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.
Throughout the week we shared tips from Brenda Springer, Sustainable Blacksburg’s Treasurer and a member of the Blacksburg Farmers Market Board of Directors.
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!
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!
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.
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.
Done reading the most recent post on 21 Actions for 2021? Check out our archive of actions to continue learning and taking action!