One of the things I love most about the Northwest Earth Institute is how through the Discussion Course books and EcoChallenge, I’m reminded over and over again about all the ways I can live a simpler, more sustainable – and yes, more fulfilling – life. Whether it is spending more time in nature, living more simply and intentionally, choosing local, organic foods or cutting back on waste, there is always something I can do that not only benefits the planet – but also positively impacts my own quality of life. This week, we’re sharing a few tips for more sustainable eating. Why? Sustainable food is good for us, our communities, and the world. And, since we eat three meals a day, there are plenty of opportunities to make a difference and have a positive impact.
3 Tips for More Sustainable Eating:
1.Try zero-waste cooking and shopping. We often think about the actual food when considering how to eat more sustainably. For example, is it local? Is it organic? Where did it come from? But what about the packaging? Next time you are at the store, try to only purchase items that do not generate non-compostable or non-recyclable waste. Look for bulk items. Buy fresh foods. Notice the amount of plastics used in food packaging and try to eliminate.
2. Eat less meat and cheese. Meat and dairy production requires the use of large amounts of pesticides, chemical fertilizers, fuel, feed and water. It also produces greenhouse gases and other pollutants that contaminate our air and water. According to the Environmental Working Group, if you eat one less burger a week, its like taking your car off the road for 320 miles!
3. Eat more local foods – or try the 100 Mile Diet. The 100-mile diet is a great way to learn about your local farming and food production community, get healthier, and choose a sustainable way of eating. It also dramatically lowers your carbon footprint. Rather than eating products produced globally, focus on what is produced in your own bioregion.
Want to brush up on all the other things you can do to eat a healthier, more sustainble diet? Check out NWEI’s Menu for the Future discussion course book or join NWEI’s EcoChallenge this October and choose a Food Challenge.