Eating and the Planet: How to Reduce Your Environmental Impact

I have an article today which is very close to my heart.

While I know I eat a lot of meat (yes, a lot of chicken wings) I don’t eat like this all the time (I can’t afford to for one thing!). Throughout the week I rarely eat meat. I eat a lot of fish (like tuna in my lunch and sea basa in the evening) and I adore Linda McCartney sausages. And I’m very conscious about food waste and not buying unnecessary food. But anyway, here are some fantastic tips for you to read!

Image credit – Pixabay

If you love food, eating and cooking and have never been a vegetarian before, then it can seem daunting. You might have tried out Veganuary or another vegan/veggie-based food challenge before, but committing to it long-term or on a permanent basis isn’t for you just now. But the food we eat does have an environmental impact it’s important to be aware of. With this in mind, here are some things you can think about with your food-shopping to have less of an impact on the environment.

Meat

The best way of reducing your environmental impact whilst still remaining a meat-eater is to cut down. Think about meat as a once or twice a week treat, rather than something you have every day, and make sure you are using the whole animal wherever possible. We don’t mean pig-snout sandwiches – more, that you are thinking about ways to use all of what you have. This might be making a stock out of a chicken carcass or using scraps to make gravy.

When you are buying meat, shop for organic and local meat wherever possible. Although often more expensive, if you’ve cut down your consumption anyway, this shouldn’t have too much of an impact on the food bill. Aside from the environment, it’s just more enjoyable to eat meat knowing that it’s been farmed in a responsible way, rather than battery farmed.

Shop Nearby

Heading out to the shops for a carton of milk in your car a few times a week adds up. Even if you do need to use your car to get to the supermarket, if you can plan your meals in advance and do a big food shop once a week, rather than multiple little trips throughout the week, you will drastically reduce your carbon emission. Obviously we’re all human and sometimes forget things, but try to stay organised and pick items on when you’re on other trips as much as possible.

Food Waste

The UK has made massive improvements reducing food waste recently. In the last year, it was reported that waste was reduced by almost five million tonnes. Previously, 8m tonnes of food waste was going straight to landfill and, with methane gases released from landfill having a global warming potential 21 times greater than carbon dioxide, how we use and dispose of food waste should be top of everyone’s list in terms of sustainability and eating environmentally. One of the best ways you can reduce your food waste is to plan your weekly shop in advance. Instead of buying ad hoc, make a meal plan, write a shopping list and stick to it. There’s a difference between replacing chicken with pork in a dish because the pork was on offer and just buying the pork as well because of the discount. Plan in advance and have a leftovers night once a week, where you make a hotchpotch meal with all the bits and pieces from previous nights to stop any wastage.

If you are looking at the ways you eat and buy food, sustainable clothing and trying to reduce your travel carbon emissions, ultimately we will all be living on a happier and greener planet.

What things do you do to be environmentally friendly?

Do you eat meat?

Leave a Reply to Anonymous Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.