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5 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Diet

Food—we all need it, we all eat it, and we all make choices about it every day. In the past week, you may have gone to the grocery store, ordered from a delivery app, or made most of your meals at your apartment. The last option might be the best for an eco-friendly diet, but it also matters what groceries you buy and from where. It can be hard to know how to improve the earth with your food choices, so here are some tips from Western National.

1. Cut Out Red Meat

According to the BBC, the food we eat produces 26% of all greenhouse gas emissions. 58% percent of those emissions are from animal products, and 50% of those animal product emissions are from beef and lamb. Therefore, one of the best ways to reduce your imprint is to omit beef from your diet.

2. Waste Not

Food industries produce more food than humans will eat. A study from William & Mary found that the average American wastes $3.50 on food every day. Try to only buy what you’ll eat, and consider ways to give back any excess. Donate to food kitchens, contribute to a community garden compost, or find recipes that include the food you’d otherwise toss. This article from our blog has some delicious resources for recycling vegetable scraps.

3. Low-Energy Options

When you purchase your groceries from a local grower, like a farmer’s market vendor, you cut down on the energy required to preserve foods for supermarket shelves. This also means you will eat more local foods, which reduces fossil fuel emissions. Build a relationship with local farmers and you’ll make a friend, too!

4. Plastic-Free Is the Way to Be

The Ellen Macarthur Foundation has found that the world only recycles 14% of all plastic packaging. That means that if you buy 100 plastic water bottles, 86 of them will end up not being recycled even if you properly sort them. That’s why it’s so important to choose biodegradable or compostable packaging.

5. Organically Healthy

Organic foods are linked to a reduced risk of certain cancers, says TIME. When you eat organic, you’re exposed to fewer synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, growth hormones, and antibiotics that can have adverse effects on your health

With these tips, you can find simple ways to convert to a more eco-friendly diet. Start today by cleaning out the fridge (and making a meal with leftovers) or purchasing a reusable water bottle. If you’d like to live in a community that supports an eco-friendly lifestyle, contact us.

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