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9 Tips for Sustainable Eating

by Meaghan Weeden January 25, 2024 3 min read

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9 Sustainable Eating Tips

There’s a lot of information out there about how to eat a healthy diet, and that’s great. But maybe you also want to eat more sustainably without giving up all the dishes you love. We know it can be confusing to figure out exactly what a sustainable dietis, so we created a simple sustainable diet starter guide!

Your diet is a deeply personal choice — and one that you ultimately need to make for yourself. But cooking sustainable meals can be simple and delicious.

To begin, let's clarify what, exactly, a sustainable diet is: it's vibrant, delicious, and good for your health and the planet. It's filled with local, seasonal, and plant-based meals. And it's kind to the planet because it supports sustainable farming practices and requires less resources to maintain.

What you eat has a bigger impact on the environment than you may realize, and by greening up your plate (literally), you can make sure your impact is a positive one.

Check Out Our 9 Sustainable Diet Tips

1. Eat More Plants

Fruits and vegetables are loaded with essential nutrients that help us feel our best. And they typically have a much lower environmental impact than meat, dairy, and processed foods. Exceptions include fragile produce shipped thousands of miles, veggies that are grown in protected conditions (like hothouse tomatoes), and resource-intensive foods like almonds or GMO soy.

2. Eat More Variety

How we eat is harming ourselves and the planet: 75% of the global food supply comes from just 12 plant and 5 animal species. The lack of variety in our diets puts undue pressure on ecosystems AND reduces global food security. Try building colorful plates to enjoy a more nutritious, flavorful and eco-friendly meal. And don’t be afraid to experiment with unique, locally available foods!

3. Reduce Your Food Waste

With 30% of all food that is produced going to waste, it’s clear that food waste is a major global issue. In fact, if it was a country, it would be the 3rd largest emitter of greenhouse gases (right after China and the U.S.). So try to buy only what you will eat before it goes bad, compost your scraps, and freeze or otherwise preserve anything that you won’t use right away. And there are plenty more ways to reduce waste beyond just your diet!

4. Eat Less Animal Products

With global meat consumption increasing by 500% between 1992 and 2016, the livestock industry alone generates a staggering 15% of our greenhouse gas emissions. Still feel like you needanimal protein to feel your best? Consider limiting your consumption of meat and dairy products to just a few times a week — and if possible, choose more sustainable meats (like sustainably produced chicken instead of beef).

5. Eat Local and Eat Seasonally

Grow your own organic veggies — or support a local, sustainable farm. Just be sure to choose ingredients that are in-season, because storing food past its growing season can be costly, too. Support local farmers and your local community!

6. Avoid Processed Foods

Aside from being bad for your health, processed foods require a lot of resources — and strip out most nutrients along the way. Even brown rice, which is considered better than white rice, sucks up a lot of water during production. So get in the habit of buying foods in their whole, unprocessed form, like buckwheat, quinoa, wild rice, unrefined barley, and wheat berries. 

7. Choose Sustainably Sourced Seafood

Seafood is a great addition to a healthy diet, but high demand and poor management have led to overfishing of popular species like North Sea cod and wild Atlantic salmon. So get adventurous and try a delicious, sustainable alternative like barramundi, wild-caught sardines, or sustainably farmed shellfish. 

8. Give Plant Proteins a Chance

Plant-based proteins like beans, pulses, and some grains, are much less resource-intensive than animal proteins like beef and chicken. They also tend to be heart healthier and easier to digest. The next time you make tacos or shepherds pie, try subbing lentils for the beef for a delicious, filling, and sustainable alternative!

9. Buy in Bulk

Proper food packaging, especially of meat and seafood, is critical for food safety. But wherever possible, try to reduce the amount of packaged foods you buy. Think bulk foods vs. individually packaged ones, bring reusable shopping and bulk bags to the store, and find products that use sustainable packaging materials.

We hope this list has gotten you excited about greening up your diet! Just want to plant a tree? Plant one today!

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Meaghan Weeden
Meaghan Weeden

Meaghan works to share our story far and wide, manages our blog calendar, coordinates with the team on projects + campaigns, and ensures our brand voice is reflected across channels. With a background in communications and an education in environmental conservation, she is passionate about leveraging her creativity to help the environment!