How to Eat out Sustainably on Valentine’s Day

by ~

Once you develop a routine, sustainable living can be a straightforward process. By making better decisions in your everyday life, you can make a significant impact on the world around you. Other times, however, sustainable living can be a bit more challenging — like during holidays and special events. This Valentine’s Day, make an effort to spread a little extra love to the environment by making these sustainable dining choices.

Research Local Options

Before you head out on the town for your Valentine’s Day dinner date, research the local restaurants in your area. Find out which ones use sustainable business practices, including:

  • Offering plenty of vegetarian and vegan entrées
  • Using fresh, local, in-season produce
  • Reducing food waste and unnecessary packaging
  • Providing transparency regarding meal ingredients and preparation

By researching your options ahead of time, you set yourself up for a successful, worry-free experience when you get to the restaurant.

Choose Food Wisely

Food is at the heart of everything we do.

Just because a restaurant uses sustainable business practices and farm-to-table produce doesn’t mean every dish on the menu is a sustainable choice. This Valentine’s Day, choose your food wisely with these tips:

  • Choose fairtrade ingredients: Ingredients labeled as fairtrade means they were produced in an environmentally friendly way that empowers workers and follows sustainable business habits. Two of the most recognizable fairtrade ingredients are coffee beans and chocolate, both of which are very popular on Valentine’s Day menus.
  • In-season produce: Producing and shipping out-of-season foods to restaurants and grocery stores take a high toll on the environment. Limit this strain by opting for in-season dishes. In most parts of the country, in-season produce in February includes broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, winter squash, sweet potatoes, parsnips, spinach and kale. If you afraid of missing out on the nutritional benefits of your favorite out-of-season produce, consider supplementing your diet with nutraceuticals.
  • Meatless options: If you’re on the fence about adopting a vegetarian or vegan diet, use Valentine’s Day as a time to experiment with sustainable foods. Research shows that the farming and production of livestock can harm the environment, due to factors like unnecessary emission of greenhouse gasses and excessive pesticide usage. By choosing a meatless entrée, you lessen your environmental impact.

Take Leftovers Home

In 2017, more food made it to landfills than any other waste product. Excess food waste puts a strain on the environment and does little to combat the number of U.S. families experiencing food insecurity. As you dine out this Valentine’s Day, make sure no food goes unused.

Take any leftovers home with you to warm up the next day or to add to a compost pile. To avoid unnecessary packaging, bring your own reusable to-go container and tote bag to the restaurant. Say “no” to extras like to-go cutlery and napkins.

Encourage Others to Join You

Valentine’s day is not just for intimate couples in cozy candlelit restaurants. Gather your favorite coupled — or single — friends and make Valentine’s Day a group outing to your favorite sustainable restaurant.

While 77% of people want to learn how to live a more sustainable lifestyle, most are unsure how or are afraid to make the first step. Lead by example by encouraging your friends to follow your sustainable practices. Let them see for themselves that sustainable dining can still be a fun experience. No matter whether they continue to choose these practices, you will have had an enjoyable night with friends and kept them from one night of less-than sustainable dining.

Enjoy Yourself

Whichever way you choose to promote sustainability this Valentine’s Day, remember every small action makes a difference. Enjoy your evening, knowing that you are playing your part in caring for the world around you.

Change Food® aggregates the best of the best already working toward healthy food change, amplifies their voices through our events and programs, and advance their work and the goal of the food movement – to provide healthy, safe, delicious, fair food for ALL.  Support us today!  #changefood

SHARE THIS PAGE

  • Trump and a Trillion Trees

    On Tuesday night during the State of the Union address, President Trump declared, “To protect the environment, days ago, I announced [...]

  • Global Food Security

    Global food security is defined as “perceived and physical access to food supplies sufficient to meet basic needs and preferences at [...]

  • Build Community

    Loneliness is a public health crisis of epidemic proportions in developed countries like the U.K., U.S., Germany, Australia and [...]

  • Reduce Food Insecurity

    According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, over 820 million people do not have enough to eat.  In 2018, [...]

  • Combat Climate Change

    Today’s food system creates over 25% of total greenhouse gas emissions, a huge contributor to climate change.  The majority of [...]

  • Trump Administration Cutting SNAP: What Does This Mean for Our Food System?

    The Trump Administration proposed three new changes to the federal SNAP food stamp program that threaten to kick millions of needy [...]

  • Plant Eat Share

      OUR VISION: BUILD AN UNSTOPPABLE GLOBAL MOVEMENT OF PASSIONATE CITIZENS WHO PLANT, EAT AND SHARE HEALTHY FOOD.  FOR FREE. [...]

  • The Secret Ingredient for Ending World Hunger – Q&A with Raj Patel

    Raj Patel is a writer, activist, and academic who has travelled far and wide to chart the food movement, its heroes, and its opponents. [...]