The way we eat often has a direct correlation with our environmental impact. The agricultural and food processing industry emit hundreds of thousands of tons of greenhouse gasses into the environment each year to ensure that your family has food on the table each day. While no one person or family can make sizable reductions to the entire industry, we can each begin to make more eco-friendly eating habits for your family on a smaller scale. So, what eco-friendly habits can your family adopt to help do your part in protecting the environment?
- Plan Your Meals Before Going Shopping
- Buy Local Whenever Possible
- Ditch the Single-Use Containers
- Make at Least One Dinner Per Week Meatless
- Be Aware of Expiration Dates
Plan Your Meals Before Going Shopping
The food industry accounts for a large portion of emissions across the globe. This includes both the production of the food itself plus all of the wasted food that ends up in landfills each day. To help tackle the issue of food waste, attempt to plan out your meals before going to the grocery store. This will help you to buy only what is needed for the week and avoid overbuying. If you get home and have far more food than you can eat in a week, the odds of throwing some of it away are greatly increased. Planning out and prepping meals also helps to save money for your family by avoiding fast food runs on nights when there is nothing left at home to make for dinner.
Ditch the Single-Use Containers
One of the most common forms of waste is single-use containers which are most commonly made out of plastic. This includes, but is not limited to, plastic bags, disposable containers and food packaging that is thrown out after one use. To help reduce this waste, attempt to buy things from the outer aisles of the grocery store. These are typically the freshest and healthiest items in the store which come with very little packaging. Additionally, using reusable snack bags for school lunches is a great way to further reduce your food-related waste. Every time you reuse a container or bag is one fewer of those items that end up wither in a landfill or in the ocean.
Buy Local Whenever Possible
Food itself is not the only thing that has a negative impact on the environment. The transportation of food can also have a negative impact from vehicle emissions. By buying local food whenever possible, you can help cut these emissions out of the food buying process altogether.
Make at Least One Meatless Dinner Per Week
Meat cultivation and processing are highly energy and water-intensive. To help reduce your environmental impact, make a goal to go meatless for one dinner per week. As your meatless recipes grow in number, you can expand to two or three nights per week if you are seeking to make even more of a positive impact on the environment.
Be Aware of Expiration Dates
Expired food is often thrown away as soon as it is discovered in the fridge. To avoid doing this, make a conscious effort to take note of expiration dates. This way, when selecting what to make for lunch or dinner, you can select foods that are soon to expire as to avoid throwing them away thus reducing total food waste.