Our food choices can be influenced by various factors such as health, culture, and availability. In fact, more and more people decide to improve their environmental impact through their food choices. Preferring a greener eating plan does not only benefit you as an individual, by improving your health but the entire world, as we will see through the article. By making this choice you will contribute to sustainable farming and agriculture, you will reduce the general carbon footprint and you will support ethical practices in the food industry.
In this article, we will help you to explore some tips for sustainable dining that can help to make more sustainable food choices without compromising taste and nutrition!
Befriending local producers is one of the simplest ways to reduce your carbon footprint and improve the quality of your food. Consuming seasonal products requires fewer resources for production (water, land, electricity, etc.) and transportation, guaranteeing a fresh and genuine product. Supporting local farmers not only reduces carbon emissions but also helps sustain the local economy, helps to create connections, and fosters a sense of community.
Rice, pasta, tea, spices… when possible prefer to buy your food in bulk, especially the dry products, that are easier to maintain. Bulk items allow you to reduce packaging waste and your shopping can be stored for long periods in special containers or recycled glass jars and old plastic packaging.
Animal agriculture is the world's largest user of land, either directly through grazing or indirectly through the consumption of fodder and food grains. Is estimated that 40% of the global value of agricultural production is related to intensive animal farming. Moreover, it is one of the main contributors to greenhouse emissions and deforestation. Reducing your meat consumption, and preferring a local supplier, will help to decrease those data. Consider adding more plant-based meals to your diet, and look for alternative sources of proteins like legumes, soy, and seitan. Plant-based diets have been shown to have numerous health benefits while also promoting environmental sustainability.
If you like to consume seafood, look for labels that promote sustainable fishing practices and protect marine life. Some of the most famous are the MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) or ASC (Aquaculture Stewardship Council), these certifications indicate that the seafood is caught or farmed using eco-friendly and ethical practices.
Pro tip: certification might change based on where you live, make a quick research on the Internet to check out which labels are valid in your country
In WIN Sustainably we are all about reducing food waste! An essential practice to reduce your impact on the planet. Plan your meal, learn how to store the food, monitor portion size, compost food scraps, and preserve the excess. If you want to learn new recipes to repurpose your leftovers follow us on social media (Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and LinkedIn), we always update new ones. Then, don’t forget to download our app and save some unsold food from your favorite spot!
Pro tip: if you want to know more about how to reduce food waste and save some money check out our article: Easy Ways to Reduce Food Waste at Home and Save Money
Choosing organic products, either certified or local, will reduce the possibility of exposure to pesticides and supports farming methods that prioritize soil health and biodiversity. In addition, opting for non-GMO (genetically modified organism) products will challenge the farming industry to develop new sustainable agricultural practices.
In 2016 the Ellen Macarthur Foundation declared “By 2050 there could be more plastic than fish in the ocean”. In fact, the last report Plastic Waste Markers Index 2023 by Australia’s Minderoo Foundation claims in 2021 we produced more than 6 million metric tons of waste, compared to 2019, almost entirely made from fossil fuels. For this reason, single plastic use is a problem we cannot ignore. While dining at home and outside is better to opt for more sustainable options utilizing reusable cutlery and plates. When outside avoid using plastic straws and bags, prefer paper packaging for takeaway, and bring your own reusable bag and water bottle.
Support local restaurants that prioritize sustainability. Look for businesses that source their ingredients locally, have plant-based options, and implement eco-friendly practices such as energy-efficient appliances, and recycling programs.
Pro tip: if you want to know more about greener restaurants and food business, on the app WIN Sustainably you can check out the Sustainability Rating of our partners and make your choice.
If you have a terrace or a backyard consider starting a small garden to grow your own herbs, vegetables, and fruits. The presence of plants improves the quality of the air you breathe and it’s a rewarding way to connect whit yourself, with your food. In addition, it helps to reduce your carbon footprint.
Pro tip: if you do not have a lot of space, kids, or very bad back pain consider utilizing a vertical or elevated garden. This option will help you to bring a bit of green into an apartment, reduce the dirt, and you will have the possibility to consume your product, without the need for a traditional garden.
In conclusion, exploring sustainable dining is good for you, for society, and for the planet as well. By choosing seasonal and local produce, reducing meat consumption, supporting sustainable fishing, minimizing food waste, and opting for organic and non-GMO products, you can make a positive impact on the planet. Additionally, by avoiding single-use plastics, supporting eco-conscious restaurants, and even growing your food, you contribute to a more sustainable food system. Small changes in our dining habits can add up to significant positive changes for our planet's future. Finally, remember to educate yourself about sustainability and share your knowledge with friends and family. The more people are aware of their environmental impact, the easier it will be to save our planet.