Sustainability Trade Offs

Meet Rabina Sawhney, one of our University of North Carolina sustainability interns at TB&C. We are thrilled to feature this piece written by Rabina about ways to live more sustainably in your daily life. These simple tips make sustainability accessible. We hope Rabina's post inspires small changes that make a big impact. We are so grateful to have Rabina on our team and appreciate all the research she does in ensuring the brands we carry reflect our sustainability values and standards. Enjoy Rabina's words of wisdom and encouragement. 

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As an environmentalist, I am continuously working to improve my habits to lessen my carbon footprint. Better incorporating sustainability into your life (environmentally and mentally) is about progress and not perfection. While this post is centered around simple changes to make in your everyday life, but if you are ready for an eco-challenge, I encourage you to dig deeper into the real issues and make some bigger sacrifices. Each day, we as individuals in a consumerist society face several trade-offs pertaining to sustainability and I’m here to bring some of those to light.

Here are 3 things to change to become more green:

Breakfast:
I wake up earlier these days due to my work schedule, but it is rewarding for a number of reasons- more sunlight (less electricity needed) and better dieting habits. I recently tried out Patagonia’s new food line, Patagonia Provisions, which offers responsibly sourced food and recipes for home or camping!

The Creamy Banana Breakfast Grains are extremely simple to make- just boil water and add the grains. I added some Trader Joe’s Almond Hazelnut spread along with banana on the side to make it a bit more exciting. You can add some milk in the mix to make it a bit more rich- which leads me to my next predicament- which milk should I be using? While almonds aren’t the most energy-efficient nut, a cup of almond milk requires 10 gallons of water while a cup of cow milk requires a whopping 35 (Mekonnen). Just some food for thought… What’s especially cool about this Patagonia Provisions meal is that it contains Pacific buckwheat, a crop that benefits people and planet alike. The seed suppresses weeds, helps control erosion, and improves soil health when grown organically. It is also packed with fiber, protein, and other minerals such as manganese. Need I say more?

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Exercise:
This past month I cancelled my gym membership at one of the franchise fitness clubs nearby. I found it unnecessary to drive my car to go to the gym, do cardio, and use some weights and bars when I could go for a run in my shaded neighborhood and use those dumbbells I bought a few years ago at home. I’m so grateful to live in an area with so much access to nature trails- Bolin Creek and Duke Forest are some of my personal favorites.

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Energy Consumption:
It is not a secret that our fossil fuel consumption could use some work. If you have the luxury of living near your work- walk or bike. If not, find someone to carpool with! Living in Chapel Hill and Carrboro, we are blessed with excellent walking trails, neighborhoods, and public transportation that easily direct us to our local farmers’ markets. Take advantage of our extensive access to fresh, locally produced foods and goods! I promise, they are much tastier than that last bag of frozen veggies that have been sitting in your freezer for weeks (dare I say months) now.

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Duke Energy has been making rounds in my neighborhood promoting their Save Water and Energy Program. They’re offering free, easy-to-install energy and water-saving kits that can help you save over a $100/year on your utility bills by enjoying the greatest energy efficiency and performance in your showerheads, water heater pipes, faucets, and light bulbs. Call the organization at 866-807-1544 to schedule an appointment.

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Comment with what changes you want to make to be more sustainable in your daily life. 

Rabina Sawhney Comment