Green Guide: Food Consumption

Energy Conservation | Water Conservation | Food Consumption
Transportation | Waste Reduction

Why? When it comes to energy, how you fill your plate is just as important as how you fill your gas tank. Pay attention to what you’re eating, and know where it comes from!

TIPS to reduce consumption

Try to eat a few vegetarian meals every week, instead of eating meat every meal.

Why? Healthy and sustainable! What you eat can save energy as well. It can take 28 calories of fossil fuel to produce 1 calorie of meat. Plant-based foods require much less energy to produce than animal-based foods. The difference in energy needed to produce a vegetarian diet versus the average American diet is the difference between driving a sedan and an SUV!

Eat organic food, which helps decrease the amount of pesticides used in agriculture.

Why? Growing food and raising livestock organically uses fewer chemicals. Organic methods protect water quality, maintain soil fertility, and enhance biodiversity.

Follow Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch recommendations when you eat out (Dining Services already does!). Get the pocket-sized guide from your nearest dining hall.

Reduce food waste: Only take the food you will eat in the dining hall to limit food waste.

Separate food waste properly in the dining halls. Last year 744 tons of food scraps were sent to a farm to be used as animal feed. That’s 740 tons less trash in a landfill.

Purchase local, seasonal produce.

Why? In the U.S., your meal travels an average of 1500 miles to get to you. Buying local reduces “food miles” which adds up to large reductions in fossil fuel needed to transport. Try putting 50% of your produce expenditures into local sources.

Purchase fairly traded, organic coffee where offered. (Princeton already does!)

Join Your Peers:

Greening Princeton’s “Green Dining” Group works with Dining Services to offer more sustainable eating options. They have successfully brought local foods and fair trade coffee to Princeton.

The Garden Project at Forbes College helps educate the campus about the importance of environmentally-friendly food production. Students plant, weed, water, and care for the gardens, as well as organize educational opportunities about producing and cooking food. See the Student groups links for more information.


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