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Overshootday: 10 tips to make better use of what we have

August 20, 2013

I hope you never happened to end the salary the 20th of the month and for the remaining 10 days to live with what is put aside.

Of course, every time this happens you go to erode more and more of your reserves (often very small). This is in a nutshell the Over Shoot Day what has happened to the earth today, because the use of natural resources we are consuming is a rate greater than that at which they regenerate.

For several years we live above the possibility of the earth so that by 2050 there will need at least 2  earths in order to sustain our lifestyle.

From now until 31/12/2013 we will use the natural reserves of the earth because the consumption of resources are in excess of their capacity for regeneration (eg water, soil, air, flora, fauna, minerals, etc.).

To learn more visit the website of the ecological footprint Footprint Network or WWF.

From today, there’s one more reason to make better use of what we have and minimize the waste of resources. Here is my small handbook to reduce food waste and their carbon footprint:

1) Nutrition – Reduce as much as possible the consumption of animal products such as meat, fish, dairy and eggs – the animal and fish breedings consume soil and water and contribute to their contamination;

2) Garden Plot – Manufacture your fruits and vegetables you eat .. or at least try it. Even 1m2 can produce tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, radishes, salad, strawberries, etc..

3) Homemade – Learning to do on your own the products you consume every day saving money, reducing waste and the consumption of resources as well as to eat in a healthier way. Select raw ingredients mainly vegetable, seasonal, and having run at least possible way: eg. bread, yogurt even soy, seitan, tempeh, melba toast, jams, drinks, ice cream;

4) SHOPPING – Buy only what you really need, “less is more” avoiding making excessive stocks of food that might go bad before you could eat them;

5) Pantry – manage your pantry in a rational way: it may sound banal but it’s in the pantry that go bad most of the products we throw away. Tightly close the packs, pay attention on the expiry dates, use the vacuum machine to last as long as possible the products. Beware if the pantry is in a hot and humid room (eg, near a stove) because you could quickly deteriorate the products;

6) WASTE in the kitchen – When you cook try to use 100% of products. Learn how to use even the skins, stems, leaves, stalks, for example the skin of the pumpkin and the fruit, the outer leaves of the artichoke or those of the fennel, the stalks of cabbage, the cores of apples and pears … (for any doubt see the recipes in this blog). Recycle cooking water as a base for soups or broths. Use the water used to wash fruits and vegetables for the garden;

7) At the table – Eat right – The tendency to stuff ourselves, or to eat more than we need has consequences for our health, for the pockets and of course also for the environment because a person overweight has an ecological footprint greater than a thin one. The tendency to eat more and more often junk food high in fat, sugar and salt is addictive and it will change more and more the way we feed ourselves. Try to eat less but investing more in products fresh, high quality, best craft production, as taught by Slow Food;

8) The Leftovers – when you prepare the dinner try to cook only what you know will be consumed trying to avoid cooking for 10 if you are 4. The excess in this case too often results in wastage. If there’s anything really strive to transform it and consume it over the following days. An example of this: any surplus (vegetables, legumes, meats, fish, breads) can become the basis for a pasta, a soup or croquettes / meatballs and meatloaf;

9) Water – Use only tap water, avoiding unnecessary effort to take home heavy water tanks and produce packaging to dispose of. Forget the filter jugs that are useless or even may be harmful. To improve the taste of tap water put it in a bottle and store it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes without a cap. After this time, you can plug it and store it in the refrigerator.

10) Friends – try to involve your friends and motivate them to a lifestyle more sustainable … hope is always the last to die.


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