When I took a quiz about my carbon footprint on the website of WWF last week, I felt like I had to do something about it. Over 10 million posts are tagged with #sustainability or #sustainable on Instagram. It’s a hot topic and it should be. We are slowly but surely becoming more conscious about the need for us to produce less waste and use more sustainable food, beauty and fashion products by changing our lifestyles. Changing habits is easier said than done, but it’s too important to ignore, that’s why I explored how to become a more sustainable foodie in Amsterdam.
1. Green Groceries
Only bringing a tote bag is not going to cut in anymore. There has been an increase in the number of organic shops around the city the past few years and I’m a big fan. Some of my favorites are; Odin and Ekoplaza and Ekodis. There are still times I don’t make it to the organic store. It’s quite expensive (and sometimes it’s simply more convenient to go to a larger non-organic store). However, I always buy fruit and veggies in season and mostly local. Supermarket Vomar sells reusable fruit/veggie bags and paper grocery bags to reduce the use of plastic.
2. Eat less meat to reduce the carbon footprint
It takes about 6000 liters (1800 gallons) of water to make 500 grams of beef. Still, eating less meat has been a struggle for me, I kept finding burger places that I wanted to try and at the same time got highly influenced by documentaries about the meat industry on Netflix. I don’t prepare much meat at home, especially since I found The Vegetarian Butcher and The vegetarian Butcher’s daughter. but, when I went out I would go for it. Lately I’ve visited restaurants with more vegetarian and vegan options. This are my top five.
- Spirit A vegetarian buffet restaurant, right next to Odin, where you can do some green grocery shopping.
- The vegan junkfood bar For all your vegan guilty pleasures
- Las Vegan, worlds first vegan delivery only restaurant for when I’m too lazy to go out. (Delivery is done by bicycle).
- Saravana Bhavan is a vegetarian Indian restaurant, perfect for larger groups.
- Instock, This anti food waste restaurant gives new life to products from the local Albert Heijn supermarkets that would go to waste otherwise. Delicious vegetarian options, something surprising on the menu every day and you’re saving a meal from the bin.
3. Reduce food waste
About one third of the food produced for human consumption (approximately 1.3 billion tons) gets wasted worldwide, each year. I don’t know how much food I waste at home, but I do know it’s too much. In my search for local food sharing apps I found Too Good To Go and ResQ Club platforms for local restaurants, bakeries and hotels to sell their left-over food for a low price to reduce waste. There are restaurants that focus on reducing food waste by using products that would have been trashed otherwise, so even when going out for dinner there are more ethical options out there. If you end up buying products in plastic containers, make sure to recycle the plastic (first you need to check if is recyclable). Separate glass and carton waste in the designated bins. If we want to be sustainable coffee drinkers outside it would be silly not to do the same at home, start by recycling the capsules (Nespresso offers the option to drop your capsules off when buying your next batch).
4. Become a sustainable coffee drinker
When we’re in a hurry we all will grab a coffee to go. The average coffee drinker disposes 38,325 cups in a lifetime. A reusable cup is an easy way to reduce waste and, at most coffee shops it’ll get me a discount too. When I’m craving an iced coffee I do prefer a straw, I love the affordable bamboo straws by Bali Boo but when I’m in a fancy mood the sleek and oh so sexy stainless-steel straws from SolCups are really nice too.
5. Start planting your own herbs
Great to use for drinks, food (and even cosmetics). These are my three favourite herbalist blogs/communities:
I learnt a lot about the changes I made and where I want to move towards when it comes to sustainability. I’ve got a long way to go, but I’m glad I made a start. What are your ambitions or tip to become a more sustainable foodie?