It’s thought that two planets’ worth of natural resources will be needed to support the global population by 2030 and we’re slowly realising that it’s more important than ever to look at our own impact on the world we live in and how we can make a difference.
The food we eat has a huge role to play – from the fruit, veg, nuts, seeds, beans and pulses we put on our plates throughout the year, to where it comes from in the world – and, according to many, eating sustainably is the way forward.
Plant-based brand Alpro has created a handy guide on how to reduce your impact and eat your way to a greener lifestyle and more sustainable future…
Put plants first
Food production can be a substantial contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Many products also require more water and space than the cultivation of plants. Putting plants at the centre of your meals for a day can save up to 1,500 litres of water – the equivalent of two weeks’ worth of showers.
Think energy efficiency, think plant-based
We all know the importance of watching our energy consumption and small actions can make a big difference. One simple way to reduce your individual carbon footprint is to eat more plant-based foods. Crops such as soya beans require much less energy to produce than other foods and are a high-quality plant-based protein source. For breakfast, try adding soya drink into your morning porridge, or grabbing a soya latte in your reusable coffee cup on the way to work.
Shop smart and make the most of your leftovers
As a nation, we throw away 7 million tonnes of food and drink from our homes every year. To avoid this unnecessary waste, make sure to shop smart and plan ahead. Try creating a shopping list for the upcoming days to make sure you buy only what you need. If you do find yourself with leftover fruit and veg, why not freeze and blitz together with a plant-based drink during the week for a delicious smoothie?
It’s important to always shop as locally as you can. By doing so, you not only reduce the carbon footprint of your food choices, but you’re also supporting the smaller producers in your community. Your local farmers market is the perfect place to get fresh seasonal produce. When it’s not possible to get products from your region, try to make sure ingredients have been sustainably sourced. Alpro supports this practice, with 60% of the soya in Alpro products grown in Europe close to production facilities (rather than Brazil, where deforestation is still a huge issue), and all its almonds sourced from the Mediterranean (versus drought-hit California, which is also much further afield).
Make seasonal produce your best friend
Buying seasonal food from local sources means that your food has spent less time traveling and in storage, which can significantly cut back on environmental impacts. By shopping seasonally, you’ll enjoy the health benefits of eating fresh, unprocessed foods, not to mention local, seasonal produce just tastes better!