Most of us are aware of how to fundamentally live an environmentally friendly lifestyle – reduce, reuse, recycle, repeat. What many people don’t realize is that our diets account for up to 30% of our personal impact on the environment. While we believe that “Earth Day” is everyday, it’s even more important to highlight the everyday planet-saving tips during Earth Month. Explore six ways to introduce an eco-friendly diet and food ethics into your lifestyle.
Buy Local. Visit your local farmers markets or subscribe to a CSA program to source your food locally. Not only are you supporting your local farmer and economy, you’re decreasing environmental costs associate with food transport, etc. Becoming friendly with nearby farmers will also allow you to negotiate, and even take advantage of end-of-day prices to avoid food waste.
(We get it, buying organic food is expensive, but the more we support organic farming as a community, the lower the prices will become.)
Meatless Mondays. Cut back on meat in your weekly diet by including hearty or fresh vegetarian options at least 1 – 2 nights per week. Raising animals requires a lot of water in respect to growing the food they feed on. Animal agriculture accounts for 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions, which is more than all the exhaust from transportation combined.
Eat More Chicken. Ever wonder about the deeper meaning behind Chick-fil-A’s marketing message? During their digestive process, cows produce large amounts of Methane, a greenhouse gas more destructive than carbon dioxide when it comes to climate change. Cows produce approximately 150 billion gallons of methane per day. Skipping the steak once a week, contributes to our recently decreasing trend within the cattle industry, effectively reducing methane emissions.
Eat Seasonally. Enjoying this season’s fresh fruits and produce is an easy way to be green. Seasonal offerings are more likely to have been grown locally, and are picked at the peak of ripeness – meaning they are more delicious!
Cut the Cheese. Or should we say, cutback on the cheese please! It takes about 700 gallons of water to create one pound of cheddar cheese, meaning that sharp taste of deliciousness, leaves a big carbon footprint.
Don’t Waste Food. While seemingly obvious, many of us try to stock up on a singular “weekly” trip to the grocery store – causing fresh produce to potentially go bad before we get a chance to eat it! Many developed countries are culturally similar in the fact that markets are visited daily for the day’s meals. Stopping by your local grocer a few times a week will help eliminate wasted food, by encouraging you to just buy what you need.