Environmentally Sustainable Dietitian
Sustainable Dietitian (s) are always looking to provide evidence-based nutrition advice, but they also want to help the planet and their community. That’s why they chose to pursue degrees in dietetics in the first place!
The good news is that by being an environmentally sustainable dietitian, you can do both of these things at once! Here are five ways you can be more environmentally sustainable as a dietitian.
According to the International Institute of Environment and Development, the global food system produces 18 percent of global greenhouse gases – more than any other sector in society! As someone who cares about environmental sustainability, you can make an important difference by eating in an environmentally sustainable way.
Here are some tips on how to be an environmentally sustainable dietitian.
What does it mean to be an environmentally sustainable dietitian?
A dietitian needs to pay attention to many aspects of our lives: what we eat, how we exercise, how much stress we are under. A dietician who is also concerned with environmental sustainability has a number of additional issues to address. In fact, your actions as a dietician could contribute significantly towards environmental sustainability or towards further pollution and harm for other species in addition to our own.
Here’s how you can make sure you do more good than harm for our planet and its inhabitants.
- Give up meat (be vegetarian) … but don’t go crazy: Going completely vegan might seem like a great step towards saving resources and reducing animal abuse, but unless you grow all your own vegetables without pesticides, irrigation or harmful farming practices—you may end up doing just as much harm to our environment than if you didn’t give up meat at all! Be sure to source your meat in a way that doesn’t add unnecessary pollution. To learn more about environmentally-friendly farming techniques check out organizations such as Organic Valley and Whole Foods Market.
What we can all do to improve sustainability in our diets
there are plenty of changes that individuals can make in order to improve their diets and thereby contribute to a more sustainable way of living. Whether you’re a dietitian or simply have an interest in doing your bit for sustainability, there are some key things you can do. So what are these actions? Continue reading to find out!
What we can all do to help: firstly it is important to note that what we each can do is dependent on our own current lifestyle and circumstances; while one person may not have access to certain food types or cannot afford certain foods another might.
This means that while one action may work well for someone else it may not work so well if applied without thought; so always think about whether something will fit into your lifestyle before acting on it.
Our role as Sustainable Dietitian
Our job is to educate, empower and guide people as they live with food choices every day. As such, it’s our duty as Dietitians to ensure that these daily decisions are made in a manner that supports their long-term health goals.
Sustainable diets have been shown to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing meat consumption and eating more plants. By focusing on education, healthy habit formation and developing self-care routines we can move towards living in a way that is healthier for ourselves and better for our planet.
Strategies for Sustainable Dietitian
The environmental impacts of our food choices can vary greatly depending on what we eat. So how can we minimize our ecological footprint and still enjoy a varied, healthy diet? Health experts agree that plant-based diets are generally more eco-friendly than diets that include meat—especially red meat.
The following strategies will help you optimize your nutrition and protect your natural resources at once
#1 Go Local: Think Global; Eat Local On average, fruits and vegetables grown less than 100 miles from home take 1/2 as much energy to transport compared with those brought in from outside your state’s borders.
Some conscientious consumers are even getting their groceries delivered by small local producers via community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs or buying directly from local farmers’ markets. Learn where nearby farms grow organic produce, grass-fed meats and other locally sourced products. And look for restaurants that source ingredients from nearby growers whenever possible.
Implementing Sustainable Dietitian
In order to help both your clients and yourself feel good about your impact on planet Earth, integrate a few easy changes into your daily life. Make a commitment to reduce, reuse, and recycle as much as possible. T
he first step is identifying which items you can cut from your life. To start: use reusable bags for groceries instead of disposable plastic bags, change all light bulbs in your home (or business) over to energy-efficient LED bulbs, ditch bottled water for reusable bottles, etc.
You’ll also want to track your recycling habits—how much does waste does each person in your household produce? Once you know how much stuff you’re throwing away, find ways to decrease that number without sacrificing convenience. Did five family members really need their own kitchen sponges? Did they really need 15 individually wrapped pieces of gum?
Planning Sustainable Meals
There are a number of tools you can use to make planning and shopping for your meals more sustainable. Use your local farmers market, join a CSA, or use apps like Good Eggs or Local Harvest that connect you with sustainable food sources. Utilize these tools in combination with purchasing staples like beans, rice, and grains in bulk from Whole Foods Market or Costco to get a well-rounded balance of protein and carbohydrates.
Sustainability in Dining Out
Try taking your lunch or dinner out with you rather than eating out every day. Use a brown bag, pail, or thermal lunch box (an investment that will last forever) and pack your meals in advance so they’re ready when you are.
You can even make leftovers work for you by picking them up to eat at work later that week. On days you do eat out at restaurants, try ordering smaller portions. This will save on both calories and overall cost. Also, share your meal with a friend or bring home some of what you ordered.
The more time passes between eating food and disposing of it (through cleaning up after yourself), the less likely it is to end up in landfills where it creates methane—and which is 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas.