There’s been a rising concern about two key topics in the past couple of years: the healthiness of our diets and the health of the planet.  

Chronic diseases like heart disease and Type 2 diabetes are on the rise, and a lot of that is due to unhealthy lifestyle habits and eating patterns. But at the same time, there’s also a growing concern about how we’re going to provide enough nutritious food to feed the entire planet.  

Luckily, part of the solution is in our own hands. If we change the way we eat, both our own bodies and the planet can stand to benefit from it.  

Here’s how to meal prep to improve your health and cut down on waste at the same time.  

  1. Always use reusable containers.  

This is a given when it comes to meal prep: the name of the game is to store your prepped food into containers with the correct portions.  

Always choose containers that can be reused, and recycle any single-use plastics as part of your meal prep storage. You can also choose more eco-friendly options if possible, like those made from recycled materials, to cut down on your environmental impact even more.  

  1. Only prep the portions you can finish.  

One of the best perks of meal prepping is that you can designate the correct portion to prevent overeating. Prepping the correct portions can also be good for the planet: if you pack just enough to keep you full and satisfy your nutrition goals for the day, you’re avoiding food waste.  

Every time you meal prep, make sure that you’re getting just the right amount of food for each meal with no leftovers. Your body and the planet will thank you!  

  1. Focus on the plant-based products.   

More and more attention is being drawn to how our meat-eating habits are affecting the planet. It takes a lot of energy and resources to raise and feed animals for consumption, and when you take into account how many people eat meat on the daily, the environmental impacts can really add up.  

To minimize your carbon footprint on a personal level, try to put the focus on your plant-based fare like fruits, vegetables, and fibrous plant-based foods like whole grains. Using more of these to fill out your menu can help you pare down on the meat you eat and keep you full and satisfied at the same time.  

  1. Go completely meatless.  

Taking it one step further, you can also cut out meat completely if you really want to minimize your impact on the planet. It doesn’t have to be every day, either – Meatless Mondays are an example of how to reduce your meat consumption significantly without cutting it out altogether.  

As an added bonus, eating more plant-based foods and less meat can also be a healthier way of eating. Make sure you are getting enough protein with a combination of plant-based protein sources like beans and legumes.  

  1. Use a local meal prep delivery service.  

The very act of acquiring and cooking food is hard on the planet. Out-of-season crops need to be shipped to the store of your choice, then you drive to the grocery store, using a ton of gas and contributing to your carbon footprint.   

Utilizing a local meal prep delivery service can minimize the burden your food acquisition has on the planet. Local meal prep delivery services can plan out strategic routes to their customers, saving everyone gas.  

  1. Shop local.  

For the times that you do need to buy food on your own, do a little bit of research to find out where you can get locally-grown food products.  

In most cases, you’ll be supporting smaller businesses, reducing the exorbitant environmental cost of shipping food from place to place, and you’ll know more about the origins of your meal than the average consumer.  

  1. Choose organic.  

Organic crops and meat products are a better choice for your health, and it turns out that they’re also better for the planet. Organic crops don’t use herbicides, pesticides, or other chemicals in the process. When it comes to organically-grown meat products, the animals aren’t injected with hormones. This means healthier food products and less impact on the planet!    

Changing the way we eat is one of the best ways that we can reduce our impact on the planet. If you’re looking for a local meal prep delivery service in the Los Angeles area, check out My Healthy Penguin!