Our personal agency for change is a powerful tool that we must not forget. When we are choosing more loving eating habits, not only do they contribute to a more beautiful planet but there is something very healing knowing you are making choices that make the world a more positive place as oppose to contributing negatively.
By changing your eating and kitchen habits, you dramatically change your environmental footprint and your health at the same time.So here are some of my favourite tips for eating your way to a more beautiful planet.
1) Dramatically reduce or cut out all animal products
It has never been more clear that moving away from our addiction to animal products is crucial in saving our planet. Adopting a predominately or completely plant-based diet is one of the biggest steps you can take in making a stand for our beautiful Mother Earth. We recommend going the whole way and making it your lifestyle so that it actually becomes possible for you to meet your health and environmental targets. It's just too hard when you have a mixed bag approach. Even our Australian dietary guidelines put a cap on meat for example which I highly doubt that omnivores actually stick to. It's like trying to limit your cigarettes, if you crave cigarettes and they exist in your day-to-day, it is going to be so difficult to reduce or stay away from them - especially if the only way you have learnt to cook revolves around the inclusion of animal products. We need to embrace whole food plant based eating majority of the time. It needs to be the default of our meals.
Guys, it doesn't need to anything special. I barely tend to ours. I just want to make sure I am diverting my food scraps to my backyard instead of landfill. Some how it is breaking down and working out! Just set yourself up a little spot and start emptying your scraps there. We noticed when going fully plant based composting became even easier because we didn't have to sort funky animal products from the waste, we could just throw all of our scraps (plants) straight in!
3) Stop using oil
I stopped using oil in my kitchen about 3 years ago and it's been great. Washing up has become so much simpler and I am using less detergents and water because I am not spending my time trying to clean caked on, oily grease. Again, great for your health and the environment.
4) Swap harsh chemicals and detergents for natural options
When we open our hearts to the knowing that we are one and our world is deeply interconnected, we can connect to that fact that every action we take affects the rest of the world and comes back around to affect us also. When we use chemicals or pest sprays, this enters back into our water and food system in one way or another and we destroy the biodiversity of our planet and poison ourselves. I believe we are so deeply inter-connected that we also have to process on a global level the collective trauma that is happening in these slaughterhouses from our animal addiction. Whilst we might think we are ignoring it, I believe our sub-conscious is aware and feels this pain.
5) Re-useable dish cloths & sustainable scourers
Instead of continually buying and throwing out cloths, we buy re-useable ones and simply wash them! It's easier then you think. We also use coconut fibre scourers and they work a treat.
6) Use a compostable baking paper
Doing this saves on clean up (less detergent and water) and you can reuse a few times.
7) Don't buy packaged products
This is why, again, eating whole food plant based is amazing for both you and the planet. When you eat a packaged product, that waste will exist longer than you will. For a split second treat in your mouth.. the consequences are big for both you and our planet. Even buying your dry food in bulk or from somewhere like Source Bulk Foods dramatically reduces the amount of packaging you use.
8) Ditch the cling wrap
Swap your cling wrap for glass container storage or soy wax food wraps.
9) Eat out less
When we eat out it generally involves more waste consumables and packaging and resources. There is also a tendency for an over-use of oils, sugars and salts so that you like and become addicted to the food and buy it again.
10) Buy locally or grow something in your garden
The research shows that eating plants regardless of the origin is still better environmentally then eating animal products. But in saying that, I believe we need to be creating stronger, local, secure food systems so it is still crucial for improving our food system that you try to buy and source your plants locally. Going to your local farmers markets or growing some kale in your back yard - it all helps.
It's always best to try to avoid waste in the first place. But if you do then recycle it whether it's your home recycling bin or taking your plastic to your supermarket for processing. We have a long way to go with how we deal with our waste which can be demoralising - for all the smart things we have been able to do as a society I am not sure why we can't sort this out!
And finally, just do the best you can, that is all we can do.