Written by our friends at Green Mountain Energy

Do you love summer farmers’ markets but wish you could use those flavors for a Thanksgiving cobbler? Wish you could reduce the waste from store-bought canned goods? Did your backyard garden give you way more produce than your household can possibly eat before it turns? It’s time to get canning!

Canning isn’t just for your grandparents anymore, but they were certainly onto something—it’s the greenest way to take your pantry to the next level. Home-canned food offers plenty of benefits, like:

– Seasonal produce year-round. Fresh fruits and vegetables found at the height of their season at your local farmers’ market in the summer can make a tasty appearance on your table any time of year.

-Knowing what’s in your food. Since the only thing in your canned food is what you put into it, it’s a good way to avoid artificial additives.

-Room for creativity. You can try out new recipes for jams, soups, salsas and more.

-Eco-friendliness. Canning cuts down on food waste, reduces emissions from transporting food, and minimizes single-use plastics.

-Saving time. Too rushed to make dinner from scratch? Reach for that yummy homemade soup or pasta sauce you canned in advance.

Before you get started, make sure you have the basics on hand:

This is just an overview of the canning process. Check out more detailed information from the National Center for Home Food Preservation. We hope you have a great time getting creative and cutting down on food waste with this time-honored activity!

More ways to live sustainably:

Canning is an excellent (and tasty) way to cut back on food waste and plastic use, but your green efforts don’t have to stop there! Since you’re on a roll, see our other simple tips for cultivating an Earth-friendly lifestyle on our blog here.

Our favorite way to live greener is also one of the easiest: choosing to use clean electricity in your home. We’ve partnered with Market 32 to make going green even more rewarding, featuring 100% renewable energy plans that let you save at the checkout line. Learn more here.