Many of us adopt good food habits to protect our health and well-being but what about the well-being of our planet?
While it’s important to make choices that will have a positive impact on ourselves, it’s vital that we also make choices that will benefit the environment. By doing so, we will do our bit to combat pollution and climate change and pave the way for a better life for our children and future generations.
Here are just a few of the eco-friendly food habits that you might want to consider.
#1: Reuse food grease and cooking oil
After cooking, a lot of people pour food grease and cooking oil into their sinks and release it into the drains and sewers. This is bad news for two reasons.
Firstly, food grease and cooking oils can block drainage systems, so you will likely need to use the services of a plumber when your pipes and drains get clogged up.
Secondly, food grease and cooking oils are very bad for the environment as they can get into the local sewer network and contaminate local water supplies. This has a devastating impact on water-based plants and wildlife as they can be coated and suffocated by grease and oil if it isn’t removed from the water.
To protect the environment, store your grease and oils in old bottles or tin cans and find ways to responsibly dispose of or reuse them. Something along the lines of this ground beef drainer can be used to drain and collect your grease, for example.
If you want to get rid of your oil and grease, hand it over to your local collection site, either by visiting them yourself or by asking them to pick it up from your home.
Alternatively, find ways to reuse your grease and oil. There are lots of ideas online on how to do this, including these creative uses for cooking oil.
#2: Avoid foods with plastic packaging
It takes many years for plastic to decompose, so you should never throw your plastic packaging into the trash. Once it ends up at your local landfill, it will leak toxins into the environment that causes air pollution and kills wildlife.
If you do have plastic at home, be that food containers or bottles, recycle or reuse them to protect the environment.
The next time you go shopping, look for foods and drinks that are contained in biodegradable packaging. Lots of food brands use alternative packaging methods, so you shouldn’t have to hunt too far when you’re at your local supermarket.
Remember to take your own carrier bags with you, too, as the last thing you want to do is add to plastic waste by purchasing more bags from the store.
#3: Find ways to use leftover food
Leftover food releases toxic methane gases into the environment when thrown into the trash, so think twice before disposing of the leftovers from your family’s dinner plates.
Instead of throwing your leftover food away, find ways to reuse it. So, you could add your leftover ingredients to soups and other meal dishes that can be eaten later in the week. You could also add them to food dishes that can be stored and frozen until you are ready to eat them.
If you don’t want to keep hold of your leftover foods, you could add them to your compost. Any ingredients that you don’t have the opportunity to reuse could also be given to your friends and neighbors who may be able to make use of them.
Of course, you won’t have to worry about leftover foods if you avoid buying an abundance of foods with expiration dates. Be mindful of what you pick up at the supermarket and only buy the foods that you know you will have time to eat during the week. This way, you will reduce food waste and save money in the process.
#4: Grow your own food
There are benefits to growing and cooking your own food. For one thing, you can be sure of what you’re eating, as you can grow your foods organically without the use of toxic pesticides. You also have an opportunity to spend more time outdoors, which will obviously be beneficial to your health.
When you grow your own food, you can also reduce your carbon footprint as you won’t need to drive to your local supermarket to pick up the fruits and vegetables that you might normally buy. You won’t need to be reliant on food delivery services that use polluting vehicles either.
#5: Buy locally
When we say ‘buy locally,’ we aren’t only suggesting you use a local store rather than driving miles out of your way to visit another supermarket or shopping center. Rather, we are suggesting you choose foods from the store that are labeled ‘local’ as these will have been sourced from nearby farmers or other local food businesses.
When you buy local food, you support the hardworking people in your community who have produced it. There are other benefits, such as the fact that you (or your local stores) haven’t needed to use a lot of polluting fuel to collect the food or have it delivered.
Locally grown food is also in-season which means it hasn’t needed a lot of energy-wasting manufacturing methods to keep it fresh.
When you buy locally, you are doing much to support the environment. You are also buying food that is healthier and tastier if you can be sure that it is fresh and that it has been growing using organic farming methods. So, not only will you benefit the world when you buy locally, but you will benefit your taste buds too!
You will protect the environment if you stick to these eco-friendly food habits, so make them a part of your life today. There is much more you can do, of course, so browse our website for further ideas and take the relevant next steps to make a positive impact on the world around you.
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