The month before the New Year is a period during which I reflect on how I can be a better person in the 12 months ahead. This year I started early. I decided I want to be more thoughtful in the things I do on a daily basis in order to have a positive effect on the world. That has manifested itself in doing good deeds for people who need some good and setting up recurring donations to the philanthropies I support.
However, for the New Year, I would like to focus on a subject which consumes my mind for about 98% of each and every day….food! Because food is such a large part of my life, I have identified 5 easy ways to change my habits and do some good for the world as a whole and practicing sustainable food.
Animal products take an excessive amount of resources to produce. A reduction of animal product intake is a vote for the environment! This past year, I cut dairy completely out of my diet. Besides the benefit of losing 20 lbs of dairy bloat, feeling much healthier, and my skin showing the positive effects, I have also reduced the environmental impact that is caused by the excessive amount of dairy I used to consume. This year, I am going to aim for 4 days on a vegan diet each week. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.
2. Reduce processed food intake
I believe we do a pretty good job at this in my household, but I would like to be more aware of my processed food intake on a daily basis. In addition to the extra energy required to produce processed foods, there is generally more packaging than whole, natural foods.
3. Pay attention to packaging
Speaking of packaging, have you ever opened a box, to find individual boxes, to find cellophane wrapping, all for one little piece of food. Yeah, let’s all agree that we shouldn’t be supporting companies that package food (or anything) so unthoughtfully.
There is no better way to be sustainable than to grow your own food and cut the middle man and production completely out of the picture. In years past, I have successfully grown tomatoes and peppers, but I know I can do better. I will do better!
5. Eating local
This is step that requires a little extra knowledge. But it is easy! When you are purchasing food, know where it comes from. There are several ways to do this. If you are in to food, acquaint yourself with local producers and the shops that carry their goods. If your local shop doesn’t carry a local product you are looking for, ask! Best case scenario, you get your product and you help a local business find a new distributer. If you are not familiar with your local food scene, every product says where it is produced on the label. The closer the location, the less work the product took to get to you, and the less negative effect it has on the environment.
Whatever changes you decide to challenge yourself with this New Year, I wish you the best of luck and a very happy and healthy New Year!