Today, as people of Earth, it is our responsibility to keep our home clean and healthy. With our population growing and an increased demand for food, the environment can be sidelined and overlooked. Food production can take a lot out on the environment, consuming large amounts of recourses.

To put the amount of resources used by agriculture into perspective, 2,500 gallons of water go into producing just one pound of beef and about 18x more land is needed to feed a meat eater over a vegan for a year.

It can be easy for us to recognize the need for a change; however, implementing this task can seem challenging and possibly out of reach at times. Below are five easy ways to eat a more sustainable diet. 

1. Eat by the word: Organic

bacon, egg
Bailey Grayson

What even is organic, you might be asking? Organic animal and agricultural produce are grown without the use of antibiotics, growth hormones, artificial fertilizers, GMO's, pesticides, sewage sludge, or ionizing radiation.

Organic food can cost a few extra $$; however, it is grown without synthetic chemicals and doesn't risk habitat destruction and water contamination. Animal products that have been organically raised are also better for you and better tasting.

2. But BUY Local

Bailey Grayson

Eating organic is great, but another way to eat sustainably is by buying local! When you buy local, it reduces the fossil fuel used to transport the products. It also supports your local farms that are typically run by farmers striving to preserve the forest and wetlands.

By reducing the transportation, nurturing the land we cultivate and grow upon, and finding our local farmers market, we can significantly reduce the environmental impact of agricultural and animal produce.

3. Eat Less to No Meat

grass, pasture
Bailey Grayson

Unfortunately, meat production uses up a lot of water and releases a ton of green house gasses. The world CO2 emissions limit of 565 gigatonnes set by scientists is estimated to be surpassed by the year 2030 from animal agriculture. Eating less to no meat can mitigate the environmental impact of animal products.

Organic methods to raising meat products is more time consuming than mass production methods, so there isn't enough supply of meat and animal products to reach the demand for them. How to eat more sustainably and to avoid this problem, perhaps try celebrating meatless Monday (and Tuesday?)!

4. Only Buy What You Can Eat

beer, wine
Zoe Zaiss

Food waste is a HUGE problem, especially in the United States with 40% of its food never being eaten. By only purchasing food for the week and planning out your meals in advance, you can contribute less to food waste. You'll also save a lot of money by approaching grocery shopping with this method, so you'll have plenty to spend on organic, locally grown and raised products!

5. What You've Got Isn't Waste

sweet, chocolate
Bailey Grayson

Instead of throwing out your egg shells, fruit peels, and other organic produce, you should compost it! Food waste, instead of adding to your trash, can be converted into soil with time. This soil will be able to grow more food and you will have given back to the environment. This is a great example of eating sustainably as you are creating your own soil. If you want you could grow your own produce in it!

Adopting these five easy steps into your life will not only help the Earth, but also the people living on it. These steps aren't the only way to be sustainable, however they offer a solid foundation to beginning your new "green" lifestyle. Show that you care by trying out some of these steps and celebrating your newfound knowledge!