Happy New Year. We've all had a chance to enjoy the celebrations, and perhaps even spent some time thinking of the things we want to do or change. We don't need a crystal ball to know that prices will go up, and there will be challenges, and opportunities...but it does help to have a plan. Or maybe, to ensure we have some flexibility, a guideline. Our guideline, then, would include the following:
- Live small
- Buy less
- Waste nothing
- Tread lightly
- Bike more
- Walk more
- Share more
- Be smart
- Think ahead
We know that food will be more expensive in the coming year. We can offset that by:
- Cutting back on meat. Even if you only go meatless on Mondays, you will be saving a lot of your food budget. Just imagine if you chose meatless for three days a week!
- Reclaim the nutrition in your "waste food" (poultry bones and/or vegetable scraps and peels) by making stock. You can save it up in freezer bags until you have enough to boil up (and have the time to do it).
- Plan your meals. More planning of menus and meals means you will purchase less of items that are impulse or that will go bad before being used.
- Stock up in season and on items that you know you will use, when they are on sale.
- Learn some basic canning or pickling to extend the value of your food purchases. This will allow you to take advantage of bargains when they are available, and provide more variety in your diet.
- Take advantage of some of the most economical and nutritious foods in your meal plans - oats, dried beans (lots of good protein here), garlic, celery, tomatoes, and onions.
And as for the other necessities of life:
- Remember to turn off the lights, and unplug appliances that are not in use to save on your electric bill.
- Shop thrift and resale shops when you can, it keeps usable items out of the landfills.
- Donate to thrift shops, to homeless shelters, animal shelters or your favorite charity when you replace towels, blankets, clothing and furniture.
- If you have something that is still usable, but that you are planning on throwing away - list it in your local Freecycle group or on Craigslist as a free item. Perhaps someone else will get some use out of it, and it keeps it out of the landfill.
- Recycle what you can - watch for recycle events, make it a personal challenge to see how much you can recycle. Encourage your kids and your neighbors to recycle, too!
- If you have fruit trees or a vegetable garden, share the bounty with the local charities that help to feed those less fortunate than you.
- Walk or bike more, take the time to see your neighborhood, and meet your neighbors.
- Count your blessings.
Here's wishing you a happy, healthy, and prosperous sustainable new year!
Comments? Questions? Story information, product to review or breaking news? Please contact Natalia Corres at Natalia@bakwep.com.
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