It can be easy eating green

Header image for Interrobang article CREDIT: JESSICA THOMPSON
Why buy water bottles when there are many bottle refills stations across campus.

Finding ways to eat green can be difficult, especially when you’re a student, but there are lots of ways to be environmentally aware when choosing what to eat, as well as how and where you get your food.

According to Ironman participant, author and blogger Mark Sisson, there are many effective and relatively easy ways to eat green. Here are a few tips from his blog,

Eat seasonally and locally

This can be a tricky one for us Canadians, since we’re buried under snow for a good four to five months of the year.

The benefits of eating locally grown food are twofold: not only is the money you’re spending going right back into our local economy, but the food you’re buying doesn’t have to be shipped across oceans and continents.

Do your best to eat seasonally during the spring, summer and fall months. One of the great things about living in London is the amount of fresh produce stands on street corners in the summer. If you’re driving on rural roads around London, you will also find tons of small markets or stands where farmers are selling the produce grown right there in their fields.

One place to be sure to visit is the Covent Garden Market, where from May to November there is an outdoor farmers market on Thursdays and Saturdays. This is a convenient place to get locally grown produce.

Grow it yourself

Growing your own food might sound like a huge task, but it doesn’t need to be. If you happen to live in a place with a nice yard, you can easily plant a small vegetable garden.

Some easy vegetables to grow are carrots, onions, tomatoes, radishes and lettuce. If you live in an apartment, growing your own food is possible if you have a balcony, but virtually impossible if you don’t. In this case, plant your own herb garden. Herbs such as basil, rosemary, cilantro, oregano, chives, parsley and many more can be cared for quite easily. Not only will you have fresh herbs for cooking; some herbs are quite fragrant and will smell great. Added bonus: if you’re in a pinch around holidays and birthdays, you can always give potted herbs as gifts.

Sustainable seafood

It’s no secret that overfishing can seriously damage the ecology of the world’s lakes and oceans, so when you’re choosing what fish and seafood to eat, you need to choose wisely. Fish that breed later in life are in danger of being overfished, whereas fish that grow quickly and breed young are more sustainable.

Sustainable seafood includes sardines, anchovies, tilapia, wild salmon, domestic mahi mahi, Pacific halibut, oysters, clams, calamari, American lobster and Dungeness crab.

For more information on what seafood is safe and what to avoid, visit

Limit the meat you eat

Some people take an extreme environmental stance on meat and cut it out of their diets completely. This can be a reasonable life choice for some, but there are definitely some people who just love meat. If you’re a meat lover, try taking some steps to ensure the meat you’re eating is not only safe for you, but is also sustainable.

Animals who are raised for meat are hard on the environment, consuming over half the crop harvest. On top of that, animal waste is not treated at conventional sewage treatment plants, meaning that it and any chemicals from the crops the animals have consumed go straight into our rivers and lakes.

The best thing you can do is limit the amount of meat you eat. Think of it more as a special treat for yourself than a daily fixture in your diet. There are plenty of alternatives you can eat to ensure you’re getting your required nutrients. When you do purchase meat, try to make sure it’s organic and raised without the use of hormones or antibiotics.

Buy organic

For a lot of people, organic equals expensive. Yes, organic food does tend to cost more, but if you’re buying local produce during the seasons it’s available, buying organic from your grocery store in the winter shouldn’t be too much of a stretch.

Organic foods don’t use the same pesticides and fertilizers as regularly grown foods, meaning less harmful chemicals are seeping into the earth. This also means that when you’re enjoying a shiny red apple or eating a healthy salad, you aren’t filling up your belly with dangerous chemicals.

Even if you can’t afford to buy all organic food, try to go organic every once in a while.

Read labels

When you’re grocery shopping, take a few extra minutes to read the labels on your food. Many products will tell you if they’re organic or pesticide-free. Packaging on meat will tell you if it was raised without hormones or antibiotics, and egg cartons will tell you if the hens that produced them were free range.

Water bottles

This should be a no-brainer by now. When you buy water in a bottle, think of all the steps that go into making the bottle, shipping the bottle out to the store and even the energy needed at recycling plants to recycle that bottle. Buy a reusable bottle to fill up when you’re thirsty.

Eating green doesn’t have to be a major change in your lifestyle; it is about being conscientious and aware of the choices you are making. Small things you do on a dayto- day basis can have a large impact on your health and the sustainability of our planet.

Buying a reusable water bottle is an easy way to live green.