Tuesday, April 22, 2008

It’s Easy Being Green

Ever since I watched “An Inconvenient Truth,” I’ve tried to be diligent about reducing my carbon footprints. (BTW, I would so love to have lunch with Al Gore just to see what he eats!) So today being Earth Day, I think it’s a good time to remind everyone about the little things we can do every day to help our planet. I’m focusing on things related to food or the kitchen:

Re-bag it. In the Bay Area, I’m seeing more people carrying reusable cloth bags. Yay! This is the best way to go shopping. My tip: Buy more than one bag so that you’ll always have one in your car when you go shopping. Sometimes you bring your groceries into the house and then forget to bring the bag back out to the car. So buy a few extras to keep in your car or near your door to make it easy to grab on your way out. If you’re a Bay Area resident, the San Francisco Ferry Building is passing out free reusable bags on the South Side of the building today (4/22) while supplies last or until 2 p.m.

Dispose of the garbage disposal. My garbage disposal in my apartment konked out last year. But instead of replacing it, I paid $200 for a plumber to come and remove the relic. I feel it’s money well spent. I read somewhere that people end up using more energy standing there with the power switch on churning away at waste that can easily be thrown into a compost station in their backyards. Even if you don’t have a compost station, throwing away the waste that eventually decomposes in landfills is a better option than wasting energy used to churn it up.

Shop local. This is the mantra of the Bay Area and sustainable food lovers. By buying locally produced products, you’re not contributing to companies that consume tons of gasoline each year to transport goods to the consumers. So spend more of your money at farmers markets where local farmers aren’t bringing goods across the country to you. Luckily in the Bay Area, there are tons of farmers markets to choose from. (Check out this list from the San Francisco Chronicle.)


Anonymous said...

Chef Ben, my garbage disposal is currently conked out, but we made an appt for someone to fix it... i'm composting as much as I can otherwise, I just hate it when the drain clogs up!

Single Guy Ben said...

Foodhoe, maybe your drain clogs more often because it has a garbage disposal in the piping? ;-)

Just as long as you're not one of those people who turn on the disposal for every little single item. I know it's hard for some of us to give up some of these modern conveniences. But I grew up with no garbage disposal so I'm used to not having one.