Choosing plant-based ingredients means more than being “vegan” or “vegetarian”. Choosing to support Certified Organic, Non-GMO or Truly Grass-Fed products surpasses simply “eating clean”. What you choose to purchase and consume goes beyond what it does for you – what do all these choices do for our earth? Opting for plant-based proteins or whole food-sourced supplements, seeking out third party certified products or B-Corp certified brands, choosing to reuse or recycle packaging, and eating seasonally are sustainable habits that prioritize your health and the health of our planet.
A Daily Mantra: “Plants before processed, bulk over plastic”
Processed foods not only contain more added salt, sugars, fats and preservatives than their natural counterparts, but they also require more energy, more operational systems and more excess packaging to be created1. In a recent Canadian study, it was shown that 87% of plastic waste ends up in landfills or the environment, and 47% of this waste comes from packaging2. From the fruits individually wrapped in cellophane or prebagged in the produce aisle and the endless supplies of plastic bags at the checkout, plastic is everywhere. “What’s one plastic bag going to do?”, said 7-billion people. To prioritize sustainability, try choosing fresh fruits and vegetables before reaching for a snack bar with hidden sugars that is wrapped in plastic. Additionally, hand pick your produce and bring your own bag for smaller loose items, like nuts or seeds, and avoid the pre-wrapped and pre-bagged options.
“A B C, it’s as easy as seasonality” …
Being able to buy berries in the winter or squash in the summer is a nice idea, however, producing these fruits and vegetables out of their natural growing season requires a few not so sustainable elements: more pesticides, more fertilizers, more artificial heating or lighting, and more fuel emissions from international transport. A benefit to eating seasonal foods is long term reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and unnecessary pollution, proving to be more sustainable in farming as soils remain nourished and air quality remains clean. Buying seasonally is not only cleaner and more sustainable for the earth, but it’s more sustainable for your wallet! Local and seasonal fruits and vegetables are found to be not only cheaper but fresher and better quality. Compared to imported or out of season produce, they are more likely to be organic and free of growth and ripening chemicals.3
Be on the lookout for B-Corps!
To become B-Corp Certified, a brand must ensure transparency with their manufacturing products and practices, and their subsequent environmental and societal impact. Therefore, supporting a B-Corp Certified brand gives you complete assurance that the company is following strict standards for both environmental sustainability and societal welfare.4 Choose B-Corp Certified brands to keep your body and our ecosystem healthy.
All-in-Ones: All the Nutrients in One Package
On-the-go? Didn’t have time to meal prep? Hungry and fatigued mid-day? Store bought snacks and to-go meals often don’t sustain you the way you need nor are their plastic or foil wrappings (and ingredients) sustainable for the environment1. Your ability to fuel your energy and nutrient stores, as well as reduce waste from excess packaging, can be achieved by turning to a nutritional meal replacement shake. Simply shake a scoop into a shaker cup or bottle and have all the nutrients you need – without the extra cost or waste.
You don’t have to say ‘No Way’ to Whey
Not everyone was made equal and therefore not everyone can handle the fibrous content of legumes and grains, therefore making it harder to rely solely on these plant-based sources of protein. The good news is that you can still practice sustainability and ensure you are getting the cleanest ingredients by seeking out a Non-GMO and Truly Grass-Fed Certified whey protein powder. Grass-fed or pasture-raised animal protein sources reflect a higher quality nutrient profile, with more omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, while producing less agricultural chemicals and antibiotic residues5.