As soon as the Christmas feast is over, we begin to make our resolutions for the New Year. The only one that stays the same every year is the one about sticking to them! Two-thirds of what we set our minds to, we inevitably lose interest in or forget about. Especially when it comes to the fight against winter weight. That’s exactly why this article will (for once) not deal with how to quickly shed those excess pounds. Because often everything revolves around our own microcosm in our New Year’s resolutions. But what if we let our intentions benefit the climate — and consequently mankind this year?
What we eat not only influences our health, well-being and our figure. — our diet also has an impact on the environment, society and animal welfare. Through a more conscious diet, we can have a large impact. By choosing healthy, environmentally-friendly food, produced under fair conditions, we automatically reduce our ecological footprint. It also simply feels better to know exactly where the food that ends up on your plate comes from.
Did you know that food causes 28% of all environmental pollution in Switzerland? Reason enough to summarize a few simple shopping tips and everyday advice to help you start the new year more ecologically.
1. Buy what you need
In Switzerland, almost one-third of all food ends up in the bin. As a whole, it is not retailers and restaurants that are to blame…it’s us. We as consumers often purchase too much and then end up throwing food away; because it goes bad, we leave it in the fridge or we cook too much and no longer feel like eating our leftovers. Each person throws away an average of 320 grams per day — that corresponds to nearly a whole meal! It helps to think about what you need before you go shopping. A good old list comes in handy here! Once the food is at home, it is important to store it properly. Placing products in the front of the fridge (where they are always visible) enables you to use them before they go bad. Purchasing the right portions also helps to ensure that opened food is consumed more quickly. Tip: Storing in transparent Tupperware gives you a better overview of everything in the refrigerator.
By the way: even if a food product has expired according to its packaging, this does not mean that it is no longer edible. The date merely guarantees that the product will taste exactly the same up to that point as it did when it was packaged. So the rule here is: it is better to smell and taste it. A yoghurt, for example, is still delicious even up to a week past its sell-by date.
2. Consume less meat
A dish with meat contains three times more greenhouse gases than a vegetarian meal. A lot can be done for the environment by reducing the consumption of meat and fish. It is problematic that half of animal fodder comes from abroad. In order to grow enough animal fodder for the Swiss livestock, we would need to use all of the arable land available in Switzerland, leaving none for ourselves. For the large-scale cultivation of soya, rainforests are cut down and small farmers are driven off their land. It is also important to ensure that meat is produced in an environmentally friendly and species-appropriate manner (organic). If you are worried that you will not be able to cover your protein requirements by consuming less meat, we recommend that you include more vegetable protein sources such as tofu, beans and chickpeas in your diet.
3. Seasonal and local shopping
Knowing where the food on your plate comes from simply feels and tastes better. It also helps to avoid long transport routes. Air transports in particular put a heavy strain on the climate. Supporting local suppliers makes perfect sense! That being said, it is important to purchase products that are in season — just because something is regional does not guarantee sustainability. If food is grown in heated greenhouses, this can also have a negative impact on the ecological balance of the product.
These days we live our lives sitting down – we rarely walk. So take the time to refresh your mind by going for a regular walk. It’s also a good way to get some physical activity that will do your body a world of good.
5. Say no to plastic & yes to recycling
Not every fruit needs an extra plastic bag. It makes more sense to always have a cloth bag with you so you are prepared for every purchase. You also save a lot of packaging (and eat healthier) if you cook fresh every day. If plastic packaging is unavoidable, make sure to buy as large a pack as possible of basic foodstuffs. This will limit the amount of small packaging you purchase. By the way, did you know that Farmy is completely free of plastic in its fruits and vegetables section? The “bags” are made of corn starch and can easily be composted. Furthermore, all the packaging material can simply be returned with the next delivery. The packaging material is collected and, if possible, reused or recycled.
Are you ready?
So let’s all try to pay even more attention in the New Year to how and where we shop. Each one of us decides daily what footprint he/she leaves on the planet. Farmy tries to make the world a little bit better through conscious nutrition. There are fewer CO2 emissions when you shop local, purchase organic and composte or recycle your food. In addition, it supports numerous farmers and small producers in Switzerland.
I wish you all a good — and hopefully (even) more sustainable — start into the new year.
All my love, Anina