The rapid rise of veganism over the past year is a response to the increased awareness surrounding sustainability and is a popular method in which to incorporate this into our everyday lives. Companies and manufacturers are also contributing by eliminating single-use plastics and implementing recyclable, and increasingly biodegradable, packaging.
The most recently developed means of sustainable eating stems from the role that packaging has on products purchased. Products encased in plastic are more likely to be rejected by customers than those packaged in cardboard. Brought into force by the European Parliament, all single use plastics will be banned by 2021. The elimination of detrimental, and often unnecessary, packaging immediately paves the way for a more sustainable way of living. Choosing to buy products encased in biodegradable (such as the new shopping bags introduced by Co-Op) or cardboard packaging greatly aids in this fight for sustainable consumption and ultimately living.
Another increasingly popular way to introduce sustainable eating into our lives is to reduce our consumption of meat products. According to Shrink that Footprint, meat consumers produce 3.3 tons of CO2e compared to vegans who only produce 1.5 tons. Whilst a vegan lifestyle is not for everyone, reducing your meat consumption even by an eighth already evokes greater impact. Adapting your diet to focus on more plant-based products not only aids in the protection of our planet, but also has numerous health benefits that are not always imminently clear.
An often-neglected means to shop by modern society is buying locally farmed produce. Food markets are certainly not as popular as they used to be with the rise of supermarket chains dominating the streets of Britain today. Choosing to buy your produce locally not only cuts down carbon emissions from the transport of products globally, but also aids local and family-owned businesses in the face of powerful and dominating supermarket chains. Most market stalls pride themselves in offering delicious and locally sourced goods that generally have no packaging at all. Buying loose fruit and vegetables from market stalls like those in Grainger Market or those lining Northumberland Street kills two birds with one stone.
Whilst sustainable living from the outset can certainly appear daunting and sometimes overwhelming, it is something that is crucial to the protection of our planet. Cutting down your meat consumption and avoiding the purchase of heavy packaged goods already sets you in stead for a more sustainable lifestyle. Even just adopting a couple of these methods in day-to-day life helps with the greater good.