It’s always a great time to establish some sustainable traditions as a family! You can find small ways to add sustainable practices to your family routine and begin to teach your kids from an early age that going green isn’t tough. Here are a few ways to implement green routines in your home!

Reducing Waste 101

One of the easiest ways to tackle waste reduction is to keep track of expiration dates and make more frequent grocery trips instead of stocking up for an entire week in one trip. This eliminates the chances of buying more than you actually need and the problem of food becoming overripe before you can use it. If frequent trips during the week do not fit into your schedule, try to find ways to use items that are close to becoming too ripe. There are many ways to save fresh items from going to waste, such as freezing. Frozen fruit or greens can be added to smoothies, and frozen veggies can be used the next time you make broth. If the product is past its peak of freshness, try repurposing it in a recipe. Produce is often great for baking when it’s starting to turn brown. Instead of tossing bananas in the garbage, for example, try using them in a banana bread recipe or as an egg substitute.

Composting 101

If all else fails and you do end up with food waste, try composting. It’s a natural way to recycle food scraps. Compost is organic material that can be used in your garden as fertilizer.  A countertop compost is a great way to recycle as a family and lower your carbon footprint. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) a lot of grocery items — like coffee grounds and eggshells — can be composted, but things like dairy products, fats, grease or oils cannot. Try to separate compostable items from non-compostable items while preparing your food so you can easily throw everything into the correct bin. Keep your compost container close to the sink so you can add compostable food scraps as you cook or clean plates.

Countertop composts shouldn’t attract pests or rodents into your home, or smell badly, as long as they are properly maintained. Most indoor containers have a specialty lid on top to manage the odor. Use the EPA’s guide to keep track of what you can compost and make sure you use the correct type of bin. Use your small bin to collect food scraps and empty as needed into a larger outdoor or indoor bin. After two to five weeks, depending on the amount of compost you have as a family, it should be ready to add to your garden.

Jackie J.

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Jackie J. became a Publix associate in 2017 after deciding to take her love of food to the next level. She began working with the Social Media team at that time and she immediately fell in love with life at Publix. In her spare time, she bakes to relax and creates yummy morsels for friends and family to munch on. When she isn’t working, you can probably find her playing with her cat and dog (Nila and Oreo), at a theme park or watching a Harry Potter Movie Marathon.

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