For most of us, the presence of Spring includes not just the return of fresh air and sunshine but also a return to lighter, fresher meals. Comfort casseroles are delicious but as the days get longer, it feels good to take advantage of the bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables. It’s also a great time to start eating more sustainably.
But what exactly is sustainable eating? Put simply, sustainable eating is about choosing foods that are good for our bodies and good for the planet. And it’s surprisingly easy with a few simple changes.
1. Tweak Your Grocery List
When planning meals and making your shopping list, take a moment to think about how to incorporate more plant-based foods. Options for meat-free meals have come a long way! Also buy in bulk and look for minimally-processed foods to cut down on packaging, waste and the energy needed to produce them.
2. Use And Reuse Your Bags
Given the many years it takes for plastic bags to decompose, along with their tendency to end up in landfills – and everywhere else – single-use plastic bags cause a lot of environmental problems. And though paper bags are definitely a better option, they’re made from trees (communities need more trees, not less!) or they’re made from recycled materials, which take a lot of energy to produce.
3. Shop Local
Buying locally keeps dollars in the community. It also means less fuel is required to get the food you buy to your table.
4. Eat Seasonally
In much of the country, tomatoes aren’t growing in many places in January. But you can still get them “fresh” from Florida, any time of the year. That means they’ve travelled a long way to get to you. Your nearest farmer’s market features locally grown food, which means reduced fuel usage – and fresher produce.
5. Plant Something
During the pandemic, many people discovered the joys of growing their own food. Something as simple as growing some herbs in a pot expands your thinking about what it takes to grow your own food and may make you rethink how you buy (and possibly waste) produce.
Spring’s bounty makes it the best time to start eating more sustainably all year long.
Grand Canyon Resources
In Tucson, get reusable bags — along with tons of other ethically-made and zero waste options – at Cero.
Also check out ElBe Boutique for chic reusable bags and bottles.
For all things AZ farmer’s markets, check out Heirloom Farmers Markets. They offer extensive resources related to shopping from Arizona’s farmers.
Great Lakes Resources
New York’s statewide ban on single-use plastic bags is an important step in the right direction. Learn how to make your own reusable bags here.Buying real food from real farmers in the Great Lakes area is simple with the abundance of great local farmers market options.