Want an eco-friendly diet makeover? Here’s how to make it happen
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You don’t have to grow kale in your backyard to be a sustainable eater — if you’re doing that, though, we applaud you! 

What an eco-friendly diet really comes down to is: considering the relationship between the food on our plates with the rest of the world. (The Food and Agriculture Organization has a much fancier and thorough definition of sustainable eating if you’re interested.) 

Of course, sustainable eating for one person can look a whole lot different for someone else. We all have different budgets and lifestyles, so be realistic with yourself about what’s reasonable (and what’s not). Slowly but surely, little changes can develop into big changes. 

12 ways to follow an eco-friendly diet 

Love local

eat local product for a sustainable diet

Explore your local food scene by checking out farmers markets, small neighborhood grocery stores, or even visiting a nearby farm (here’s a website to find farms close to you). You’ll not only support your community, but you’ll also help cut down the amount of energy needed to ship food to bigger markets. 

Eat less meat (or none at all!)

eat less meat and more veggies for a sustainable diet

Whether you eat an omnivorous or vegan diet, shifting to a more plant-based lifestyle gives lots of love to Mother Earth.  Studies show that someone following a plant-based diet uses five times less water than someone with a meat-based diet. And other research shows that meat and dairy production is responsible for 60 percent of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions. 

If you’re not already living plant-based, consider embracing Meatless Mondays or opting for plant-protein during lunch. Making one change is a great place to start. 

Reach for “naked” produce

an eco-friendly diet starts with produce that is not wrapped in plastic

If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by the amount of produce wrapped in plastic, you’re far from alone. But whenever possible, reach for loose/unwrapped produce and ditch the little single-use produce bags since you’ll be washing the items at home. 

Know when to buy in bulk

buy bulk nuts to make your diet eco-friendly

Buying food in bulk can be a great thing, particularly when it comes to non-perishables like canned soup and peanut butter, or things you eat quickly. But if you find yourself throwing away rotten spinach every week — perhaps that’s something that should be purchased in smaller quantities.

Avoid wasting food

Get crafty in the kitchen (those brown-ish bananas would make an awesome banana bread). Freeze food before it starts to mold. And try to keep your fridge tidy so you know exactly what to grab when those 3pm cravings creep in. 

Banana Bread with Candied Pecans from the Wholesome Culture Cookbook
Banana Bread with Candied Pecans from the Wholesome Culture Cookbook

Check out more tips on how to waste less food at our post: 8 Simple Ways To Stop Throwing Out Food. 

Savor seasonal produce

Lots of energy is required to grow/ship veggies and fruits that aren’t in season, so reach for seasonal produce instead. The environment will  be grateful and so will your tastebuds.

Map out your meals

Wholesome Culture 7 day meal plan

Planning your meals is an amazingly simple way to save money and it’s also beneficial towards the planet. The more you plan, the less likely you are to waste food unnecessarily. 

Need some meal planning inspiration. We’ve got you covered:

Remember your reusable bags

Wholesome Culture reusable tote bag

Of course, when you go food shopping, always remember your reusable bag. In the market for a new tote? Check out our Wholesome Culture tote!

BYOB – Bring your own bottle

Shipping liquids can be very energy intensive. Plus, we all know the importance of limiting (or better yet – eliminating) our use of disposable plastic. So, refill your own water bottle and feel good knowing you’re helping the planet and saving money.

Eat less processed food

eat less processed food and more fresh vegetables for an eco-friendly diet

If your food was created in some sort of factory, it likely comes with a high carbon footprint. As a general rule, the more unprocessed food you eat — the better off the planet will be. 

Read the labels

Some labels to keep an eye on include: Fair Trade, USDA organic, Rainforest Alliance, and 100% recycled.  If you do eat animal products, also look for: Free Range and Safe Catch.

Pay attention to your plate

mindful eating is part of an eco-friendly diet

The simple of act of wondering about food can be a total game changer. By asking questions and doing your own research, you’ll be much more likely to embrace a sustainable diet that works for you and your lifestyle. 

Want to learn more ways to live more mindfully? Check out these posts:

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