There are lots of ways to live an eco-friendlier lifestyle - including changing your diet. Many of the foods we eat are processed in a way that can harm the planet, whilst other foods may use up lots of energy to prepare. Here are just several ways that you start eating more eco-friendly and as a bonus, you’ll save some money too!
Bring your own bag when shopping
By bringing your own bag, you could reduce the need to take home a new plastic bag each time. Plastic bags are having a huge negative impact on the environment – landfill sites are full of them and it could be 1000 years before they degrade. Many supermarkets now sell ‘bags for life’ which are large and durable and can be used as a permanent solution every time you go shopping. Plus, if you do keep buying a plastic bag, they’re now at least 5p each in the UK. This is a great reason to stop using plastic carriers and to invest in a cost-effective long lasting bag instead.
Buy less products with plastic packaging
When it comes to encouraging zero waste living, it could be worth also cutting out products that use plastic packaging. A lot of modern brands are now adopting paper and cardboard – try to opt for these when shopping or at least glass or tin which doesn’t require the use of plastic. Getting an organic vegetable delivery is a great way to totally cut out all plastic packaging on your weekly fruit and veg shop.
Recycle food waste
You should be able to recycle all your food waste with your local council’s food recycling scheme or by using them for gardening purposes. A lot of this food waste can be used as compost, whilst orange peels are a great natural pest repellent. Of course, you can also cut down on food waste by not throwing away leftovers - many leftover foods can be repurposed and put into curries, pasta bakes, soups, stews and sandwiches.
Support local produce
Buying more food that is sourced locally can also help to save the planet. Food that isn’t sourced locally often has to shipped by sea or flown over by air – both of these create lots of carbon emissions. Farmer’s markets are a great place to buy local food. Some supermarkets also have sections for local food.
Foods that are non-organic often use chemical pesticides and chemical fertilisers that require industrial processing that is harmful to the environment. By opting for more organic foods, you could help to reduce your carbon footprint. You can find organic food by checking the label. You can also try shopping at organic wholesalers that only sell organic food. Few foods are wholly organic - many are 90% organic and some may only use organic traces. However, these foods are still better for the environment than non-organic foods. Check out their organic credentials and which company is certifying them as organic to have a better understanding of whether they allow any chemicals at all.
Related - 3 important reasons to choose organic
Grow your own food
You can also try growing some of your own food. By growing your own food, you’ll be buying less food that has to be transported plus you can ensure that no chemical fertilisers or pesticides are used. You could start a vegetable patch or grow plants in a greenhouse. There are even edible plants that can be grown indoors if you don’t have a garden such as tomatoes, peppers and herbs.
Industrially farmed meat has a massive negative impact on the environment. This is due to the land, food, water and energy required for raising livestock. That land, food and water could feed us several times more than the meat it produces could! Eating meat has lots of health consequences and is now proven to be bad for the environment. Whether you stop eating meat to save the planet, for your own health or for the animals themselves, there are plenty of reasons to stop.
Eat more raw foods
Cooking food uses up energy that is often produced by burning fossil fuels. By trying more raw foods, you’ll use your oven less. There are lots of foods that can be enjoyed raw. If you don’t enjoy raw foods, you could try cooking less food inside your oven and using the hobs more to fry, steam and boil as hobs use up a lot less energy.
There are lots of ways to start being more eco-conscious when it comes to how we eat, plus some of them will save us money too.
7 ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle
13 eco-friendly ways to start saving money in the kitchen
Plastic is not fantastic – the dirty secret of where our recycling really goes
How to cut household expenses with renewable energy
15 ways to reduce plastic consumption
Sustainable smartphone - how to be eco friendly with your phone
Images from Canva