April 22nd marks Earth Day, and I am sure we can all appreciate this planet we call home as the month brings forth the blooms of nature and a glimpse of summer. As I walk from class to class at UNC, I am overcome with joy to be able to experience springtime in its finest form. The pinks and whites that radiate from the azaleas, the squirrels that dance around the trees, and the sun-bathing students laying out on the quad just fill me up with immense gratitude and appreciation for Earth.
However, this also makes me think that now more than ever, it is imperative that we do our individual best to preserve this world. Walking to class would definitely not be as pleasant if the azalea gardens went from pinks and whites to grays and browns, the squirrels halted their scurries, and the quad lacked kids skipping class to lay picnic blankets on the lush grass.
So, while Earth Day is an amazing opportunity to celebrate our home and embrace environmental protection, one day is not enough. I expect my social media timelines to be packed with pictures of the beautiful sunsets and sceneries people took on their vacations (which is amusing I will admit), but that alone should not satisfy anyone. We should all make efforts to be proactive and push past performative measures to ensure that our planet is cared for generations to come. At Cottage Lane Kitchen, we especially try to be as “green” as possible, which is why I’d like to discuss some sustainable living practices -- from what we practice at CLK and outside -- that we can all implement to make thoughtful choices about the environment more habitually.
Recycle, reuse, renew, rethink. Once you’ve emptied all the good stuff from our jars and bottles, recycle them since they are 100% recyclable! Or better yet, reuse them! Glass can stay intact for hundreds of years, so might as well take those empty containers and do something fun with them. The opportunities are limitless, from decor to vases to candles to dishes to storage. Get creative ;)
Eat local. Ingredients in our products are locally sourced, which means that food does not have to travel as long for our relishes and hot sauces to be made, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving our carbon footprint (fact: transporting food in refrigerated crates accounts for one-fifth of all carbon emissions in the food system). Most grocery stores have sections dedicated to local foods, which is an excellent method to incorporate healthier/fresher/sustainable meals into your day and support local businesses!
Limit your driving time when possible. When we see that one of our beloved customers in the area has ordered from us, we make an effort to get them their order ourselves. Since they are in close proximity, it is more environmentally friendly to skip the traditional shipping process that involves numerous miles and modes of transportation. Just like that, find ways to cut your time on the road, or at least try to carpool when possible.
Consider vegetarian options. Yes, Hissy Fit is to die for on wings, Cape Fear is unbeatable on fish tacos, and The Switch on hot dogs is a classic. We wholeheartedly agree! But every once in a while, it doesn’t hurt to drizzle some Hissy Fit on mac and cheese, top your hummus with Cape Fear, and mix in some of The Switch into your pasta salad. Not only is our entire line of products 100% vegetarian and vegan, they taste just as relicious on vegetarian dishes as well.
I hope these tips have proven to be useful! All in all, at Cottage Lane Kitchen, we are committed to reducing our environmental impact and promoting sustainability. We strive to use fresh ingredients, reduce waste, and conserve energy wherever possible. We hope that you will join us in making a difference not only this Earth Day, but every day.