What is Sustainable Eating?
These days, we hear a lot about the importance of being sustainable. We know we should recycle whenever possible, limit unnecessary electricity and water use, pass on plastic straws and bags, and so on. However, you may find it surprising that one of the most impactful ways we can be more sustainable is through our food. Below are five easy steps you can take to make what you’re eating more sustainable!
Support Local Food Shopping locally is a great way to support your community, local farmers, and the environment. Shopping locally is better for the environment because it reduces the amount of fuel needed to transport food. Choosing to shop at Farmer’s Markets is a great way to put this into practice. St. Louis Sprout & About has a Farmer’s Market Guide which is a great resource for finding a market near you! In addition to farmer’s markets, local grocers like Local Harvest and City Greens also offer a wide array of locally sourced goods.
Pay Attention To Seasonality Selecting produce according to seasonality promotes sustainability. When you buy produce out of season, those items likely had to travel farther to reach your store. For example, when you buy oranges during February in St. Louis, they were shipped in from a warmer state. An additional bonus to focusing on seasonality is that the foods you buy will likely have a better taste and more nutrients since they were picked closer to ripeness and did not have to travel as far to reach you! Seasonality may give you more variety in your produce. Eating the same fruits and vegetables all year round can get boring. By buying seasonal produce, fruits and vegetables you eat will naturally change throughout the year. The Missouri Farmers Market Directory has a great seasonality chart to help you know which items are in season!
Start An Herb Garden If you have ever gone shopping for fresh herbs, you have likely seen herbs for sale in plastic, whether it be in a plastic container or produce bag. If you want to be more sustainable, and even save some money, try growing your own herbs. During the Spring and Summer, you can easily grow your favorite herbs outside. You could also choose to start an herb garden in pots on a windowsill or balcony. This way you have easy access to your favorite herbs while cooking! Not only is this a fun project, but it is also better for the environment and can be better for your wallet! Check out our Pinterest board for more gardening tips and tricks.
Make Small Changes To Reduce Daily Waste According to the EPA, the average person produces about 4.4 pounds of trash per day! Additionally, the EPA reports that a good portion of this daily waste comes from food and beverage packaging. While it is important to recycle when you can, there are also a few more small changes you can easily make to reduce your waste altogether.
Consider Composting Another way to reduce your food waste is to compost! You can compost most things in the kitchen you would typically throw away. Carrot and potato peels, fruit rinds, and even eggshells can all be composted! In fact, you can even add lawn clippings and leaves to your compost pile! Click here to see a great guide about composting for beginners!
Bottom line is that we can all work at making small changes in our everyday behaviors to reduce our impact and promote sustainable practices. What steps will you take to work toward sustainability? Let us know in the comments below!
Let's Move! STL Dietitians