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Meal Prep To Save the Planet

January 29, 2021 3 min read

Meal Prep To Save the Planet

Our food intake is one of the biggest contributors to our carbon footprint – producing enough food to feed our population takes a crazy amount of energy and natural resources. Luckily, this also means that the choices we make can make a huge impact in decreasing the strain on our planet.  

Aside from being a quick, convenient, and healthy option to handle your food every week, meal prep is also a really good option for the environmentally-conscious who are looking to minimize their impacts of the planet and preserve it for future generations. 

Why is meal prep good for the planet? 

Utilizing meal prep will help to minimize your own personal carbon footprint in a number of different ways! 

  • When you take the time to plan your meal prep correctly, it will mean that you will never waste food again.How many times do you find yourself neglecting the produce and other perishables in your house – how many times have you had to throw away food you forgot about until it was too late?

    When you meal prep, you’ll be planning out your meals for every day of the week, so your grocery trip will be a lot more purposeful and every ingredient you buy will be utilized, stored, and eaten before it goes bad. Every dollar you spend on your food will be utilized when done correctly, so you should never find another bag of wilted lettuce in the back of your fridge again. 
  • Save a ton of gas.If you aren’t already meal prepping, think about how many times a week you use your car to drive to the store, to restaurants, or coffee shops in order to get your food fix. That amount of gas really adds up!

    Putting some thought into your grocery trips, like you will with meal prep, will mean that you can minimize the amount of times you use gas to get food to just once a week (or even less!). You will already have a plan for every meal, so you won’t need to go out to a restaurant or have to do a last-minute dash to the grocery store because you didn’t plan ahead and have nothing good to eat at home. 

    Even if you use a meal delivery service, the planet will reap the benefits. Other food delivery options, like restaurant delivery apps, generally don’t plan their routes for sustainability, just convenience.Subscribe to a service that strategically creates routes for food delivery, rather than using a restaurant delivery service that generally does only one or two trips at a time.   
  • Use way less energy.Restaurants and other commercial kitchens use a ton of energy to cook and produce everything. Cooking more of your own meals just once or twice a week via meal prep will mean using way less energy and way less eating out. 

How can you make sure your meal prep is environmentally sustainable? 

Here are some tips to increase your sustainability and decrease your carbon footprint even more! 

  1. Invest in quality reusable containers.Decrease your use of single-use plastics as much as possible. Click here for ideas on ways you can store your meal prep efficiently. 
  2. Buy local and in-season! Buying local produce grown in season will drastically decrease the amount of food that has to be transported to your neck of the woods. If farmers markets are available in your location, this is a great way to ensure that your food is local – you may even get to meet the people who have grown it for you! 
  3. Choose plant-based proteins more often.It takes much more energy and resources to raise an animal than it is to raise a crop. Try to diversify your protein intake and eat more plant-based proteins like beans, chickpeas, and corn. 
  4. Buy in bulk.Minimize the amount of single-use plastics and other packaging that comes with buying smaller amounts of packaged produce and goods. You can use your own reusable containers for even more of an impact on sustainability.  
  5. Buy the ugly produce. They are just as healthy, nutritious, and delicious as their prettier counterparts, but the “uglier” produce is often passed over and ends up being thrown in the trash. If you happen to see a misshapen straggler in the produce you need, buy it and save it from being wasted! 
  6. Start a compost pile. For your veggie scraps, try composting it to give it a new life – you can even use it to start your own little vegetable garden! 

Becoming purposeful and mindful about your food intake can drastically decrease your negative impact on the planet. What are some other ways you can decrease your carbon footprint? 

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