Earth Day Tips for Gluten-Free Eaters
Happy Earth Day!
Here are ten tips from The Gluten Free Yogi on how to be green AND gluten-free, simultaneously!
- Support local farms & businesses.
- Food can sometimes travel a long way to get to your table. All that travel equals unnecessary fossil fuels in the atmosphere and an unhappy earth. Supporting local farms and business is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and help the planet. Plus, it’s a nice way to connect to your community. Whenever I go to my local farmer’s market, I’m always amazed at how many gluten-free goodies I find— breads, baked goods, trail mixes, PLUS, vegetables, fruits and meats are all naturally gluten-free! Also, eating locally isn’t just confined the farmer’s market. The next time you’re at the grocery store, pay more attention to where your food is from and when you have a choice, choose local. The planet will thank you.
- As much as I’d love to eat watermelon or strawberries in February, they’re both really expensive because they are shipped from far, far away. They also don’t taste the same as they do in the summertime. When you buy foods in season, there’s a greater likelihood that you’re buying more locally, too. So it’s really a win-win!
- Bring your own water… Buying bottled water equals plastic bottles in our landfills, streets, and waterways. Investing in a few durable water bottles (that are BPA free if they’re plastic) and bringing filtered tap water with you or keeping a glass or mug at work if you have filtered tap water nearby, helps a lot!
- Buying frozen fruits and vegetables allows you to have certain foods out of season. For example, if you choose the frozen organic asparagus from California in the dead of winter over the conventional asparagus from South America, you’re helping the planet, supporting US agriculture AND getting your much-needed intake of vegetables, vitamins and nutrients.
- We all go to the grocery store. A lot. Bringing your own bags equals less plastic bags blown into our waterways. Just make sure you have the reusable ones with you before you hit the road! Also, if you bring your gluten-free lunch to work with you, bring your lunch in reusable containers.
- As Joni Mitchell once sang, “Don’t care about spots on my apples, leave me the birds at the bees.” Buying organic produce AND packaged gluten-free goods is a great way to help your body and the planet. Organic foods aren’t produced with chemical food additives, industrial solvents or irradiation. And (bonus!) they tend to taste better, too. Make sure you’re always buying “the dirty dozen” foods organic, which are the foods that have the highest pesticide residue. For a complete list, click here.
- While some cleaning products have miraculous ways of scrubbing sinks and tubs or polishing floors, they’re not always made with the planet in mind. Consequently, they can leach toxins. Children and animals can be especially sensitive to toxins but the truth is, we all are… and while the impact might not be apparent right away, some of these toxins can be carcinogenic. I recommend researching the most earth-friendly products OR making your own! Believe it or not, lemon juice and vinegar aren’t just good for your body!
- If you enjoy the occasional gluten-free cereal or beverage, just remember to recycle the containers when you’re done. All those packaged goods can add up over a lifetime all over the planet, so the more we can each do to help, the better. It also helps to repurpose glass containers as glasses, vases or food storage containers.
- If you live in the ‘burbs or the country, or even in the city, composting is a great way to put all those apple cores and asparagus stems back into the soil. If you’re not willing or able to compost yourself, you’re in luck because composting services are popping up around the country, which offer compost pick-up right at your door!
- Whether you’ve got the land to plant a big garden or you live in an apartment that only has a window sill large enough for a few small plants, planting your own gardens let’s you enjoy your own home-grown produce! Plus, there’s nothing more satisfying than eating food you’ve grown yourself.