Eco-friendly diets The world, as we know, is in a constant state of change. After exploiting Mother Nature up to the extremes, the entire planet is in a go-green mode. Everything is being modified or developed to suit the environment. And it wasn’t long before someone came up with eco-friendly diets – a diet that would keep you healthy and help reduce your impact on the environment. Today everyone is striving to be a friend of the environment and eco-friendly diets brings that opportunity to each and every living individual on this planet.
So, the first question we ask is, why eco-friendly diets?
Well, each and every single one of us has an impact on the environment. The way we do things, the things we use and also, what we eat. This impact of ours is also known as leaving behind a carbon footprint. And by choosing eco-friendly diets, we reduce our carbon footprint on the world, ultimately playing our part in being environment-friendly.
What is an eco-friendly diet?
The main ingredient of an eco-friendly diet is food, and food needs no introduction. Food is a vital part of our lives, it is what keeps us alive and for some, food is the celebration. Everybody has a diet, and the eco-friendly diet involves using food materials that have been procured in an environment-friendly way and other little things that we can do while we get our food materials. The contents of our food not only impact our way of life but it influences the environment as well. When people think of healthy living or healthy eating, their health is what they perceive completely unaware of the impact their eating habits has on the environment. When our mother earth is sick how can we ever be healthy?
How to have an eco-friendly diet?
It all starts when we are out shopping for food items to maintain our diet. Here are the various things we can all do to at the store while shopping for our perfect diet:
- Buy food items with minimal packaging: While selecting the food items look for products with minimal packaging, like opting to buy freshly unwrapped fruits and vegetable instead of ones those are packed and ready to go. Often, more packaging is done with non-biodegradable materials like plastic and Styrofoam that end up in the trash and pollute the environment.
- Reuse shopping bags: Another thing that we can do is to carry a bag with us when we go out to shop next. This reduces our dependency on plastic bags which ultimately goes into the trash and from there straight to harming the environment. One might wonder that plastics are recycled, so it does not make much of a difference, but the truth is that only one percent of the entire plastic produced in the world is recycled.
- Avoid buying water bottles: Instead of using bottled water for drinking one must use tap water stored in recyclable bottles. The bottled water comes in a plastic container, and there are millions of plastic bottles made all around the globe and plastic as you already know a serious environmental hazard.
Types of Eco-Friendly diets
There are various kinds of diets one can follow to go green and reduce their carbon footprint. Few are listed below:
- Real food diet: Real food can be defined as “anything that is minimally processed and maintains natural integrity”. Food that is farm fresh or in the season can be classified under this category. For example eggs, dairy, meat, etc.
- Locavore diet: This diet focuses on local produce within 100 miles of a person’s home. Locavore is derived from the word “local”. The aim of this diet is to reduce the transportation cost of food being brought in from large distances. This will reduce the carbon emission while transportation and your carbon footprint when you buy products produced locally.
- BPA-free diet: BPA refers to Bisphenol A, known for its use in the manufacturing of plastics and certain resins. It is known to cause obesity and diabetes. A BPA-free diet excludes the consumption of frozen foods, canned foods, packaged foods with metal lids and BPA-containing resins. Also, a lot of products are coming into the markets that are bisphenol free, so make sure to look for products marked ‘BPA-free’.
- The vegetarian diet: This one is easy, don’t eat animals. Eating vegetarian helps reduce not only your carbon footprint but it helps in lessening the water footprint.
- Flexitarian diet: If giving up meat is just too much for you, you can try this diet. This is a vegetarian diet that gives you permission to cheat occasionally. Eat vegetarian all week and treat yourself during weekends with your favorite non-vegetarian delicacy.
- Vegan diet: A vegan diet is one in which one gives up on products derived from animals such as milk, cheese, etc. along with giving up on meat. This diet can reduce your carbon footprint more extensively than others.
- Raw diet: A diet that includes seventy-five percent of fruits and vegetables. One can also consume nuts, beans whole grains and nuts while following this diet. The main push behind this diet being eating raw foods saves the energy needed for cooking.
A little bit extra
While following any of the diets mentioned above, there are a few good environment-friendly tips/habits you can embrace to be more environment-friendly:
- Grow your food: If you have a backyard or some space you can have your garden to grown your fruits and vegetables. This saves you the trip to the nearest store, making you cost efficient as well. And if you manage to grow things more than you need, you can always sell and earn a little bit something on the side.
- Frequent restaurants that use local produce: Planning to go out for a meal, why not go to a restaurant that uses local produce more, once in a while. You cut back on your carbon footprint along with having a nice dinner outside your home.
- Cook double: To be energy efficient, we can cook more than we need at a time. The leftovers can be stored and eaten at a later time preventing the need for cooking multiple meals.
The world has a population of 7.125 billion, and even if half of us take the initiative to go green in whatever way we can, the impact will be huge. Eco-friendly diet is one simple thing each, and every one of us can start following to go green and also keep us healthier than ever.