Associated Press Whole Green Kitchen
Mon, Oct. 05, 2009
Whole Green Kitchen
By RENEE LOUX
With an influx of information to go green, many are left wondering just how they can individually make a difference. Every day we make hundreds of small choices that can influence our future and the planet's. "Whole Green Catalog: 1000 Best Things for You and The Earth," out this month from Rodale Books ($29.99), provides these simple tips to get you well on your way to being green.
Buy local. Buy organic. Eat seasonally.
- A GREENER CUP OF JOE: Coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world after oil. The gold standard in sustainable coffee is triple certified: shade grown, organic and fair trade. Fair-trade certification, verified in the United States by the nonprofit TransFair USA, ensures that your coffee beans weren't harvested by child labor and that farmers receive assistance in switching to organic farming. And be sure to purchase shade grown beans, as they not only yield more flavor, but also help support a biodiverse habitat.
- CHOOSE THOSE EGGS CAREFULLY: Egg producers use so many claims on their cartons - cage free, free range, omega-3-enhanced - that it's hard to know exactly what you're buying into. Cage free means that the hens aren't stuck in little cages, but unconfined barns; free range means the hens can roam both indoors and out; certified organic means the eggs come from uncaged hens that are fed an organic, all-vegetarian diet of free antibiotics and pesticides.
There are a growing number of certified sources of fair-trade coffee just be sure, to look for the official insignia (can be viewed here: www.transfairusa.org). Equal Exchange (www.equalexchange.coop), Green Mountain Coffee (www.greenmountaincoffee.com) and Newman's Own Organic (www.newmansownorganics.com/food-coffee.htm) offer delicious fair-trade perks. Even giants like Starbucks have gotten into brewing more fair-trade beans and are doing so at the behest of customers' requests, so speak up when you drink up. Cool beans.
Look for eggs that come packaged in cardboard packaging, which is easily recyclable and biodegrade quickly instead of Styrofoam (polystyrene), which is a petroleum-based product that produces harmful byproducts to produce and when it breaks down (which takes a very, very long time).
For additional information pick up your copy of "Whole Green Catalog: 1000 Best Things for You and The Earth" wherever books are sold, or visit us at WholeGreenCatalog.com.