21 Actions For 2021

Sustainable living is important because it ensures future generations a habitable world they can enjoy. But what does it mean to live sustainably and what exactly are we trying to accomplish? 

A sustainable lifestyle attempts to reduce our impact on the environment by altering our methods of transportation, energy consumption, and diet to reduce our emissions; reducing the amount of waste we produce and throw away to conserve resources; and taking other actions to enhance and protect our remaining natural areas to preserve wildlife habitat and biodiversity.

Every little change we make as individuals adds up to big changes for the world. And these big changes are going to impact how future generations live here.

That’s why we have created a list of 21 Actions for 2021. These include steps we can all take in our individual lives as well as throughout our community that put us on a path to sustainable living.

Week 9 Recap: Eat More Sustainably

Throughout the week we shared tips from Brenda Springer, Sustainable Blacksburg’s Treasurer and a member of the Blacksburg Farmers Market Board of Directors.

Meatless Monday

Go Meatless Monday, or any day you choose. Eating more vegetables and opting out of conventionally-raised meat even one day a week reduces the impacts on our planet. Diet for a Small Planet: 50th Anniversary Edition, TO BE RELEASED FALL 2021, By Frances Moore Lappé provides an in-depth look at reasons to choose a non-meat diet. Plus, eating more vegetables is not just good for you, it can be delicious! We would love to hear about some of your favorite meatless dishes.

Eat What’s In Season

By choosing in-season foods your food has a shorter distance to travel to get to you. It takes fewer resources to grow food in season. And you develop a closer connection to your local ecosystem, knowing when blackberries are ready. And the taste of a strawberry in May from a local grower can’t be beat!

Visit the Blacksburg Farmers Market or a local farm stand to see what’s being grown in our area right now!

Photo by Nadine Primeau on Unsplash

Check out the Seasonal Produce Guide from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The Environmental Impact of Food Packaging

Reduce the packaged, processed food in your grocery cart. Most food packaging is designed for a single use. This waste creates litter and garbage. In 2014, out of the 258 million tons of municipal solid waste generated in the US, more than 63 percent was of packaging materials (for food and other purposes). The best ways to combat this is to buy food in its least processed form – an apple needs no packaging at all. Buying in bulk with reusable containers is another great idea. Your food choices affect the waste stream!

Infographic from Foodprint.org

Sustainable Seafood

The seafood industry has both good and bad aspects when it comes to sustainability. There are three pillars to sustainability: environmental protection, social responsibility and economic viability. And all of these components are important to ensuring that the fisheries and aquaculture we rely on for food and livelihoods thrive into the future.

Choose to refer to a reliable guide to sustainable seafood choices when buying your meal. Seafood Watch has a wealth of information for individuals and businesses regarding sustainable seafood.

Support Local Farmers

Our local farmers are in our neighborhoods and many of them are avid proponents of sustainable practices. Talk to your farmers, ask about their practices. And travel distance for your food is another great reason to support local farmers. Check out the region’s local farmers markets and your dollars stay local, your food stays local, there is less processing and packaging, and it tastes great!

Buy Local, Eat Local, Be Local – at the Blacksburg Farmers Market

You can also refer to our first week’s action to Support Local Food Sources to find pick-your-own farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) programs and other opportunities to support local farmers.

Coming Up…

Week 10 starts tomorrow! Join us as we discuss ways to Reduce Food Waste and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook to see daily updates.

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Done reading the most recent post on 21 Actions for 2021? Check out our archive of actions to continue learning and taking action!

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Week 11: Cut Water Use

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Week 10: Reduce Food Waste

The FDA estimates that 30-40% of our food supply is wasted and the EPA estimates that in 2018 about 68% of this wasted food (that’s …
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Week 9 Recap: Eat More Sustainably

Throughout the week we shared tips from Brenda Springer, Sustainable Blacksburg’s Treasurer and a member of the Blacksburg Farmers Market Board of Directors. Meatless Monday Go Meatless …
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Week 9: Eat More Sustainably

While shopping for groceries, eating sustainably can often be one of the last things we think about. Our focus may be on getting the most …
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Week 8 Recap: Buy Smarter

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Week 8: Buy Smarter

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Resources for Sustainable Transportation

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Week 6: Sustainable Gift Giving

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Week 5: Spend Time Outdoors

Studies have shown over and over the immense benefits of spending time outdoors – both for us and also for the earth. However, according to …
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Week 4 Recap: Volunteer

This week we highlighted many different ways you can volunteer around Blacksburg – activities that help the earth as well as activities that help each …
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Week 4: Volunteer

This is a special week for us and for the Earth. Earth Day is this Thursday (April 22nd) and there are a lot of activities …
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Native Tree Giveaway!

Plant SWVA Natives and Sustainable Blacksburg are partnering to distribute native oak and red bud trees in the New River Valley this spring. Both trees …
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Week 3: Native Plants

We touched upon this briefly last week but Adding Native Plants to Your Landscape is such an important topic we want to dedicate week 3 …
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Week 2: Lawn & Garden

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Week 1: Support Local Food Sources

Support Local Food Sources Photo by Katie Jowett on Unsplash We’re kicking off our 21 Actions for 2021 with Supporting Local Food Sources. One of the {many} awesome things about …
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