To celebrate the planet this April 22, your family might have plans to plant a tree or participate in a local park clean up. But what about eating an eco-friendly meal? Here, three simple ways to green your family’s diet on Earth Day—and beyond!
Cutting back on animal products—or giving them up entirely—is one of the most significant ways families can cut their carbon footprints, since it requires more energy to produce meat than to produce plant foods. Get started by eating vegetarian or vegan one day a week, and build from there. Check out our collection of kid-pleasing recipes for inspiration, and read tips for creating filling meals from one of our editors (she went vegan for an entire week!).
Seek sustainable seafood
A whopping 80 percent of the world’s fisheries are overfished or depleted, and irresponsibly farmed fish can pollute the water and harm ecosystems. Your family can help protect our oceans by choosing seafood that’s been certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council. Find MSC-certified seafood and other ocean-friendly options at Whole Food Market; the grocery chain announced that, as of Earth Day 2012, it will no longer sell red-rated seafood (which is overfished or caught in a way that harms marine life).
When you can, buy local
There’s no better time than spring to explore the offerings available at your local farmers’ market. The average grocery store item travels up to 1,500 miles from the farm where it was grown before being purchased, adding up to a whole lot of energy used for transportation. Since they only have to travel a short distance to market, locally grown foods have a lower carbon footprint—and usually taste fresher, too!