5 Sustainable Swaps You Can Start Making To Support The Planet This Earth Month

By Megan Faletra, MS, MPH, RDN

Many people are currently having conversations about how we can better reconnect with nature, and what we can do to help protect this beautiful planet we get to call home. And once we start to see ourselves as a part of nature, it becomes much easier to reflect on small changes that we can make to not only improve the health of our planet but our own health as well.

When it comes to supporting Mother Nature, the problems that exist within our current climate crisis often feel overwhelming. But, in reality, there is so much that we can do as individuals. While one person alone may not be capable of solving the environmental issues we currently experience, millions of voices together can absolutely make a difference.

In honor of Earth Month, we’re focusing on all of the simple and sustainable swaps that we can make today—and that, when multiplied by communities around the world, can create the change we need to see.

Eat More Organic Plant-Based Foods

Eating more organic plant-based foods is one simple way that you can immediately reduce your carbon footprint and support a food system that is working in favor of biodiversity and soil health, both of which are essential for pulling carbon down from the atmosphere and trapping it within the soil where it belongs. It is estimated that a mostly plant-based diet can reduce a person’s food related carbon footprint by more than half, which when multiplied by millions of people can really make an impact.

Support Your Local Organic Farmers

Most likely wherever you live there are farmers growing food within your own community and they desperately need your support. Small organic farmers have been working to protect food security and a sustainable food system for decades, but many can unfortunately barely make ends meet. By joining a local CSA or consistently purchasing from your local farmers at farmers markets, you are choosing to put your money into your local food system and the people who are feeding you and your family.

Shop Locally

Shopping locally for all items from home goods to food is another way that you can dramatically reduce your carbon emissions and waste. When you shop locally not only are you investing your money into your local community, but you also can reduce the transportation related carbon emissions that are associated with the goods you are purchasing.

Similarly, when you purchase items online or from far away, they usually come wrapped in an excess of plastic or styrofoam packaging, which can create a lot of unnecessary waste over time. So as much as possible, try to shop locally from smaller makers and put your money back into a system that is putting your community and the planet first.

Reduce Your Waste

We have a massive global waste problem—so when it comes to creating a more sustainable lifestyle, we really can’t skip over talking about waste. Today it is estimated that more than 40% of all food that is produced goes to waste, and that the average American produces roughly 4 lbs of waste per day! From single use plastic bags, water bottles, straws, and cups to food going bad in the back of your refrigerator, it is clear that we have a waste problem and it’s time we did something about it.

To start, begin by thinking about the ways that you can reduce your waste immediately. Maybe you could start meal planning so food doesn’t go bad in your refrigerator before you can eat it, or perhaps you have the outdoor space to begin your own home compost.

You also could make the simple switch to using a reusable water bottle, carrying your own reusable utensils when you order take out, and switching to reusable coffee cups for your daily coffee. All of these small changes can result in a significant reduction in waste, and they are things you could start doing today!

Buy From Sustainable Brands

Business has a big role to play in protecting our planet, which is why buying from sustainable and socially responsible brands is so important. Companies that are choosing to invest in sustainable supply chains, source organic ingredients, and reduce their carbon footprint as much as possible are the brands that we should be supporting with our money over other brands who are choosing to turn a blind eye to our climate crisis. To learn more about the sustainability program at The Jackfruit Company and all the work that is being done to make a positive impact on both people and planet click here.

By making these simple changes, you can dramatically change the way your personal life impacts our planet. What’s more, your friends and family members will likely notice what you are doing and will want to get involved! So start small and do the best you can to live more sustainably this Earth Month. Mother Nature will definitely thank you!