that you do in there.  Yes, I actually do this- but only in the summer.  It’s really tough to convince myself to do this in the winter.
  • Turn off the lights when you aren’t using them.  This one seems obvious, but do you really turn off the light every time you leave the room?  When we are home, if we are all in the kitchen, then the only light that is on is the light in the kitchen.  It saves a lot of money!  If we happen to leave another light on, my dad says “so you own stock in the electric company now?”
  • And the most obvious…Recycle!  It only takes an extra ten seconds to throw recyclable materials into the right container.  Just make sure you wash it out, first!photo(111)I took this photo in the residence hall…

What other suggestions do you have?

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