In a last-ditch effort to save our planet, governments and individuals are being more conscious about what their actions on a daily basis contribute to climate change. While a reduction in plastic and greenhouse gasses have definitely helped, nutrition has been shown to play a part in the impact of our planet as well. There have been studies done to show the change of eating lifestyles could slash greenhouse gas emissions by 70% and water use by 50%. Here are 5 ways how your nutrition affects climate change and what to do to reduce your effect on climate change.
Eliminate food waste:
While cars are the well-known contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, food waste is an unknown contributor that has the same devastating greenhouse gas emissions as cars. The reason for this is because food breaks down in landfills and produces methane, one of the most powerful greenhouse gases. One alarming trend is on average, every person on the planet will at least dispose of 400-800 pounds of food a year. One way to combat the emission of methane from food waste is simple: plan ahead with your meals. Meal prepping, consuming leftovers, and buying only the necessities is what will save your impact on greenhouse gases and money,
Consume plant-based protein:
As a popular form of a protein supplement, whey protein is the go-to choice for bodybuilders, weightlifters, or anyone who is looking to increase their protein intake. While whey protein certainly has its benefits, it’s not sourced as environmentally friendly as plant-based protein is. Switching from whey protein to plant-based protein will significantly decrease your greenhouse emissions. Some popular forms of plant-based protein are nuts, beans, tofu, seeds, and plant-based protein supplements.
Start a small produce farm:
This may seem intimidating, but once you get started the process becomes easier. Growing your own fruits and vegetables has a lot of benefits, including reducing greenhouse gases. Some of the other advantages of growing your own fruits and vegetables are a reduction in stress levels, improved food quality, and an overall better emotional state. But how does starting a small produce farm reduce your carbon footprint? When you go to the store and buy the same products you can grow at home, you are increasing the use of plastic packaging. In addition, fruits and vegetables come from all regions of the world. If you rely on grocery stores to source them from suppliers across the globe, that will increase the level of greenhouse gases produced exponentially. If you don’t currently own land or have a small place to start a small produce farm, there are alternative methods that work for indoor environments as well.
Increase your fiber intake:
There are numerous advantages to having a high fiber diet, including a strong immune system, maintaining a healthy weight, suppressing appetite, and others. However, when it comes to the planet a high fiber diet means you are reducing your consumption of food with high carbon loads. Research has shown that diets with the lowest amount of greenhouse emissions were high in fiber while low in saturated fats and sodium.
As the common saying goes, buying local supports your community. However, there’s a deeper definition of what it really means to buy local. When you visit your local farmer’s market, you increase the amount of fruit and vegetables in your diet as well as reduce plastic use. It’s best to buy produce when it’s in season as when it is not peak time for fruits and vegetables to grow at their peak, it takes more resources to grow these foods.