Eating sustainably: how it can help both you and the environment

Sophie Wilson offers her tips on how best to develop a more sustainable diet.

Sophie Wilson
4th December 2019
image: markus spiske (unsplash)
Sustainability seems to be the new hype word at the moment. Shop sustainably, dress sustainably, eat sustainably… but what does this actually mean?

Sustainable eating means many things. It largely means eating food that has been farmed in ways that are helping to conserve natural resources and also is having minimal impact on the environment. It is also about choosing foods that help our environment.

So, what can we do to help?

Firstly, no matter what food you eat or where it comes from, we need to reduce our wastage. You can eat as much organic and locally sourced food as you want, but if half of it is going in the bin each week then there is no point. Buy what you need. Buy ONLY what you need. Reduce your wastage and this largely helps the environment in many ways (as well as your finances).

Secondly, cutting down your intake of meat is very beneficial. Try and eat meat three times a week and then cook vegetarian meals for the rest. You can easily get enough protein from meals that don’t consist of meat. We’re talking about eggs, seeds, lentils, chickpeas and the like. Not only is it a more sustainable way of living, it will help you to be healthier. A lot of meat is very fatty, and so reducing your intake can help you lead a healthier lifestyle.

Another way of eating more sustainably is through growing something for yourself. Why not try to grow your own herbs, or your own vegetables? Obviously, this needs to be in reason for a university student. We are not all going to go and sign ourselves up to the allotment list now, but why not have a few pots on your shelf. Grow some basil, grow some chives, grow anything that takes your fancy. It cuts down on the travel miles for buying things from supermarkets, and also provides you with a lovely experience watching your herbs grow, from seed to plate.

Finally, eat what is in season. I know that strawberries taste great all year around, but can you really not wait until Wimbledon starts to start tucking into them again? Are a few strawberries really worth the impact that it has on the environment of shipping in food from afar? Think carefully about what is in season, and try something new!

There are so many ways to eat more sustainably, and even just searching the internet can fill you with ideas on how to do so. It can be made fun, I promise. Hopefully, eating sustainably can also make you healthier, provide you with more money, and maybe give you a new hobby of growing plants. Who knows what you helping the environment will lead to…

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