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Bankrate's 2007 Living Green, Saving Green Guide
Green today
Learn 153 ways to be eco-friendly while saving green.
Green today
153 ways to go green
Food/groceries: Short term
Tips » Short term $ Factor
Tip 91:
Buy organic.
Organic products are grown without synthetic pesticides and herbicides and processed without the addition of synthetic chemicals. Ingredients also aren't irradiated or genetically modified. Synthetic chemicals come from crude oil and require more crude oil to manufacture. In addition, the farmers growing your organic choices won't be adding those petrochemicals to the soil, and you won't be ingesting trace amounts with the food. One test by the Organic Consumers Association, or OCA, found traces of 38 pesticides and herbicides in a popular cereal.
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Some organic options are more expensive. Other products, like cereal and some fruits and vegetables, are very competitive. The secret: Compare prices, buy produce in season and don't buy more than you can use. Many larger retailers and specialty grocers carry a wide selection of organics and you can find a list of smaller local retailers in OCA's Buyer's Guide. If you can't afford to go all organic, try to buy organic versions of the most chemically treated fruits and vegetables: peaches, apples, celery, sweet bell peppers and nectarines. Learn how your favorites rank or get a downloadable guide at FoodNews.org.
Tip 92:
Buy foods produced locally.
The idea "is really picking up speed," says Jennifer Powers, spokeswoman for the Natural Resources Defense Council. "We don't think about the energy used in shipping." In addition, you'll be supporting the local farmers, many of whom are using more earth-friendly farming methods, she says.
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Often, locally produced food is less expensive. On average, U.S. supermarket food travels 1,500 to 2,500 miles before it reaches the family table. Buying local foods can reduce the amount of petroleum consumed to transport your dinner by as much as 95 percent. Of the total energy used in the U.S. per year, 4 percent was used to produce food and 10 percent to 13 percent was used to transport it. And you boost the local economy.
Tip 93:
Add vegan meals to your diet.
Electing to go vegan for just one meal a week can impact the planet, says Bruce Friedrich, vice president of campaigns for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
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Theoretically, we could feed more people with a similar amount of resources, says Friedrich. Forty million people die of starvation-related causes annually, says Friedrich. But animal-based calories take an average of six to 20 times the amount of resources to produce as plant-based calories, he says.
-- Posted: Oct. 4, 2007

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