Did you know your diet is responsible for up to 30% of your personal impact on the environment? You probably know that eating organic and locally grown foods can reduce your food footprint, but there are tons of other ways to green your grocery shopping routine. In light of Earth Month, we’re taking a looking at some easy ways to eat a more eco-friendly diet.
#1 Cut back on meat.
Raising animals requires a lot of water – primarily for growing the food they eat. And cows are king when it comes to a water footprint. Consider this, one pound of beef takes one thousand, eight hundred gallons of water to produce. Meat is one of the thirstiest food products on the market. Try cutting back on meat by choosing one day per week to eat a vegetarian or vegan diet (Meatless Mondays, for instance).
#2 Choose more eco-friendly meats.
When you do eat meat, opt for more eco-friendly options, like chicken and turkey. Poultry requires far less water to produce than beef – over 75% less to be exact.
#3 Eat in season.
Indulging in off-season produce is okay every now and then, but eating an eco-friendly diet means eating in season whenever possible. Seasonal produce is much more likely to have been grown locally. And since seasonal fruits and veggies are harvested when they’re ripe and fully developed, they’re likely to be much more delicious! Check out this post to find out more about what’s in season for spring!
#4 Cut back on cheese.
According to a life cycle analysis, producing one pound of cheddar cheese generates about ten times as many pounds of carbon dioxide. Plus, it takes about 700 gallons of water. Cutting back on how much cheese you eat is a great way to minimize your carbon footprint. And while you’re at it, buy your cheese in blocks instead of shredded — block cheese typically means way less packaging, and there’s no energy required for pre-shredding the cheese before it ends up in your cart.
#5 Don’t waste food.
A jaw-dropping 40% of food produced in America winds up going to waste. Think of all the water and energy wasted. All the unnecessary pollution. Eating an eco-friendly diet means doing everything you can to not be a part of that problem. One great way to reduce food waste is to shop your refrigerator before you hit the grocery store. You’d be surprised what you can come up with using the food items you’ve already got.
How are you celebrating Earth Month this year? Share will us in the comments below.