15 ways to eat environmentally-friendly

comments (1) October 9th, 2015

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WeronikaLass WeronikaLass, member
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Not many consumers realize that their daily behaviors can impact a significant change to their environment. Choosing one form of packaging over another or picking seasonal fruit instead of exotic treats which have traveled thousands of miles, we can effectively help to make the difference to our planet (and our bodies!). Eating environmentally-friendly isn't difficult at all – here are 15 tips to help you initiate the change and consume food in a more responsible way.

1. Consider the packaging

In general it's best to choose products with minimal packaging – for instance, unwrapped produce or meat bought at the deli counter or butcher. You must have noticed that packaging is often made out of unsustainable materials and significantly contributes to our waste production. Styrofoam is one of the worst materials out there – it's suspected to be carcinogenic and its production involves an energy-intensive process creating greenhouse gases and hazardous waste.

2. Avoid plastic bottles

In case it escaped your notice, tons of plastic are being used to produce millions of plastic water bottles every year. One way to avoid contributing to the waste is by drinking tap water from a reusable water bottle. This will also help you to save money. If you're worried about the quality of tap water at your home, you can buy a special container with a filter or simply accept the fact that bottled water is essentially no better than tap water.

3. Choose local

Eating foods that have been grown locally helps the environment in different ways. First, you're supporting local farmers and vendors. Second, you're reducing the carbon footprint of your diet by buying products which haven't traveled a thousand miles to reach your destination. Locally grown food is fresher and has a better taste than food shipped from the other side of the globe.

4. Shop responsibly

When doing your grocery shopping, it's best to choose stores which show interest in sustainable practices and genuinely care for the environment. Being environmentally-friendly is an excellent marketing strategy and stores never hide their involvement in green living – both in their philosophy and product selections provided to consumers. Have a look at store websites to learn more about your food providers and choose those who care about limiting waste – they can limit packaging, run a store-wide recycling program or have doors in refrigerated sectors to save energy.

5. Eat raw

Instead of boiling or sautéing your veggies, try to eat them raw as often as possible – that's how you can save energy otherwise spent on powering cooking appliances.

6. Choose seasonal fruit and veggies

Seasonal produce allows you not only to eat locally, but also eat well. Seasonal fruit and veggies are tastier and full of nutrients. Have a look on the web to check what's growing nearby right now.

7. Preserve seasonal treats

If you really love peaches or strawberries and would like to eat them all year round while still being faithful to eating locally, it's not a problem. Learn how to preserve both fruit and vegetables so you can eat locally-grown produce all year long.

8. Limit meat consumption

This is something of utmost importance. Not many meat-lovers realize what toll the meat industry takes on the environment. In fact, industrially farmed meat is believed to have the greatest impact out of all food products. That's why limiting meat in your diet is the most significant step you can take on this front – try going meet-free one day a week. Take things slow, learn new tricks to substitute meat and enjoy a flavorful diet.

9. Check labels on seafood

When buying seafood, choosing sustainably produced ones is difficult. Just because a fish is advertised as "wild caught" doesn't mean that it's environmentally friendly. Some farmed fish, on the other hand, might be environmentally-friendly despite the appearances. Your easiest strategy is to simply look for the label of the Marine Stewardship Council, which guarantees that a product has successfully met all requirements for sustainability.

10. Experiment with new fish

Instead of sticking to the ever-present salmon, be a bit more adventurous and try some new things. Expanding your diet, you'll distribute your impact on fish populations by trying different varieties of fish. This is how you can contribute to reducing the risk of endangering fish species.

11. Choose your dairy wisely

Livestock raised for consumption are often given antibiotics, so you can expect that dairy cows are usually fed artificial hormones to increase milk production. This additional load of hormones has a great impact on people who consume milk and dairy products. In general, industrial dairy production is a tricky business too as it takes its toll on the environment (think massive greenhouse gas emissions). Look for hormone-free dairy products which aren't produced on an industrial scale.

12. Eat less dairy

Consider this: the production of one pound of cheese might produce more than 11 lbs. of carbon dioxide, which we all know to be the prime driver of climate change. Eating less dairy products, you'll be effectively reducing your impact on the environment.

13. Reduce waste

Instead of sticking to plastic dishes and paper napkins, try to introduce new habits to your dining. Use real plates, bowls and utensils. Choose cloth napkins, which can be cleaned and reused for years.

14. Give a new life to leftovers

Instead of simply throwing away your dinner leftovers, try to creatively transform them into new meals. You'll be reducing waste and save on energy required for cooking a new meal.

15. Cook one local meal per week

Challenge yourself and your friends to cook one meal a week where every single ingredient comes from local growers and vendors. Why not organize a large dinner with your friends where everyone cooks together and contributes to buying local produce in bulk?

Eating environmentally-friendly is not a big effort and won't take a toll on your wallet – today it's definitely within your reach.

 

Author's Bio: The article was contributed by Isabel Wiliams who is a team member at BizDb.co.uk - a company check platform. She combines her experience in business with her love for gardening, organic food and environment-friendly attitude.


posted in: environment-friendly

Comments (1)

curlypaneser writes: Fresh and testy food is a first choice of all. But if you can grow fresh and healthy vegetable at your home. This is the better things.
Posted: 1:42 am on October 27th
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