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Nine Keys to an Environmentally Friendly Diet

Electric cars, LEED certified homes, green spaces, and renewable energy are all topics with substantial amounts of discussion and public awareness; however, something that’s rarely discussed outside of certain isolated groups is eco-friendly dieting. This form of eating involves having as little impact on the environment as possible while still enjoying tasty, nutritious food. Let’s take a look at some of the keys and tips to starting and maintaining an environmentally friendly diet:

Fruit and vegetables on counter top

Go local.

The number one suggestion is to go local. Most food travels anywhere between 1,300 and 2,000 miles before arriving at your dinner table, but by eating local food, you can help to end this trend. The locavore diet suggests only eating food that’s produced within 100 miles of your home. By finding local markets and bakeries, you can ensure you know exactly where your food comes from.

Change how you shop.

When you go shopping, plan your trips accordingly. Get as much as you can at one time so as to prevent return trips. It’s also a good idea to bring your own bags, and avoid using plastic whenever possible.

Look for minimal packaging.

It should always be your goal to look for products with minimal packaging. This helps reduce waste and decreases the chances of your food being contaminated.

Eat in season.

It’s springtime, and learning to eat healthy spring recipes – as opposed to out-of-season selections – can lessen your overall impact. Thankfully, a wide variety of foods are in-season during the spring, including most fruits and veggies.

Preserve foods.

If you enjoy certain foods that are only in-season during certain months, you can still eat them throughout the year by freezing and preserving them. This keeps you from buying out-of-season items that must be shipped from overseas.

Drink from the tap.

Whatever you do, stop drinking bottled water! Not only is it harmful to the environment, but also, most bottled water is on par with tap water. Manufacturers simply spruce it up to make you think the water you’re buying is healthier.

Grow your own.

Do you have a green thumb? Growing your own fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices is the definition of sustainable, eco-friendly eating. In addition to reducing your dependence on others, you’re also replenishing local soil.

Try reusing leftovers.

Nothing is more wasteful than throwing out perfectly good food. Anytime you have leftovers, find ways to repurpose them into your next meal. Not only will it lessen your impact on the environment, but it’ll also help you keep more money in your pockets.

Choose eco-friendly foods.

While you may assume any food that comes out of the ground is “eco-friendly,” the truth is that some are more so than others. What this means is that some foods that come out of the ground or fall from trees depend on fewer fertilizers and human interaction, don’t need to be shipped from overseas, etc. Next time you head the grocery store or local farmer’s market, look for beans, broccoli, potatoes, onions, apples, and soft cheeses.

If you’re like most people, you’re already doing a few of these things. By incorporating the remainder of these tips, you can ensure that your diet has minimal impact on the environment.