If you’re planning on spending some time this year reducing your environmental impact and trying to play your part in helping out the earth, there’s an easy place to start: your food choices.
By now, most of us have seen videos or heard about the ways in which animal consumption negatively impacts our environment, but you might not know what part you can play in helping.
Here’s a few places where you can start:
1. Shop Locally and Seasonally
Raise your hand if you want to have delicious tasting food that is cheaper and environmentally friendly at the same time? Eat local is the answer! When you choose food that is in season and grown by local farmers, you are able to have food that tastes good and is nutrient rich because it is not force-grown out of season. Because it comes from nearby, there is less energy used in the process of transportation, and less energy used in storage. At the same time, you get to support your local farmers and local community because you are buying food that likely comes from someone who farms within your region or province/state. Overall it is a big win.
2. Compost Your Food Waste
Whether it’s your vegetable peels, your coffee grinds or your apple cores, a lot of the waste that goes into the garbage bin can actually be composted. No matter what type of diet you are following, chances are you have lots of it that are parts of plants – peels, stems, stalks and seeds – and you can use this to help the environment, both as a good for new plants and to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. You can maintain a compost pile at home, allowing the compost to accumulate and then applying it to your own garden. Alternatively, many towns and cities are now offering compost services with their public garbage pick-up, and this is an incredibly environmentally friendly way to reduce waste and help support further plant growth at the same time.
3. Choose Plants
You don’t have to go fully plant based and cut out animal products forever, but it is no secret that the production of animal-based protein uses excessive amounts of water and energy, while simultaneously producing high levels of waste – both manure and otherwise! When you choose to consume more plants and less animal protein, you reduce water consumption and energy output, as well as cut down on transportation pollution from the movement of animals and farm waste. In addition, opting to consume more plants allows you to have a more nutrient dense dietary selection, and encourages farmers to grow a larger variety of crops. When the demand is there and crops are rotated, the soil is healthier and our produce is healthier as a result. In the end, just like seasonal produce, it’s a win for everyone involved.
While we regularly try to take shorter showers or turn off the lights, there are other ways we can also help to reduce our environmental impact. Much of it comes down to our food choices, and simply making a few simple daily changes that will help you, your family and the earth may be all that it takes!