April 22 is Earth Day, and millions of people across the world come together to celebrate our planet.
As awareness of the need to care for our planet has grown over the past few years, I have also tried to do my part to become “greener.” I ride my bike or walk instead of driving short distances; I’ve planted a few trees; and I even started a compost pile.
Two simple habits I have added to my life are using my reusable Brookshire’s bags and buying more organic foods.
Organic doesn’t just mean “all natural” or “good for you.” According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA, organic produce is grown without irradiation, sewage sludge, synthetic fertilizers, prohibited pesticides and genetically modified organisms. This results in fewer chemicals in the air, earth and water.
You may think going organic is expensive, but you don’t have to buy all things organic. The Environmental Working Group has a list of foods you don’t necessarily have to buy organic called “The Clean 15.” This list is of 15 produce items that have very little pesticide residue and are not necessarily better if you buy them organically.
On the other hand, the group released a list called “The Dirty Dozen,” which are 12 produce items they encourage you to buy organic all the time.
In addition to produce, I always buy organic milk and organic meat. This means the animals must have access to the outdoors and have been fed 100 percent organic food. The animals also can’t be injected with any growth hormones or antibiotics.
It does not take a huge life change to become greener. It’s more about being aware and doing what you can do to help our planet stay healthy and strong for generations to come.
Start using your reusable Brookshire’s bag and slowly start buying organic and you will be on your way to a greener life.
The Dirty Dozen (Buy organic)
peaches • apples • celery • sweet bell peppers • strawberries • kale/collard greens nectarines • spinach • lettuce • domestic blueberries • grapes • potatoes
The Clean 15
onions • sweet corn • pineapples • avocado • asparagus • sweet peas • mangos • eggplant•cantaloupe • kiwi • cabbage • watermelon • sweet potatoes • grapefruit • mushrooms