At least three times a day we make a choice on what to put on our plate – these choices can make a powerful impact on our personal health and environmental footprint.
About a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions are associated with food, as it often travels long distances to get to our plates – and we waste about 50% of all food we produce. We can change this by making choices that support both our health and the planet – read on to learn more ways to incorporate sustainable eating habits!
1. Buy More Local, In-Season Produce
Choosing locally-grown food can reduce energy usage, decrease greenhouse gas emissions, and use fewer resources than typically expended to transport foods long distances.
Additionally, seasonal produce usually travels shorter distances to grocery stores, creating less pollution than out-of-season produce.Tips:
- Look for signs in grocery stores that say “local”.
- Visit nearby farmers markets.
- If you live near a farm that offers a CSA (community supported agriculture) program, consider signing up!
- If you enjoy gardening and have the space, consider growing your own fruits and vegetables. This is great for mental and physical health, connecting you with nature and increasing your natural movement!
2. Try Frozen Produce or Shelf-Stable Foods in the Off-Season
Preserved foods that are lightly processed, such as canned, dried, and frozen foods, are more sustainable options during the off season, compared to produce that is grown in heated greenhouses or shipped in from far distances. Some great options for this are frozen or freeze-dried fruits and veggies, canned beans, and rice. Realm is made from freeze-dried fruits, vegetables, nuts, and plant-protein, making it a shelf-stable option without the worry of spoiling too soon!
3. Reduce Food Packaging
Food packaging such as boxes, plastic, and containers can make a huge impact on sustainability, as packaging fills up landfills when wasted. Select minimally processed whole foods with little packaging as much as possible. Or, try purchasing larger quantity, bulk sizes. We offer all three flavors in a bulk-sized bag to help eliminate the waste without ridding you of convenience.
4. Grow Your Own Food
If you enjoy gardening and have the space, consider growing your own produce or herbs. One of the most sustainable things you could ever do is to start a garden—even starting with one pot on your patio. No food miles and no packaging waste plus the added benefit of spending time outside!
It’s not always possible to eat all parts of a food, such as the shell of a spaghetti squash or the peel of an orange. Sometimes leftovers get forgotten, produce goes bad, or the food in your fridge loses it's appeal.
Composting is great solution to this problem, keeping food out of landfills and undesirable foods out of your kitchen. Composting turns organic waste into nutrient-rich fertilizer which can be used to help grow more nutritious foods – you can compost paper towels, vegetable food scraps, newspaper, and coffee grounds – what a wonderful life cycle!
6. Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose
Reducing kitchen waste can also lower your environmental impact and help remove items from ending up in a landfill.Tips:
- Pack silverware instead of plasticware in your lunch.
- Limit your use of single–use items, like paper plates and cups.
- Use washable cloths instead of paper towels.
- Drink from a reusable water bottle.
- Use silicon baking mats instead of parchment paper or foil.
- Store leftovers in glass or plastic containers reused from pasta sauce, pickle jars, etc.
What are some of your favorite eco-hacks? Comment down below!