We can all do a better job when it comes to protecting our planet. With a few small lifestyle changes, we can make a big impact as individuals. BentallGreenOak Residential Services has a few tips for what to put on your plate, and what to ditch from your diet, to support the planet.
Avoid Palm Oil
Do your best to avoid palm oil. If you're not reading labels, there's a good chance you have at least a few items in your life that contain palm oil including food, cosmetics, soaps and shampoos. Not only is palm oil harmful for the environment, but its production also negatively impacts animals and local communities -- mostly due to deforestation that's required for palm oil plantations. One of the easiest ways to avoid it is to simply read labels and choose products that contain other oils such as canola, sunflower and coconut.
Cut Back On Meat
There's no reason to eat meat every day. It's actually healthier for you to moderate your meat intake and it's better for the environment, too. Start by picking a couple of days a week and committing to eating only meatless meals on those days. If you're not sure how to eat well meatless, an easy way is to substitute your favourite meat dishes with mock meats, legumes, tofu or tempeh. There are so many great vegetarian and vegan recipes out there to try, like this Vegetable Lasagna or this Tempeh Black Bean Burger recipe. Once you get used to this new way of eating you're going to forget why you ever ate meat before!
Eat More Plants
Eating more plants is always a great idea. By adding more fruits, vegetables and nuts to your plate, not only will you improve your health but you will also have a direct impact on climate change. Animal products are responsible for a large majority of greenhouse gas emissions, so eating more plants is a no-brainer if you want to eat more sustainably. If you need more motivation, studies have shown that people who eat a mostly plant-based diet have fewer health issues than those who don't.
Eat Sustainable Seafood
Overfishing is a serious problem. The amount of fish that we have in our oceans, lakes and rivers is decreasing and certain species are in more danger than others. That's why it's so important to buy sustainable seafood. The next time you go grocery shopping, look for the Ocean Wise or MSC blue fish label, which helps to protect our oceans and supports independently certified sustainable fisheries. You can also check out this Sustainable Seafood Guide for more information.
Buy Local Produce
Try to buy local produce whenever possible. It's always fresh and you know where it's coming from. You can check out Foodland's guide to see what fruits and vegetables are in season in each month. Because locally-grown produce has more time to ripen, local fruits and vegetables will always have more nutrients than produce coming from the other side of the world. You can also feel good about your purchases because by buying local produce you are supporting your local community and nearby farmers, helping them to continue doing what they're doing.
By making a few small changes to what you put on your plate, you can make a big impact on the planet. It might take a little bit of getting used to, but it's well worth it in the end.
BentalGreenOak hopes you found these tips for eating more sustainably helpful!