5 Ways to Eat Green

Food! It can be delicious and nutritious, but did you know that it also accounts for 24 percent of global greenhouse emissions? Keep these five simple tips in mind to reduce the impact you have on the environment and eat tastier, more nutritious food.

Look close to home
Most food in the grocery store travels an average of 1,500 miles to reach you. The more miles that food travels, the larger the carbon footprint and the bigger the contribution to climate change. Venture to your local farmers market, ask questions, and do your research to find food closer to home.

Focus on flavor
Enjoy your food and demand delicious ingredients! Food that is grown locally and in season simply tastes better. Want delicious blueberries? You may want to wait until spring.

Prioritize plants
Did you know that eating one pound of beef has the same carbon footprint as driving 25 miles, and the water footprint of taking over 100 showers? The lower on the food chain you eat, the fewer resources required to produce your food. Join the “meatless Monday” movement and become a once a week vegetarian.

Grow baby grow
North Carolina offers a long growing season. Make the most of it by joining an area community garden, creating a small plot in your backyard, or starting small with potted herbs. The North Carolina Cooperative Extension offers a number of resources to get you growing.

Join the club
…the clean plate club! 40 percent of food in the U.S. goes uneaten and ends up in the landfill. This uneaten food takes water and energy to produce, and creates potent greenhouse gas emissions when left in landfills. Additionally, it takes a lot of water and energy to produce that food.


Hannah Slodounik is the Program Coordinator for the Wake Forest University (WFU) Office of Sustainability. At WFU she works with students, staff, and faculty to increase sustainability literacy and support behavior change. Hannah has a B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Redlands and is earning a M.A. in Sustainability from WFU. In her free time, Hannah enjoys gardening with the Boys & Girls Club Garden Club, hanging out with her “little sister,” and drinking Fair Trade coffee. Follow Hannah on Twitter to learn more about sustainability and current events.