Written by our friends at Green Mountain Energy

When it comes to living greener, mealtime is the right time to make a big difference. Though you may not realize it, our eating habits can be harmful to the environment. Here are a few mindful practices that can make it easier to eat and live more sustainably, courtesy of Green Mountain Energy.

Mindful eating

Mindful eating means knowing where your food comes from. Livestock production requires much more food, water and energy use than it takes to produce plants. To offset this, prioritize produce and cut back on animal products like meat, dairy and eggs.

Sustainable plant agriculture (like low-carbon production and avoiding pesticides) and animal agriculture (like buying local and considering the health and well-being of the animals) leads to a healthier life and greener lifestyle. 

Cooking at home

Homemade meals give you more control over your choices, starting with local, eco-friendly ingredients, and ending with how much food you waste.

Food waste accounts for about 21% of landfill volume. As it spoils in the heat, it releases gases that harm the planet. There are easy ways to whittle down food waste, like using every part of the vegetables you eat, like broccoli stems, and composting leftover scraps for your garden. Read more about how to eliminate food waste in this blog.

Safe, sustainable serving

At Green Mountain Energy, we’re working to show people how every single decision we make can help or harm the environment, down to the plates we use at dinnertime. You can dish up a side of sustainability at every meal by considering what you eat it on and how you serve it.

Your dinnerware comes in direct contact with your food, so choose chemical-free and non-toxic options.

Go a step further with recyclable, American-made and eco-friendly dinnerware. Wood, bamboo or recycled-glass materials are great options. Also look for renewable materials when it comes to cutting boards, placemats and more.

Smart storage

Use reusable bowl covers or organic cotton wraps like these instead of plastic wrap. For storage containers, skip the plastic variety and opt for recycled glass or stainless steel.

Storing food properly is important, and that includes knowing how long you can store it. Freshness maximizes food safety and quality. Fish should remain in the fridge no longer than two days, while meat should be eaten between two and four days after being stored. Remember, produce lasts much longer and is better for your body and the planet. Check out the expiration dates for all your favorite foods here.

Keep your green momentum going

When it comes to food, use sustainable practices for the health of yourself and the planet. But don’t stop there! We’ve gathered up more simple tips for cultivating an Earth-friendly lifestyle on our blog here.

Our favorite way to live greener is also one of the easiest: choosing to use clean electricity in your home. We’ve partnered with Market 32 to make going green even more rewarding, featuring 100% renewable energy plans that let you save at the checkout line. Learn more here.