Photo: Cabbage Growing in a Field

by Manjari Fergusson

Earth Day is a good time to jumpstart a more eco-friendly and healthy lifestyle. Here are a few switches you can make to establish a greener way of living:

From conventional green, leafy vegetables to organic

Green, leafy vegetables are often heavily sprayed, but it’s worth the extra money to switch over to clean and organic… still chock full of vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, and fiber,1 but without the toxic agrochemicals.

From refined grains to whole grains

Refined grains like white rice and white flour are processed and have lost most if not all of their nutritional value. Whole grains such as brown rice and whole wheat have their nutritional profile intact and haven’t been overly processed, making them a better source of nutrients and fiber.

From meat diet to plant-based diet

At Down to Earth, we believe that the single most important thing an individual can do for their health, for the environment, and for the sake of the innocent animals is to adopt a plant-based diet. A recent study found plant-based diets are better for the environment than meat-based diets. Among other things, producing meat requires enormous amounts of land and water.2

From national chain stores to shopping local

Down to Earth has a strong commitment to selling local products: we purchase over $3 million in products from 400 local vendors including over 100 farmers and growers each year. Overall this is better for the environment, is fresher, uses less energy for transport, helps our local vendors achieve success, and supports our Island communities.

From plastic bottles to reusable bottles

Sadly, most of the plastic bottles that the U.S. goes through in a year (around 50 billion) don’t get recycled. Do your part by switching to a reusable water bottle, such as a HydroFlask. A small initial investment is so worth it in the long run for our planet.3

Footnotes: 

1 “The Health Benefits of Dark Green Leafy Vegetables”, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture. http://www2.ca.uky.edu/agc/pubs/FCS3/FCS3567/FCS3567.pdf
2 Baroni, L., Cenci, L., Tettemanti, M. and Berati, M. 2006. Evaluating the environmental impact of various dietary patterns combined with different food production systems. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 1-8: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~choucc/environmental_impact_of_various_di...
3 Karlstrom, Solve and Dell’Amore, Christine. “Why Tap Water is Better Than Bottled Water”, National Geographic. March 13, 2010. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/3/why-tap-water-is-better/