How My Family and I are Reducing Waste

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This is our 7th year as a Floridian, and as we all get ready to face Hurricane Dorian, both at home and at the hospital, I can’t help but once again reflect how climate change and global warming has directly impacted the frequency and severity of hurricanes and the ruthless damage to lives and property that can occur.
Whether reading books, watching programs on TV, and/or learning by digital media, there is NO DOUBT that climate change has been occurring and each of us, as well as collectively, have contributed to the devastating changes occurring on our planet in various ways. The modern convenience of using plastic, buying individually packaged products, excessive consumption of meat, wasting food, water, and living in excess of materialist objects, have all resulted in missed opportunities to live responsibly. I am on my own journey and as a family, we are accountable for every micro action we can take, to reduce our own carbon footprint, definition: the amount of carbon dioxide and other carbon compounds emitted due to the consumption of fossil fuels by a particular person, group, etc.
Recently we started watching “MARS”—a series on National Geographic Channel—which has made me so grateful for living on EARTH with an abundance of water. Water that sustains us when not in the form of 15-20 feet surges, flooding, 25 inches of rain, due to category 3,4 or even 5, hurricanes.
Here is what I, and we as family, do pretty well as far as reducing waste:
  1. Eat leftovers until they go bad.
  2. When cooking produce, I use nearly every bit, including the stems of broccoli! 
  3. We eat red meat rarely, once every couple of weeks or more.
  4. We love and I cook fresh vegetables daily, and eat lots of fresh fruit.
  5. We bring home leftovers from restaurants almost always, unless we are without refrigeration when traveling.
  6. We stopped being COSTCO or SAM’S CLUB members since 2013, no longer buying in bulk.
  7. I cook seafood at least twice a week, sometimes 3 times.
Here is what we can and will do better:
  1. Consider starting to compost.
  2. Eat even less meat, chicken included.
  3. Buy “UGLY” vegetables.
  4. Reduce what I throw away when cleaning the fridge, just to make room for new produce/fruit that I buy.
  5. Buy less groceries (I have a habit of buying more than we need).
  6. Cook more lentils and beans. My cultural background did not include lentils and beans so it’s not a natural “like food” for me. I did grow up eating mung beans and red beans, and enjoy them mostly as dessert items, but I can cook them again.
  7. I need to cook more “Chinese” style, the way I grew up eating: more soy based and tofu based products, more stir fry, much much less meat of any kind.
  8. I need to continue expanding my cooking repertoire and recipes, and try making more Indian vegetarian dishes, amongst other ethnic cuisines.
Challenge yourself and your family today to make changes that will benefit our beautiful planet. Let’s do what we can to protect this amazing and gorgeous planet that we live in.
My daughter drinking from a stainless straw
My daughter using a stainless straw!

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