We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow the earth from our
-Native American Proverb
We have been treating the Earth like we don't live on it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

GSG: Eat at Home

(My local meal from this summer.)

We all know eating at home saves you money, that is the given here. We also know eating at home, with your loved ones, promotes family togetherness. And we all know that it is healthier, if you don't fry everything you eat and bring lots of veggies to the table. But greener? Is it really greener to eat at home. Yes.

Having your meals at home is a lot greener than eating out. Let's start with the basics.
  • Less air pollution. You don't have to drive to the restaurant. But, you say, I have to drive to the grocery store. Yes you do but you can do multiple meal shopping while there.
  • You have more opportunity to choose organic, fair trade or local. More and more restaurants are providing greener options but not like your local grocery store is. For instance, I like to go to Panera Bread for lunch at times. They offer organic peanut butter and organic milk for the kids to eat but my meal is not. But if I eat something similar at home I can bring home an organic salad with homemade soup made from organic vegetables.
  • Less waste. This mostly applies to fast food where you are served on disposable containers. At home we can eat on reusable glass plates and glasses. And cook in them also.
  • Less pollutants. This can cover so many areas I don't think I can list them all. But one that comes to mind is your cookware. If you cook without Teflon, say glass baking dishes or cast iron, you know your kitchen is environmentally friendly. But what does your favorite restaurant cook with? Who knows. Maybe we should ask.
  • And lastly, you have better portion control thus not wasting food. How many of you eat half of a hamburger at a restaurant and just leave it there to be thrown out? I am guilty of that sometimes. This is wasteful on many levels. But if you eat at home you can have half a burger and refrigerate the rest for tomorrow. I know, you can bring food home in a doggy bag. One, better bring your reusable container to do that. And two, who really brings home a full hamburger and then eats the mushy lettuce and soggy bread later? At home you can easily store everything separate and eat non-soggy leftovers later.

I know I probably missed a lot of reasons eating at home is just generally better than eating out but you can add those in the comments. I think my readers got the idea.

Oh, one more thing, eating at home does not include delivery. That is more expensive and is still non-green. So make your own pizza with the kids.

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