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Making a conscious choice to live sustainably was one of the many reasons we moved where we did. We wanted a homestead, even a mini one, and wanted to be a lot more intentional about our lives, including what we consumed. We made a lot of strides with this when we lived in the city, but it felt limiting for us. Almost like we were SO close to what we wanted to achieve, but we couldn't quite get there for some reason. And while we have a long ways to go for our big picture, pie in the sky dreams – we've made a lot of changes to get us closer to where we wanted to be in the last two years.
One of the biggest changes? Sustainable eating.
I used to think that the most I could do to eat more sustainably was shop from the farmer's market every weekend when we lived in the city. But there is so much more to it. You can do so many simple things that make big impacts on our Earth. And I really wanted to pass along just how easy it is so here are five simple tips for sustainable eating.
choose sustainable seafood
Choosing sustainable seafood is a really easy way to help ensure that we actually have fish in the future. By selecting your seafood carefully, you can help put an end to overfishing. When we went to the Florida Keys last year, I was introduced to the stone crab – a crab that can be returned back to the ocean after having a claw, or even two, removed and it grows back. Talk about sustainable! If you want to know more about sustainable fishing, check out this infographic that shows how we can ensure that the seafood we love is around for future generations.
If you're looking for a high quality sustainable seafood brand, I highly recommend Wild Selections®. Want to know why they're so great? Not only do they give back to the oceans by donating 13 cents from every can sold to World Wildlife Fund marine conservation and fishery improvement projects, but they are also the only full line of Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified sustainable seafood.
Want to know where their fish comes from? Check the blue MSC eco-label to see that they come from well managed fisheries and healthy fish stocks! You can also find out just how sustainable your fish is because it's 100% traceable. All you have to do is visit WildSelections.com to learn where the fish in your can was caught. As if these sustainable benefits weren't enough, Wild Selections® also only uses simple all natural ingredients to provide their delicious taste and all tuna is Non-GMO Project verified. Find out where you can purchase it with their easy store locator.
don't waste food
I hate admitting how terrible I've been with this in the past, but we used to waste a lot of food. Not eating all of the produce before it went bad, letting things in our pantry expire, etc. We didn't have a good management system to ensuring food was consumed on time. Not only was that a waste of resources, but it was a huge drain on our wallet.
We've figured out a lot of ways to ensure that this doesn't happen nearly as often now. Leftovers are eaten and produce doesn't go bad before we eat it. Pantry food rarely expires before we're ready to eat it and if it's about to expire before we will use it, we donate it. Some of our favorite tips for preventing food waste are:
- Use fruits (and even some veggies!) that may not look as ripe or will go bad soon for smoothies
- Always check your pantry before grocery shopping if you stock up on anything
- Have a freezer or pantry meal a couple of times a week where you actively find something to make that's in your freezer or pantry (This helps a ton as it gives us a better idea of what we have on hand, too!)
- Make casseroles with leftover veggies or meat that isn't getting eaten quick enough
grow your own food
By growing your own food, you know exactly what goes into making it. You can also grow as much or as little as your family needs without increasing food waste.. It doesn't matter if you have acres of land or a balcony, you can easily grow your own food. This was one of the biggest reasons we chose the house we did as it had ample land to plant some fruit trees, a garden and then some. Last year, we stuck to container gardening as we were preparing our land for the garden for this year and this small section of raspberry plants. Luckily, this year we plan to expand with some trees and our official garden.
Here are some simple fruits and vegetables that beginner gardeners can grow, many of which are great for container gardening! Want to get more involved? Try out a raised garden or try your hand at regrowing fresh produce. Not ready to make as much of an investment in growing your own food? Grow some herbs and then learn how to dry and store them. You can also compost your scraps!
opt for eco-friendly packaging
Reusable bags, buying in bulk, and reusable storage are great ways to live a bit more sustainably. Individually wrapped foods may make life more convenient, but they end up using a lot more packaging. When possible, opt for bulk options (assuming you'll consume it in time.) You'll reduce the amount of resources spent on packaging and the need to visit the grocery store as often. When buying in bulk isn't an option, try to buy products in recyclable or reusable packaging.
eat locally & seasonally
If growing your own food isn't your thing, try to eat as local as possible. Farmer's markets, farm stands, and even some grocery stores that mark which products are locally grown are great options. Not only do you reduce the carbon footprint of the food traveling across the world to get to you, but you'll also know who is producing the food you're consuming. You can find out how it's grown and what goes into growing it.
Eating seasonally also helps you eat more sustainably as it means food isn't being stored for later consumption and is more likely to be local.
What are your favorite tips for sustainable eating? How about sustainable living? Have you ever tried Wild Selections®?
You might also like:
- How to Go Green In Your Kitchen
- Why You Should Compost
- Easy Fruits and Vegetables for the Beginner Gardener
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.