Small Steps For A Sustainable Diet
It can be overwhelming to know where to start when it comes to eating sustainably, but it doesn’t have to be! Here are 5 tips to get you started with buying and eating foods that are better for you and the environment.
1. Buy organic and local when possible
Organic food is not just better for your health - it’s also better for the planet. Buying organic can get expensive though, so make sure to focus on the Dirty Dozen if you can’t buy everything organic. You can also look into CSA's in your area to buy local produce and food products from small-scale farmers. With the abundance of farmer’s markets, CSA's and natural grocery stores there are so many ways to purchase local food in order to reduce your food’s carbon footprint.
2. Eat less meat
Meat (and many other conventional animal food products) can have a huge impact on the environment when it comes to water and energy usage as well as toxic emissions. While you don’t have to be a strict vegetarian or vegan, you can still reduce meat consumption by trying out Meatless Mondays. Start by eating meat-free only on Mondays and build up from there if you’d like. There are so many great recipes online that make it easy and fun to eat vegetarian every now and then.
3. Give up plastic water bottles
Unless you live in a country where clean water is not accessible, there’s almost no excuse to buy single use plastic water bottles anymore. Carry a reusable water bottle with you when traveling, working out and going to work/school so you can refill and stay hydrated. Say goodbye to plastic for a healthier planet.
4. Ditch the processed and packaged foods
Processed foods can be very high in salt and sugar and filled with ingredients you can’t pronounce. Not only that, but they also come with lots of packaging. Try to make homemade staples like sauces, nut butters, pizza, and baked goods whenever you can to avoid preservatives and unnecessary packaging. When you absolutely must buy packaged foods, make sure to recycle the packaging.
5. Buy Fair Trade
Eating sustainably doesn’t just have to do with the environment. It can, and should, also mean buying products that support sustainable lifestyles for the people who create them. Prioritize buying Fair Trade chocolate, tea, coffee, sugar, vanilla and fruit as these are the most common alternatives. You’ll feel good about buying products that are good for people and the planet.