It feels like I’ve been a while since I did one of these, but with only two challenges left to pursue this year, I couldn’t give up so close to the finish line! Plus, I couldn’t think of a more appropriate time to share an eco-friendly post than during the UN Climate Change Conference. If you’re not following, please do, as this conference is crucial to see if world leaders will make the changes necessary to prevent devastating climate disasters in coming years. It may not impact you immediately, but it will affect us all eventually, and then we won’t be able to hide from it so let’s act now!!
I’ve tried many fun, interesting eco-friendly challenges this year, and some of my favourites have been food-related ones. Of course, that might just be because food is just amazing. However, I struggled to think of a food-related sustainability challenge that I hadn’t done in some way before, so to spice up the challenge, I thought, why not combine some of them into one big one?
So this month, I bring you my food for thought challenge, where I’m going to combine three food-related eco-friendly challenges for my last month before the Christmas season!
Number one: Minimise meat and dairy.
Meat and dairy products are one of the biggest contributors to fossil fuels, at least according to several websites and books I’ve read on the matter. I’ve already done a vegetarian challenge, and it was easier than I anticipated (probably because I love veggie foods anyway), but sometimes making significant lifestyle changes like that aren’t for everyone, so at the very least, trying to minimise meat and dairy products is a good start.
This month, I’m going to try and eat vegetarian as much as possible. If I’m not eating vegetarian, try and eat as little red meat as possible. Lastly, I’m also going to try and minimise my dairy consumption, which will possibly be the hardest – I mean, it’s getting really cold in Durham now, and hot chocolate has dairy in it … but I suppose it’ll help me keep my sugar consumption down. If you want to read about my vegetarian challenge, you can do so by clicking here!
Number two: Eat and shop locally.
No matter what sort of food you eat, it’s always more environmentally friendly to eat and shop as local as possible. By buying your fruit and veg from a local farmer’s market, not only do you cut down on plastic waste, but the produce can often be cheaper, healthier, and it’s more environmentally sustainable to grow.
There are also options for buying pantry staples from different places other than supermarkets with lots of plastic packaging. For instance, I volunteer at a Zero Waste store called Scoop (you can check them out here). You can buy lots of pantry staples, often cheaper than at supermarkets without plastic packaging. You can bring your own jars or containers and get all the essential foods (and some cleaning supplies) you need, which is great for you, your wallet and the environment.
Lastly, sometimes we all want to eat out and treat ourselves, but for this month, I’m going to focus on only supporting small local businesses. These family-owned or small businesses often make healthier food (because it’s not mass-produced or standardised) and are less harmful to the environment.
Number three: Minimise food waste
Last but not least, let’s not forget that food waste is a significant environmental problem. A huge portion of the food produced is wasted, despite the many people living without enough food for survival. There are lots of ways to minimise food waste, including keeping a waste log, meal planning and properly thinking about how to use all the foods you buy before you end up just throwing them away. This month, I’m going to try and minimise waste for the whole month, and you can see the inspiration for this part in the last eco-friendly challenge I did here!
And there you have it! I know this is quite a bit going on for this month, but it’s surprisingly easy to combine them and stay on top of it all when you break it down. Hopefully, I can manage all of this during the month, but as always, I will let you know right at the end. Has anyone else tried any of these challenges? How did they go? Do you have any tips to share? Also, is anyone else both excited and nervous about COP26?? Let’s chat in the comments section!
Lots of Love
Blondey on a Mission xxx