healthy meal on wooden table

Here at Planet Home, we know taking everyday actions to live a healthier, happier life can have a direct impact on our own health as well as the health of our environment. Each of us has the power to create positive change for the planet by applying eco-focused solutions to our lifestyles, starting with the way we eat. 

We can improve what we eat and how we eat it to reflect more regenerative practices, so we can live in better harmony with our bodies and with the planet. We looked at five ways that we can better sustain ourselves and the planet to live happier, healthier lives. 

1. Plant-Based Options

The mass production of animal-based foods creates massive amounts of carbon emissions and wasteful byproducts that end up in our oceans. Moving towards a plant-based diet can help reduce the environmental impacts of meat and dairy production. Animal farming also uses about 70% of clean water, so replacing animal-based meals with plant-based options also helps reduce the waste of natural resources. Not only is a plant-based diet good for the earth, but it’s good for your body! Plant-based diets come with a variety of health benefits, including reduced risks for diabetes and heart disease, as well as an increased lifespan. 

2. Eat Less Meat

Not ready to go full vegan? That’s okay! Making changes to your lifestyle to support our environment isn’t an “all or nothing” deal. Incremental changes add up to make a big difference in the long run. Try skipping meat for one meal a day or even once a week to start, then work our way up from there. If you find yourself still craving meat, try out some plant-based meat alternatives by innovative brands like Impossible Foods founded by Pat Brown (you’ve probably heard of their famous Impossible Burger). According to scientific studies, if every American substituted meat for a plant-based option in just 1 out of every 4 meals, we could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 82 million metric tons every year.

3. Avoid Single-Use Plastic Utensils

Single-use plastic materials like disposable spoons and forks create unnecessary waste that will struggle to decompose in a landfill. Opt for reusable utensils instead. The next time you’re getting food delivered, ask the restaurant or your food courier not to include a set of plastic utensils. Let them know you’ve got it covered. Consider investing in sustainably-produced utensils to bring with you on-the-go or to use at home. Check out our eco-friendly utensil set, made from renewable bamboo and encased in a pouch made of recycled bottles. Get it from the Planet Home store for just $10.

4. Reduce Food Waste

The FDA estimates that the average American household throws away 30-40% of the food supply. That means we are wasting a huge portion of food that is fit for consumption, sending it straight to a landfill. Reducing the amount of food you throw away will reduce the size of your carbon footprint and also emit fewer methane gasses that are harmful to the atmosphere. In New York, City Harvest fights food waste by rescuing wasted food and redistributing it to over 1.5 million New Yorkers facing food insecurity. What can you do to help? Shopping strategically, storing food efficiently, and keeping track of your kitchen inventory can help reduce the waste you produce. Reducing food waste will also save you money, and that’s always a plus!

5. Start Composting 

If you do find yourself with food scraps, start composting instead of letting the leftovers go to waste. Everything from vegetable scraps, to coffee grounds, to dead leaves in your hard can be put in the compost bin. Instead of increasing methane emissions by sending these materials to the landfill, composting reduces your carbon footprint and returns nutrients back to the earth. Composting also reduces the need for chemical fertilizers, enriching the soil in a more natural way.

Start applying these solutions today, and you’ll make a positive impact on the environment with every meal you eat. If you’re up for it, try out this 22-day plant-based challenge!