1. Eat more seasonal and local fruit, vegetables and whole grains
One of the best things we can do for the planet is changing how we eat. Eating a healthy, balanced diet with a greater proportion and wider range of plant foods will help our health and the health of our Earth. Green Thursdays, along with Mondays and Saturdays, for example, are worth considering in terms of reducing waste. And they pay off even during the holidays.
It’s a shame that 75% of the global food supply includes only 12 plant and 5 animal species. There are many to choose from. Increased interest in less traditional products will only increase their supply and aid biodiversity.
Photo credit: iStock
*This articles is part of the WWF campaign on sustainable diets "Good for you, good for the Planet"
2. Let's shop consciously
While discounts are a temptation, one of your post-Christmas resolutions could be to shop mindfully. This means not only checking food certifications, but also buying less food – only the food that we actually eat. Let us not forget that agricultural land currently occupies 40% of habitable land, which is a major cause of deforestation, biodiversity loss and greenhouse gas emissions.
Swapping is also an excellent way of conscious shopping. Instead of spending money on new things, let's try to replace something. Most of us have devices or products at home that we don't use. There are substantial opportunities to offer items in exchange for something useful on social networks or offline events. And if you don't have anything to swap, how about buying secondhand?
3. Let's reduce food waste
There are plenty of tips on the internet for using leftovers. Try freezing ripe bananas if you just can't finish them. Once defrosted, they are a great ingredient for banana bread. Turn overripe fruit into a smoothie, dry pastry into breadcrumbs. What we can't save, we can compost at home thanks to modern composters. Let's not contribute to the 37 million tons of food thrown away in the EU every year.
4. Let's replace takeaway with cooking at home
When you order food, every item is in packaging. Along with bags, cutlery, napkins, pads, energy. One lunch delivery transform into several burdens on the planet. The average European produces up to 5 tons of waste a year, and only 38% is recycled. It's time to start changing that. Takeaway packaging is a step that anyone can take now.
Also consider reusable dishes or bottles that can be refilled with tap water around the clock. We'll save the planet and our wallets.
Photo credit: 1. © Diana Rudenko, WWF ; 2. Canva
5. Everything we consume comes from nature – think about connecting with it
A time-honored cliché, but still 100% true. Nature has a beneficial effect on our physical and mental health. It gives us everything we need to survive. By getting closer to nature – by walking in the woods, a morning run by the river, by meeting with someone in the real world – we learn to appreciate it. Up to 40% of the fish we eat comes from rivers – we have these rivers to be thankful for.
Everything we eat comes from nature – and modifying our diet is one of the easiest ways to help our planet.
Let's learn, let's try, let's not be afraid to make mistakes and let's show others how to do it, how not to create waste. Awareness is the first step towards change, and even a small change is extremely important for the world we live in. Yet by eating while maintaining respect for our planet, we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions from food by up to 30%, reduce the loss of animal species by up to 46%, reduce land use by 41% or more, and even reduce the risk of premature deaths by at least 20%. It's truly worth it.