Rita Hodges

Extension service

People choose to go green for a number of different reasons.

There are also a number of different actions people take to help preserve the environment. Being green is not an all or nothing type of action. With this in mind, consider these suggestions so that you can start to live green.

Cook more meals at home. By planning meals and snacks in advance, you can save money and eat healthier. When eating at home, there is less food waste and more family engagement. Today’s dinner could be tomorrow’s lunch.

Support local farmers. By shopping for food locally, your produce may be fresher and more nutritious. Also, your money goes directly to the grower. If you are interested in buying locally, check out www.picktexas.com.

Plate up healthier meals. Eating a variety of foods and watching portion sizes can greatly benefit your health. Meat is often an expensive part of the food budget so filling your plate up with 1/3 of meat and 2/3 of fruits, veggies and whole grains and this will benefit your wallet as well as your health.

Eat less processed foods. Eating less snack foods such as chips, sodas and sweets will reduce your sodium, fat and sugar intake. Eating less processed foods will reduce trash and can keep money in your wallet. Make switches in your diet by cooking foods from scratch or preparing slow cooked meals.

Bring your own bottle. It costs energy and resources to make the cans and bottles sold in vending machines. Save money and calories by using a refillable bottle. Fill with water, tea or beverage of your choice.

Reduce food waste. Planning meals in advance helps you to identify the foods you need to buy at the grocery store. Buying only what you need can help you save money and reduce food spoilage. Also, planning meals in advance may reduce the number of times you eat out during the week.

Grow a garden. Having your own backyard garden provides you with fresh food at your fingertips. It may save you money and is a good way to fit exercise into your day.

So, plan to help your wallet and your health by considering going green.

For further information, contact Rita Hodges, county extension agent – family and consumer sciences, Texas AgriLife Extension Service, at 701 S. Interstate 35E, Waxahachie; 972-825-5175; or email rmhodges@ag.tamu.edu.