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Sustainable Eating: How to Do It and Why it Matters

Sustainability. We’ve all heard this word being thrown around in magazines and on the news, but what does it mean? In layman’s terms, sustainability is our ability to meet the needs of our current current generation without compromising the needs of future generations. It’s about acting in ways that preserve our natural resources. And it’s more important than you may think! Our global future depends on adopting sustainable practices. There’s only one Earth to which we call home! It’s our job to protect and preserve it. The question is – how can we do this? An easy way to practice sustainability is by altering the foods we eat and shop for. Each of us can do our part by choosing foods that are healthy to our environment and to our bodies. Check out these tips below to get started!

1. Show the Locals Some Love

Summer is the perfect time to shop for local produce! By shopping at farmer’s markets, you get to meet the people who grew your food. You can ask questions about how the food was grown and how it was harvested. It also keeps your money within the community.

2. Develop a Green Thumb

Be your own farmer! Growing your own produce is an amazing way to be sustainable. It could be a full-sized garden, herbs grown in a pot, or tomatoes harvested on your patio! Growing your own food will help you understand the dynamics behind agriculture and harvesting produce. Hopefully, this will have an impact on how you buy, select, and dispose of food. No matter how big or how small of a garden you choose, you’re making a difference!

3. Go Plant Based

The Healthy Eating Plate recommends filling half of your plate with fruits and veggies. It’s time to start actually doing it! Shifting our meals to being plant based reduces both freshwater withdraws and deforestation.

4. Reduce Meat Consumption

The biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions? Meat production. Shift to eating plant-based proteins such as beans, legumes, and nuts.

5. Shop In-Season

Those strawberries you found in the produce section in the dead of winter? They most likely came from a warm place farrrrrr away! Practicing sustainability means buying and shopping for in-season fruits and vegetables.


So shop local, eat mindfully, and practice sustainable eating!


Written by GUADS staff member Angelina with contributions from mcgill.ca, sustainablehousingfoundation.org, huffingtonpost.com, hsph.harvard.edu, & eatright.org

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