The first steps in reducing your eco-footprint.•
Posted on April 23 2020
With all the recent media coverage of climate change more and more people are becoming aware of what it means to be ecologically conscious and environmentally sustainable. However, if you’re new to this concept it can be quite overwhelming knowing where to begin. Or, perhaps you have been doing this for a while and want to make sure there are areas that you haven’t overlooked or things that you haven’t thought of.
Whatever the challenge, we want to help! Thats why, every month we will be bringing you easy and practical ways to make the eco-friendly lifestyle change a habit, not a chore.
Ecological Footprints aim is to reduce our impact and footprint on the earth, whilst also considering the impact we have on our mind, body, spirit and health. So, how can we fit being more eco-friendly into our lives in a way that also helps us improve or manage our mental and physical health?
I want to start by asking you if you’ve ever heard of decision fatigue? For those that haven’t; decision fatigue is the idea that your willpower is finite, like a muscle that gets tired when you use it too much. The mind becomes tired after a certain amount of time decision making and eventually too many decisions and options can cause us to become overwhelmed.
With this in mind, today we are going to discuss meal planning; to help reduce decision fatigue, reduce food waste and to help us make healthier food choices.
We believe the simplest way to approach meal planning is to:
- Have a good think for your week ahead, choose your meals & write your meal plan.
- Write a list of the ingredients you need.
- Shop for the ingredients, just for those meals!
I’m sure you’ve all heard of the phrase “don't shop whilst you’re hungry”. Well, the same applies to meal planning. If you take the time to plan your meals you can be more conscious about choosing healthier options. If you have only brought the ingredients needed to cook a particular meal, when it comes to cooking time, you have taken away your choice to choose something quick and unhealthy.
However, quick doesn’t always have to mean unhealthy. We recommend that for the days you think you may be extra busy or tired, choose something healthier that takes less time to cook, such as a one pot (hotpot meal) or use one of our lovely Bay’s Kitchen sauces (made using natural ingredients, no additions, no fuss). Save the more labour intensive meals for the days that you have the time to enjoy cooking them. Like a roast on a Sunday that you then get to enjoy with the family. Also, if you have any leftovers you can turn them into a meal the next day; think roast veggies into a bubble ‘n’ squeak, spag-bol into a cottage pie, mediterranean roasted veggies into a pasta bake. Also, you can freeze the meal for the days that you are just too tired or too busy to cook.
We appreciate that thinking up new or different meals to cook each week can be quite difficult in itself. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to always change it up. If there’s a certain dish you don’t mind eating week in week out, or your cooking skills are limited, then choose a day that you’ll eat this meal on. Then once you’re bored of this, change for another.
It might also help to create a theme for the week, as this can give inspiration for meal ideas. Having a more cohesive list of ingredients can help to reduce food waste, by allowing you to use up all the food stock you have and reusing leftovers from meals safe in the knowledge that they will work in any dish for the week.
Continuing to think about carbon footprint impact, if you can, shop local. This helps to avoid food that is driven or flown in from thousands of miles away. If you’re unable to shop local, then try to buy products that are reared/grown in the UK. By streamlining your shopping process and by using stock locally grown and purchased you are choosing products with less carbon footprint impact. You are creating less CF impact when shopping and... if you cook a single dish meal you will use less electricity or gas which also reduces your CF impact. Win - Win!!
This brings us on to our final suggestion, which is to shop
seasonal when possible. By continuing to shop fo only what is available you are reducing your impact on goods brought into the country and are increasing local demand. This can also lend itself to helping you decide on your theme for the week.
We hope you have found this useful.
Thank you for joining the eco-friendly journey!
Qualified Psychotherapist and Wellbeing Coach.
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