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The Week of Monday, March 10

When we think about preserving the environment, we often focus on efficient cars, light bulbs and recycling items like bottles, cans, plastic bags and newspapers.  But the food choices we make also have a HUGE impact on the environment.  Here are some important facts you should consider:

  • Fact# 1:  Collectively, U.S. citizens waste roughly 55 million tons of food per year. That’s close to 40% of our country’s entire food supply!  Where does food waste end up you ask? Landfills – which not only creates a space problem, but the rotting food also attracts pests and rodents, and creates chemical imbalances in the soil. Worse yet, it also produces a potent greenhouse gas called methane, which can lead to global warming effects.
  • Fact#2:  Raising livestock for food accounts for 20% of man-made greenhouses gases emitted each year.  By simply cutting one pound of meat a week from your diet, you reduce more harmful gas emissions than your car produces during a 750-mile roadtrip.  At the same time, you’re also saving about 840 gallons of water – enough to take five-minute showers daily for eight months!
  • Fact#3:  Fresh fruits and vegetables come wrapped in their own natural package – peels and skins.  So, by eating fresh, wholesome foods, you’re cutting out the waste created by processing and packaging foods.

Interestingly, Mother Nature is also a big recycling center.  Bugs and warms decompose plant foods and waste (not necessarily meats or processed foods), which infuses soil with nutrients and makes it more productive.  However, if we continue to create large amounts of garbage that cannot be recycled by nature, it can result in everyone and everything around us becoming sick, including humans, plants, animals, soil, mountains, rivers, lakes and our beloved oceans, too!

It’s important to remember we’re all links in the chain called life, and together we can help produce a sustainable and healthy environment for all to share. Remember, what is healthy for us is also good for the planet.