This post first appeared on Piping Rock. All content is theirs.
So maybe you don't want to be a complete vegetarian, but you do want to help the environment. Here's how to do that.
When it comes to wanting to do better for your body, or the environment, there's a simple solution: Eat less meat. Most of the time, this sentiment is greeted with eye rolls from friends, or questions like "Don't you miss eating meat?" when someone chooses to go full-out vegan. However, there are small, less extreme ways to cut back on your meat intake and still help the planet.
For those not in the know, the consumption of meat has myriad issues tied to it. There's the problem of land waste, as companies cut down large areas of the rain forest to make room for fields to grow livestock feed. Not only does this cause a disruption of the habitat for the animals who live there, but it also leads to deforestation, which isn't that great for humans either. Then, there's the gross yet important fact, that cows produce waste themselves. This waste lets off methane, a much heavier substance than carbon dioxide, that in turn, produces greater pollution yearly than does transportation.
In short: It's a whole lot of messy.
So, if you want to do your part in reducing the waste and land problems, here's how you can start:
When you're cooking for yourself, make veggie-friendly dishes.
Let's be real. Most of the time in our busy lives, it is much easier to grab-and-go food, than it is to cook. Yet, on the occasions that you can cook -- try to opt for plant based meals. You can cook a veggie burger and a side of mashed sweet potatoes. Nutritious, filling, and meat-free.
When you're eating out, aim for meat-free ordering.
Think about being at an Italian restaurant. Traditionally you may pick the chicken parm, or meatball hero, right? Luckily, while dining out, choosing vegetarian meal options is simple! Replace the chicken parm with eggplant parm, and the meatball hero with pasta dish.
In the event you can't commit to the swapping out of meat for veggies, just like you can't get to the gym, the solution is simple: make it fun. Have a close friend or family member join you in cutting back on your meat intake. This will greatly reduce the chance you'll drool over their meat-heavy dish while you're out, and make you more likely to feel driven while doing so.
And if you’re going the full out vegetarian route, be sure to supply your body with adequate protein. Grab our Pea Protein shake for days you slacked on the right amount of nutritious meat alternatives!