What is the best way to help teach children about purchasing and becoming a consumer, furthermore, a conscious consumer in today’s climate?
For a young child, living by example is one of the most powerful ways to teach. Simply visiting the farmers market every week or buying from the bulk bin is a teaching opportunity. Every product has a story that connects to an ecological, environmental, social, and political impact and when we engage with our kids about these impacts we are helping to shape their understanding and consciousness.
What are your top tips in helping a family that is used to certain foods year round transfer to more seasonal eating?When you eat local you automatically eat seasonally. Shopping at the farmers market and growing your own food are two ways to localize your food source and begin to practice seasonal eating. Another fun way to engage with seasonal foods is to find seasonal cookbooks or food blogs for inspiration. Have fun in the kitchen exploring new dishes; you don't have to go all in at first. Just start with a few new items and go from there.
Food deserts in America are very real. What are some ways we can reach these communities and help provide better access to more sustainable foods?
All people should have access to healthy food regardless of their zip code, but in communities where this is not yet the case we need to begin working with non-profits and city officials to convert vacant lots to food forests and community gardens. We should also be looking at ways to bring healthy food to these communities via farmers markets or pop up fresh food stands. Organizations and cities are also starting to look at how to leverage corner stores as an avenue for distributing healthier foods to communities with limited access.
Involving kids in their food consumption is vital to long term awareness and health, but what about our little friends whose interest in not piqued by the process. Any tips?
Building healthy habits is a process and continuous exposure is one of the best ways to get kids to begin opening up to healthy foods. Make visits to the farmers market a part of your weekly routine and allow your child to participate in the shopping experience. Give them an opportunity to pick out a seasonal fruit or vegetable that they are most curious about, and encourage them to help prepare it at home. Even if they aren't excited about healthy foods at first, engaging with it (even in small ways) is an important first step in increasing their awareness of it and (hopefully) also their interest.
What do you think are the top 3 ways families can begin to make big environmental and food changes within their home that will lead to more impactful and long term personal and community shifts?
- Grow something edible
- Learn the story behind the food and products that you purchase
Kiss The Ground empowers people to restore soil and helps accelerate the adoption of regenerative agriculture. When Kiss the Ground was founded we had one goal: share with the world that building healthy soil can be a solution to the climate crisis.
We work primarily in five programs (Storytelling, Education, Farmland, Business, and Community Gardens) all working toward our mission: Inspiring participation in the regeneration of the planet, starting with soil. Together, we can do this.
In addition to our program work, our team is strategically involved in many national and international coalitions and advocacy work toward our main goal: increase soil carbon & biodiversity on 500 million acres of land by 2050.
Kiss the Ground's soil story curriculum is designed to introduce young people to the magic of soil and the fascinating connection it has to the food we eat, our health and our climate.
Go Beyond Food
Cosmetics! The more I have learned, the scarier the industry is. Any tips for choosing cosmetics or body products that are safe and sustainable?
Thankfully the DIY movement is alive and well; with a quick google search you'll discover hundreds of blogs and YouTube tutorials that provide step by step instructions on making everything from natural deodorant to eyeshadow. As an added bonus, you can reuse your DIY containers, reducing the number of single use containers entering our waste stream. As a general rule, bar soaps are usually much better for the environment than liquid soaps (which often contain lots of added chemicals and fragrances). There are also increasing numbers of brands producing everything from lip balm to shampoo using simple, 100% biodegradable ingredients. Read the back of the package - you should be able to recognize all of the product's components!