To celebrate Earth Day, WindsorEats thought we would share some tips to soothe your environmental conscience and help make the earth, your community and yourself just a little bit healthier.

Pass on Plastic
Plastic bags are evil. End of story. They take up to 1000 years to biodegrade and of the hundreds of millions that are used every year, only 3% are recycled. Buy cloth or organic bags and take them with you on every trip to the grocery store and market (or any store for that matter).

Local Farmers Rule
The closer to home your groceries are produced the less emissions that are emitted on its journey to your dinner table. Meats, vegetables, fruits, milk. All are produced in Essex County. It’s time for people to start thinking that maybe having strawberries from Mexico in January isn’t the best thing. Also, buying local helps keep the money local, keeping the local economy going.

Fields full of fresh tomatoes are 30 minutes away in Leamington.

Dig it! Grow a Garden
By growing your own garden, you can ensure that chemicals/pesticides are not used. That means less health harming chemicals on the food that you and your family may consume. Remember, pesticides are made with only one goal: to kill living things.

Personal gardens can also provide cost savings by having to purchase less at the local grocery store or farmer’s market. No space for your own garden? Join a community garden!

Learn to Compost
Composting allows you to reduce the waste that heads to the dump and keeps them from filling up so quickly. Up to 75% of household garbage comes from organic matter and most of it can be composted. It’s the natural and best way to recycle and the result is better than any fertilizer that you can buy at a garden centre, saving you money.

If you grow your own garden you should almost always compost. The soil produced from composting is a nutrient rich organic fertilizer and allows you to grow a healthier garden without worrying about chemicals.

Eat With the Seasons
You can save quite a bit of cash (and resources) by eating produce only when it is in season. Strawberries in January or asparagus in August probably isn’t the best idea. You’re eating them out of season and odds are they would have sat in refrigerated storage for months before they made it to the store or they’ve been shipped here from a land far, far away.