6 Easy Low-Cost Ways to Eat More Ethically

In this guest blog, Better Nature give us some low-cost ways to eat more ethically.

There’s never been a better time to be more conscious about how we eat.

If you’re anything like us at Better Nature, you’ll want to do the best you can for the planet, animals, and people!

We understand that sometimes your budget might not allow for costly meat alternatives and organic options, but being ethical doesn’t have to burn a hole in your pocket.

Here are six easy low-cost ways to eat more ethically.

Adopt a Plant-based Diet

Switching to a plant-based diet is one of the most cost and time-effective ways to be planet-friendly and combat animal cruelty.

In a new Kantar study commissioned by Veganuary, it was estimated that on average, plant-based meals eaten at home cost 40% less than meat/fish-based meals and take one-third less time to prepare.

It’s understandable that abruptly stopping to eat meat might seem daunting and over-ambitious. So, if you would like to ease into a plant-based diet, you could start by trying meat-free Mondays!

Check out some Meat Free Monday Recipes here.

Buy Directly From Farmers Markets and Local Businesses

Although some farmers markets can be fancy and overpriced, truly local ones set up by farmers can be cheaper.

Shopping at local stores and farmers markets helps us to be more conscious of what we’re buying, where it’s coming from and how it’s made. It also encourages less waste as you are only buying what you need and in little to no packaging.

Rich Pirog of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture reports that the average fresh food item travels between 1,500 and 2,000 miles to arrive on our plate. That leaves quite a large carbon footprint for just one tomato! Therefore, it makes sense to support the local economy, and reduce waste, pollution, and our carbon footprint in the meantime.

Tips for Finding Local Producers can be found here.

Eat Seasonal Foods

If you are new to ethical eating, this is a super easy, money-saving place to start.

Eat Seasonably conducted research which showed that a basket of fruit and vegetables in the summer can be as much as a third cheaper than the same basket bought out of season.

This is partly due to travel expenses and storage not being required, as they would be when produce is sourced from out-of-area locations.

Seasonal fruit and veg will also undoubtedly be fresher, contain more flavour and nutrients and be better for our bodies and the environment. After all, nature has been around far longer than we have, so we should really trust that it knows what it’s doing!

Examples of Fruits and Veg by Season (See Vegetarian Society’s Website for the full list):

Spring: Rhubarb, Strawberries, Leeks, Parsnips

Summer: Raspberries, Cherries, Aubergines, Beetroot

Autumn: Blackberries, Pears, Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash

Winter: Apples, Cranberries, Kale, Onions

Buy a calendar that also tells you when certain fruits and vegetables are in season.

Reduce Your Plastic Footprint

It’s no surprise that plastic reduction is on this list!

‘Plastic Rivers’, a recent report by the Earthwatch Institute and nonprofit Plastic Oceans, states that ‘if all consumers switched to reusable bags, 9,000 tonnes of plastic waste would be saved each year’.

So simply taking a reusable tote bag with you every time you shop could really do a whole lot of good.

As well as this, you would be saving 20p on every plastic bag bought at the checkout! If you’re feeling bold, bring your reusable or wooden utensils and a non-plastic food container when buying a takeaway. In doing this, you could prevent 1,290 tons of plastic litter each year.

To start reducing your plastic use, see Lakeland’s eco range here.

Waste Less Food

The easiest way to waste less food is to plan your meals as best you can and cook simple!

This will often mean using fewer ingredients and saving a few pounds in the process. It’s a commonly known fact that 1/3 of the food we make goes to waste. To combat this, you can buy loose produce which allows you to select the exact amount that you need. You can also freeze anything you can’t eat while it’s fresh.

If you need some inspiration for simple, low waste meals that you can make with leftovers, check out the recipes below (See a full list on Eluxe Magazines Website).

Broccoli Stalk Kimchi Tangle
Smoky Chickpea Stuffed Potato Skins
Zero Waste Veggie Pie
Almond Meal Cookies

Grow Your Own Food

Growing your own fresh, home-grown produce is a wonderful way to eat more ethically. It’s satisfying, free of chemicals, has zero carbon footprint and of course, it’s low-cost! But if you want to go the extra mile in pinching the pennies, you can save the seeds from the fruit and veg you eat.

Whether you have a lush green garden or sunny windowsill, anyone can grow a variety of goods and reuse the seeds after!

Everything you need to start growing fruit and vegetables at home can be found here.

Fruit & veg seeds to get you started can be bought here.

By adopting these low-cost ethical options for food consumption, you’ll be well on your way to supporting a healthier, happier future for yourself, the planet and animals!

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