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10 Ways to start eating green every day

Michelle Dudash, RD, is nationally recognized as an expert in teaching people how health and food can happily co-exist. Through her 18 years of food business experience as a Le Cordon Bleu certified chef having cooked at a five star rest...

Green up your diet

If you’ve wanted to do your part to leave a small carbon footprint on the planet but don’t think you have the time or money, think again. Here are 10 things you can start doing today to help save the planet.

Woman with cloth shopping bags

Top 10 ways to start eating green!

Drink filtered water in your own aluminum water bottle or glass.

There is little, if any, evidence showing that bottled water is any better for you than good ol' water out of the tap. If the taste of your tap water doesn't thrill you, drink filtered water from your fridge, or use a filtered pitcher, such as those made by Brita.

Imported, foreign goods are out; local products are in.

This goes for wine, olive oil, pasta and any other food that is made just as well in the United States, because it has a shorter distance to travel, requiring less gasoline. Just read the label.

Buy seasonal produce grown in the United States.

Most grocery stores now label the country of origin for produce items. Local is more eco-friendly because it doesn't have to travel those long distances in temperature-controlled environments.

Get obsessed with recycling.

Keep it convenient and discreet by placing the recycle bin in the cabinet under the kitchen sink. Recycle corrugated cardboard and glass, as well as plastics with a number one or two symbol.

Remove the cap.

Recycling centers are so busy that they do not have time to remove and sort the caps from your bottles, so those bottles just get added to the landfill. Before you toss it, remove the cap from your soda bottle, milk jug or medicine bottle, because each piece is made of different material.

Be aware of the bags.

If you keep forgetting to use your cloth grocery bags, many grocery stores now collect your old plastic bags for recycling. These programs accept dry cleaning bags, too.

Think outside the cow.

While beef offers many important nutrients, cows leave a larger carbon footprint on the planet than other protein sources. Mix up your meals with free-range chicken, wild salmon, canned light tuna, and beans and legumes.

Waste not, want not.

If you don't have a use for all that bubble wrap and paper stuffing -- and those foam peanuts from your last online specialty food shopping spree -- mailing stores such as UPS are happy to take it off your hands to reuse it.

Buy more fresh and canned foods and fewer frozen.

Do you know how long that gigantic box of TV dinners has been in your freezer? It takes a lot of energy to keep these foods frozen, whether you're home or out of town.

Brew your own iced tea.

Which do you think is heavier: One tea bag or a bottle of tea? The dry pouches not only take up less space on a truck, but they also weigh much less per serving, saving on the amount of gasoline needed to transport your favorite drink from the manufacturer to your kitchen.

More ways to eat green

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