The need to take environmental sustainability seriously is one of the most trending issues globally. Every day, research studies discover new ways exploitative human activities adversely affect the well-being of the environment. Several actions and inactions of humankind have led to the drastic deterioration and depletion of environmental resources. One such act is the consumption of food.
According to studies, food consumption is behind about 30% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. This number is estimated to increase if humanity doesn’t start taking necessary remedial actions and precautionary measures. While the need to eat is undoubtedly one of the basic needs of humans, the unregulated and unchecked non-environmentally-conscious eating habits of several individuals is a cause for concern and poses a significant danger to the sustainability of environmental resources and maintenance of biodiversity.
For instance, from which food items come, agriculture is considered the most significant human activity responsible for the loss of forests. Our land and water systems have been greatly affected due to overexploitation, which stems from the need to meet up with the insatiable appetite for food resources. Perhaps it’d interest you to know that agriculture alone consumes a whopping 70% of freshwater derived from lakes and rivers. All these are bound to come with attendant problems, as is exemplified in the case of biodiversity loss.
More than ever, the need to adopt eating habits that won’t affect environmental resources’ sustainability is paramount. As humans, we need to control our dietary habits. It doesn’t necessarily translate to forgoing your favorite meals; neither is it about eating less than usual. It just means making more environmental-friendly decisions on what you buy, where you buy them, how to prepare and consume them, and at what rate you consume them.
This article will be examining some of those eating habits every individual should adopt in the struggle towards a sustainable environment.
1. Quit Using Plastic
Plastic pollution is a global issue, and this stems from the harmful chemicals used in their production and the toxins released into the environment during decomposition. They take a very long time to decompose. Ironically, several millions of them are produced every year, thereby giving them all the time they need to cause severe harm to humans and their habitats.
Quitting the use of plastics comes with a host of benefits, bordering on health and environmental conservation. Eco-friendly materials that you can adopt as long-lasting alternatives to plastic include; stainless steel, glass, wood, ceramics, bamboo, platinum silicon, paper, etc.
2. Keep a Garden
Keeping a garden as an individual is a laudable approach to an eco-friendly eating lifestyle. You don’t have to stay in the wild to keep a garden, your backyard or window (vertically, if you’re short of space) are great places to achieve that. In your garden, endeavour to go organic by growing fruits, flowers, and vegetables without the use of chemicals (pesticides or fertilizers). If you’re unable to keep a garden all by yourself, consider joining a community garden where you could do as much good.
Doing this will help create a balance in the ecosystem and relieves the pressure on the environment for food resources. It will also enable you to eat healthier, which is essential to your body system’s well-being.
3. Consume More Plants and Fewer Meats
It’s no news that keeping animals for food requires more environmental resources than cultivating farmlands for vegetables and other plants. Vegetables also generate fewer emissions than animals. In the US alone, meat consumption is responsible for about 42% of greenhouse gas emissions. Also, in the same country, raising animals for food constitutes more sources of air and water pollution, and sometimes even have more negative impacts on the environment than humans.
Cutting down on these effects requires a reduction in animal consumption, with a corresponding increase in the number of plants consumed. Protein-filled plants like beans, soya, nuts, etc. can be used to cut down on meat consumption as they’re equally nutritional.
4. Preserve Food
Many people find it challenging to preserve food. As long as they’re satisfied, they don’t care what happens to the leftovers, without considering what effects such attitudes have on the environment. The most viable solution to this is to build a habit of buying or making just what you need. In cases where you have a surplus, preserve them to avoid wastage. Preservative methods you can embrace for your food items include; freezing, dehydration, pasteurization, canning, drying, etc.
Achieving a sustainable environment, free from harmful chemicals and toxins, requires a collective effort. It’s high time we started paying attention to the impacts of our various activities on the well-being of the planet. Eating correctly in an eco-friendly manner is the right way of bringing mother Earth closer to much-needed restoration.