Today, our wrong eating habits are seen as one of the main reasons for the deterioration of the environment. Developing diets bring with them many global health crises caused by both over- and under-nutrition. According to Sofra/Compass Group Turkey Country Dietitian Emel Terzioğlu Arslan, we can reduce our carbon footprint with 7 steps; we can protect both the environment and our health.
While the world is going through a very rapid change and development process, the effects of global warming and climate changes are felt all over the world. While many factors, from our preferences for driving vehicles to the energy sources we use at home, from the way we eat to the way the food we consume, cause carbon emissions, our choices about them also create our carbon footprint.
Sofra/Compass Group Turkey Country Dietitian Emel Terzioğlu Arslan, who states that even the right choice of food has a very positive effect on the climate and the environment, lists the changes we can make in our diet to reduce our carbon footprint:
Prefer seasonal and local foods
Locally grown fruits and vegetables not only save on fuel used for transportation, but the food is fresher and tastier. It also costs less and has higher nutritional value. In this way, we also support local farmers.
Choose more plant-based foods
Choosing more plant-based protein foods like beans, chickpeas, peas and lentils instead of animal protein foods is one of the most important ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Plant-based nutrition uses less natural resources and is less harmful to the environment.
Reduce packaging use
Buying food in bulk reduces the amount of plastic, paper, metal and energy that goes into the production of packaging. Even if selling in bulk is not possible, purchasing in larger packs will also reduce the use of packaging, reducing its carbon footprint. If possible, choose reusable, recyclable materials based on what can be recycled in your area.
Go shopping with your own bag
- Using your own bag while shopping prevents the use of extra bags and can reduce the impact of petroleum-based plastic bags that pollute the environment.
Save energy in the kitchen
- Buy energy-efficient appliances whenever possible.
- Consider what you need before you open the fridge or freezer to limit how long the doors stay open.
- Cover the pot or use a pressure cooker to heat the food faster.
- In the summer, run the hood fan to keep the gas and heat out of your kitchen; so you need less air conditioner to cool the house.
- You can cook larger quantities and freeze them in single-meal serving sizes. This not only saves energy, but you also have ready meals for other days.
- It is predicted that in the not-too-distant future, water, not fuel, will be our scarcest commodity. Therefore, it is very important not to waste water.
- If you’re using a dishwasher, don’t waste water rinsing the dishes and only run the dishwasher when it’s full.
- Repair leaks and drips.
- Install aerators on faucets to make less water more efficient.
- In addition to reducing the packaging you bring home, keep your food waste to a minimum. You can compost some of the waste. Also, use plates and glasses that you can use again and again in the kitchen. Avoid using disposable products. If you must use disposable materials, choose recyclable materials.