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Individual Acts for Food Justice

**This fall, AMP is rolling out an exciting new campaign on food justice! Start participating today through these personal actions to promote sustainability in your food system and the environment, and stay tuned for more updates.**

Here is our list of small steps that you can take to become a part of the food and land sustainability movement. Any contribution, no matter the size, is another step toward achieving change. Create a reflection about your actions (blog, poem, picture, video, etc.), and share it on social media with the hashtag #SproutingforChange to become a part of AMP’s ongoing food justice work.

FOOD

      1. Eat leftovers and older foods first! 40% of the food in the US is wasted. Try having one dinner a week that is aimed at consuming all of the current leftover rather than cooking a new meal
      2. Grocery shop on a weekly basis. Buy what you need for one week at a time
      3. Make a grocery list before you go to avoid impulse buying. Wait for perishables to run out before buying more
      4. Buy the funny-looking produce. (Yes, it is okay to eat and it still tastes the same. This will help use up the food that will otherwise be tossed if no one purchases it!)
      5. Avoid buying food items that have a lot of packaging waste
      6. Measure portion sizes to avoid cooking too much
      7. Only take reasonable servings of food
      8. Properly store fruits and vegetables to extend shelf life
      9. Use and repurpose food scraps (ex: using meat scraps in homemade stew or softening fruit in smoothies)
      10. Understand expiration dates. This is not a date for foods to be thrown out, but it is really a suggestion about when an item may reach peak quality. If it looks, smells, and tastes fine, it should be fine to eat!
      11. Clean out your refrigerator and pantry so that you always know what you already have and can avoid buying something in excess
      12. Monitor what you throw away. If you’re not eating all of an item before it goes bad, perhaps you should buy less or start freezing that item early
      13. Give excess that you buy away to friends or neighbors
      14. While dining out, get a half-order of your meal or split the meal with someone
      15. Take your leftover food home from restaurants
      16. Buy local and organic food items. Eating local helps your local farmers and economy
      17. Buy sustainable seafood when possible. The Monterey Bay Aquarium has a great consumer guide to help!
      18. >Read an article about small family farms in your state or country
      19. Check out your local farmers’ market
      20. Make a green smoothie for breakfast (here’s a great place to start)
      21. Go vegetarian for a week or incorporate Meatless Mondays
      22. Go vegan for a week (or eat vegan one day a week)
      23. Live without sugary cereal for a month
      24. Live without soda for a month
      25. Read an article about land grabs
      26. Start a compost pile.
      27. Grow your own fruits and vegetables
      28. Start an herb garden
      29. Join a community garden
      30. Volunteer or start your own chapter of a nonprofit sustainable community program such as Farmer Foodshare. Farmer Foodshare takes produce from farmers’ market patrons and local farmers, and donates them at the end of the day to soup kitchens and homeless shelters

ENVIRONMENT

      1. Keep a reusable water bottle in your home, in your car and at work or school so you never have to buy a plastic bottle to stay hydrated
      2. Take a 8-10 minute shower instead of a 20 minute shower
      3. Turn off water when brushing your teeth or soaping during a shower
      4. Air dry your hands
      5. Air dry your clothes
      6. Only run your dishwasher when it is full
      7. Wash clothes in cold or warm water
      8. Water lawns less frequently
      9. Try bringing your own mug for coffee or tea (some places will give you discount for this)
      10. Use tupperware instead of plastic bags when packing your lunch
      11. Shop with reusable bags when grocery shopping
      12. Buy consignment and re-used (including garage/yard sales, craigslist)  
      13. Participate in a clothes swap
      14. Participate in a book swap
      15. Buy local products whenever you can
      16. Buy recycled products
      17. Recycle at home (paper products, cans, bottles)
      18. Be conscious of where you are disposing items (ex: keep trash, recycling, and composting separate)
      19. Switch to biodegradable and organic soaps, shampoos, toothpaste, etc.  
      20. Use eco-friendly cleaners
      21. Use handkerchiefs or towels instead of tissues and paper towels
      22. Print only when necessary
      23. Use energy efficient appliances
      24. Unplug chargers, TV’s, stereo equipment, etc. when not in use
      25. Turn the lights off when you leave a room
      26. Take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever possible
      27. Ride your bike, walk, or use public transportation to get to school or work
      28. Carpool to school, work and other events
      29. Plan driving and errand routes so that you don’t have to drive as much
      30. Read an article about biofuels

Create social media posts about completing 3 of these personal actions with the hashtag #SproutingforChange, and we’ll send you our AMP sprouting sustainability badge!

Image source: Adriana Komura

https://www.flickr.com/photos/drixxx/

About Toni O'Boyle

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