Eating green is probably one of the things with the greatest impact when it comes to health and environment. Everything we consume has an impact on the environment; the energy taken to produce it, to transport it, to use it and how it returns to the Earth when we’re finished with it. And as we consume food everyday, eating green represent a huge part in the having a green lifestyle.
Top ten tips to eat green
Eating organic not only ensures that you avoid ingesting toxic pesticides and fertilizers; it also helps to build sustainable and healthy ecosystems. Organic food isn’t just healthier for the person who eats it, but also for the growers, the land, the water, air and wildlife involved in its production.
Choose fair trade
The fair trade certification ensures workers to receive fair wages and working conditions. This is especially important for items that comes from developing countries, such as cacao, chocolate, coffee, sugar, rice, etc… But Fair trade items aren’t only good on a social point of view. TransFair, the main fair trade certifier in America, only certifies products from companies with strong environmental standards. TransFair certification is the one with the highest green criterions besides the organic certification.
Eat local and in season
Choosing local ensures that your product has a minimal climate-change impact from transportation. And local, in season foods is generally healthier, less packaged and tastier. One of the best ways to eat local and organic is via community-supported agriculture.
Most of food items are over packaged. Even when the container can be recycled, remember the first of the three R’s: reduce, reuse and then recycle. Buy in bulk, bring your own containers or pick items packaged in post-consumption recycled fibers to minimize the impact.
Learn to compost
Composting is one of the best ways to reduce the volume of garbage that goes to the landfill. And for those who fear that compost might smell let me assure you that discarded food items smell much stronger in a garbage bag than in a compost bin! Actually, composting doesn’t smell at all, and yes, you can do it in a small city apartment.
Grown your own
Whether it’s in a backyard garden, a greenhouse or in containers, growing your own food is one of the best ways to go green. It’s also a good way to enjoy the freshest food ever. No space for a garden? You can always go for sprouts!
Buy only what you truly need
Plan ahead and avoid impulse buying. Make a list and don’t go to the grocery store when you are hungry! Avoiding buying more than you can eat will cut back on waste. Try freezing the leftovers or use it as a quick and easy lunch.
Meat is definitely the most energy-intensive food ever. To raise cattle, it takes enormous amounts of water, grain, land, and antibiotics. Cattle breeding also contribute to carbon emissions. Cutting back on meat is probably the single greenest move you can make.
Choose whole foods
Whole foods and fresh produces are probably the best way to avoid packaging. Use reusable mesh bags instead of plastic for fruits and other delicate items. Whole foods are also usually fresh by definition, which is more likely to be locally grown. And as opposed to processed foods, whole foods are less transformed thus less energy is used during the production.