What can I do?
Our food choices have a huge impact on climate change. But did you know your food choices also have a huge impact on biodiversity, both locally and worldwide? Following these few simple tips will reduce your impact on biodiversity, while your health will benefit as well. So get your shopping list and make sure the products you will buy on your next grocery trip are nature-proof!
Eat more plants and less animals
We can be short about it, cause you have probably heard it before: making sure your diet consists of mostly plant-based ingredients will make a difference when it comes to biodiversity. For each kilogram of meat, on average five kilos of plant material are needed. The space for both livestock and its feed is often replacing wild nature. Think of all the space for nature we could win if we would all choose a plant-based diet! Do you want to find the best vegan and vegetarian options near you? Download the HappyCow app or the Abillion app.
Eat locally and seasonal
Eat with the seasons. Our globalized world offers the possibility to always eat any kind of vegetable or fruit you might want, but that is not only positive news! Fruits or vegetables sold in winter are often coming from the other side of the world and the transport of these kind of products inflicts a lot of damage on the environment. Read the labelling on the products you buy. During summer, most fruits come from Europe, even the Netherlands. The closer, the better!
Every supermarket has some options in their assortment that make it possible for you to shop locally and with the season. Do you have more time? Then take a look around in your neighbourhood or city. There are a lot of entrepreneurs that sell local (organic) products. Try visiting the website of Loka Loka, on which you will find local businesses that sell vegetables, fruits, beer, wine, cheese, bread, etc. That way, you are not only supporting your local entrepreneurs, but you are also supporting biodiversity around the world!
Easy peasy: Pesticides are the proven death sentence of the pollinators we need so badly. Eating organic food means way less pesticides and more chances for bees. True, there is a proliferation of logos out there, but the European Organic Logo is trustworthy, widespread and easy to find.
Don’t waste food
Food waste is a huge problem in our modern-day society. Throwing away food is actually throwing away energy and resources, which is not helping biodiversity. One possible solution is interpreting the expiration date a little differently. People often confuse ‘best before dates’ and ‘expiration dates’. The best before date is the date until which the producer can guarantee high quality of the food. That does not mean the food goes bad the next day. The golden tip is: use your senses! You can watch, smell and even taste a little bit of the food to decide on its quality. Crushed egg shells, coffee residue and banana peels will do miracles for the quality of your soil. You could throw them directly into your garden. Alternatively, get a brown bin from your local municipality to compost your organic waste. For Utrecht, you can learn more here
Join Groentetas, a student-led initiative that sells rescued and local vegetables each week.
Join the Vegan Student Association to participate in fun activities and get discounts for vegan food all around Utrecht.
Attend the zero-waste lunches of the Green Office.
Learn more about the benefits of eating plants and about the negative consequences of animal farming in the documentaries Kiss the Ground, Cowspiracy, Seaspiracy and Game Changers.