We all have our individual reasons for cleaning up our eating habits. For most of us, our diet is something that we do for ourselves. Although not limited, these motives often include losing weight, increasing fitness levels, improving a health condition, boosting energy levels, improving fertility and eliminating acne. Of course this list is far longer but ultimately our diets tend to be fuelled by individualistic reasons.
Although I’ve been due to blog about my current eating habits for a while, I will say that I’ve started to approach it in a way that spans beyond benefitting my own life. Far from perfect, I’m consciously trying to eat in a more sustainable manner. Over the weekend, I finally watched Leonardo DiCaprio’s Beyond the Flood documentary on climate change and was shocked to say the least.
The term ‘global warming’ has been thrown around for the past few years and it’s something that we are all aware about to some degree. Maybe it’s just me but I always just shoved it in the back of my mind with those other thoughts that ‘you know exist but it’s probably not that big of a deal’. After seeing the shocking reality & hard facts so clearly portrayed in his documentary, I am more motivated than ever to try and eat in a way that fuels me optimally yet also helps preserve the environment. It seems almost laughable to think that our own efforts can really make a difference to climate change but what if we all took responsibility and did our small bit for the environment? Even a 10% shift from each one of us would undoubtedly add up to some incredible results! There are so many ways to go about doing so, but here are a few starting points:
- Reduce meat intake (especially red meat): Animal suffering aside, raising animals for foods requires massive amounts of land, food, energy and water. Beyond the Flood showed that a ½ – pound beef burger is as damaging to the environment as an air conditioner being run for 24 hours- crazy! While I still do enjoy meat, I try to limit my intake to a couple of meals a week when I’m eating out rather than bi-daily as I once did.
- Eat local to reduce the amount of travel miles required. Food that travels shorter distances also doesn’t burn as much fossil fuel as food traveling to you via airplanes, ships, and trucks. This simple switch can easily slash your carbon footprint.
- Eat seasonal to naturally support local produce & local farming.
- Buy in bulk as it translates in less packaging waste…plus it works out cheaper in the long term so it’s really a win-win if you ask me!
- Invest in a refillable water bottle (preferably one that’s BPA free): Although buying bottled water on-the-go is often more convenient, using a reusable water bottle almost instantly reduces the amount of fossil fuels and toxins released into the air during production. This also applies to reusable food storage containers.
- Grocery shop with your own carrier bags: I recently read that England’s plastic bag usage by shoppers dropped by 85% since the introduction of the 5p charge in October 2015 (Source).
- Eat, donate or repurpose leftovers: Ultimately it boils down to valuing food and realising that so much energy and resources go into producing, storing transporting and delivering food. From bread to cereal, tomato puree, soup, bean burgers, baked goods, stews and more, I find that the easiest way to avoid food from going bad is to stick it in the freezer.
We live in such a beautiful world and maybe rather than Instagram & Snapchat it, let’s focus on making sure it lasts for generations to come.
Have you seen Beyond the Flood? Thoughts?
How do you eat for climate change?