Bon and Berg’s 6 tips to help you eat more sustainably
Sustainability isn't just about the clothes we wear. It effects all aspects of our everyday lives, from how we clean our homes to the food we consume on a daily basis.
Did you know that the food we eat has a carbon footprint? It's true, everything we consume has an impact on the environment. However, the vast majority of people aren’t aware that the food they consume has an impact on the planet. In this post, we're sharing six tips to help you eat more sustainably and help inspire you to take action.
Eat more plant-based protein
Eating more vegan or vegetarian dishes throughout the week is just one simple way we can make to help us reduce our carbon footprint. However we do understand that committing yourself to a totally meat-free diet isn't always possible for everyone for many different reasons.
Commit to making some small, maintainable and sustainable changes to your eating habits. Why not introduce more lentils and plant-based protein to your dishes every now and then. This will help to reduce the need for intense cattle farming and will subsequently reduce the need for such high quantities of cattle needed in food production. Without the need for mass amounts of beef, Co2 and methane levels will decline across the globe.
Choose unprocessed foods
The main environmental issue associated with processed foods is the mass production of ingredients that they use, including maize and wheat. These crops are grown at an industrial level and damage the biodiversity that surrounds where they are grown. This contributes greatly to the levels of harmful carbon emissions being released into the atmosphere while also causing agricultural pollution.
Next time you are browsing at your local supermarket or farmers market, be sure to buy as much fresh, unrefined, whole foods as you can. These foods don't require the same production methods, meaning purchasing and consuming them is much better for the environment.
Reduce food waste
We are all guilty of putting our leftovers in the fridge with the best intentions of eating them within a few days. However this is not always the case and sometimes our leftovers often end up being tossed into the rubbish bin and adding to our household waste.
We must remember that producing, cooking, storing and disposing of our food uses high levels of energy, water and fuel. Wasting food has a negative impact on the environment but thankfully, there are a number of steps we can take to reduce food waste and develop more sustainable habits around d food consumption.
- Make a grocery list to avoid overshopping. Set a weekly shopping day and buy the bulk of your groceries on this date. Before hitting the aisles, decide what you are going to cook that week and purchase your groceries accordingly. By planning your meals, you can avoid unnecessary purchases and reduce food waste.
- Another great way to reduce waste is to batch-cook your meals. Having meals ready to eat will mean you don't have to frantically pop to the shops looking for ingredients for dinner. Let's face it, most of the time, we come out with an assortment of ingredients along with a couple of impulse buys too.
Eat seasonally and locally
Buying seasonally and locally can both help the planet and boost your immune system. Food that is in season has been "designed by nature" for that season. These foods naturally provide us with the nutrients that our immune systems need to fight infection and to make it through that season. Not only is this beneficial to our wellbeing, but eating food that is in-season has a positive impact on the environment. Foods grown out of their season need pesticides, special fertilizers and a lot of energy to help them grow. These pesticides can seep into our food chain, contaminate water supplies and release harmful gases.
Eating food both seasonally and locally ensures that the produce hasn't had to travel to get to you and has a significantly lower carbon footprint than an out of season vegetable that has travelled across the globe to reach the local supermarket. Be mindful of how you shop and what you eat as it has a lasting impact on our planet.
Grow your own fruit and vegetables
Growing and nurturing your own produce is not only a mindful pastime, but it is beneficial to the environment too. Food grown in your own backyard or a local allotment doesn't have to travel to reach you. Home-grown produce doesn't need the plastic packaging that fruit and vegetables in the supermarkets have and you can tailor your growing process to your eating habits. Think of it as curating yourver own fruit and vegetable store, full of all your favourite produce in the ideal quantities. Growing your own crops can help develop a better understanding of the hard work that goes into food production and can also be a very rewarding experience.
Make your own snacks and sauces
If you're an enthusiastic snack-lover like our team here at Bon and Berg, then why not start making your own from scratch. Instead of purchasing overpriced, plastic-wrapped snacks on the go, get a little creative and make some from the comfort of your own kitchen. Granola, hummus and kale chips are all easy to make and are delicious, healthy treats. Take this one step further and start making your own condiments too. You will save money, stay a little healthier and reduce plastic by making your own homemade ketchup and mayonnaise. These might seem like small, unimpactful changes, but they can make a huge difference over a long period of time.
Living a more sustainable lifestyle means that you will need to consider what types of food you consume along with the clothes you wear and the products you use around your home. We believe that making small, conscious decisions to live more sustainably is the most beneficial thing we can do for the environment. Don't pressure yourself to be perfect all the time. Swapping out beef once a week for a plant based dish or making the effort to plan your meals is a step in the right direction and will have a positive and progressive impact on the world around you.
If you enjoyed reading this post then you might also be interested in our piece on How to have an eco-friendly, low waste picnic with friends this summer.
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