Even the smallest portion of food can take large amounts of water and energy to get to your plate. Making sustainable choices whenever you go to a restaurant or grocery store can add up to the conservation of the Earth's precious resources. The food we eat can not only affect our bodies, but our planet as well!

What You Can Do:

  • The average person in the United States wastes a pound of food a day--food that utilized cropland, water, and fertilizer to be produced, and food that could have fed our world’s starving population. Combat food waste by planning ahead, only purchasing food you know you will eat, and taking smaller portions at the dining hall (you can always go up and get more food!) If you do need to trash expired or rotten food, compost it instead of throwing it in the landfill. More information on composting can be found in the ‘Zero Waste’ section of the guide. 

  • 26% of global emissions come from food production, with half of those emissions coming from animal products. The majority of that percentage comes from beef and lamb. According to BBC’s diet calculator, beef uses nearly eight kilograms of greenhouses gases in its preparation per serving. This is almost double the next biggest user of these emissions (lamb). Limiting the meat--especially beef--that you consume can reduce this air pollution. 

  • Similarly, filling your plate with plant based foods wastes far less emissions than consuming animal products. 

  • Organic fruits and vegetables create fewer greenhouse gas emissions than products with GMOS and does not pollute groundwater with harmful chemicals. If possible, eating organic foods is a much more sustainable option! CU’s dining facilities provide students with dozens of organic options for every meal of the day.

  • Eat Local! Most foods you find in chain grocery stores such as King Soopers or Costco have traveled thousands of miles to get to your refrigerator--transportation that adds to the Earth’s carbon footprint. Getting your produce at the farmer’s markets (like the Boulder County Farmers Market, which is open from April to November) or purchasing foods that were made in Colorado can reduce this footprint. 15% of food provided at CU's dining facilities is sourced within 250 miles of campus, making it even easier to eat local!