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Sustainable Eating: College Edition

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Eating sustainably is often a challenge. It can take time, money, and space--three things college students famously lack. That said, there are some ways you can get the ball rolling... and even improve your health and finances in the process.

Learn to Cook


Perhaps you already know how to cook; if so, you're ahead of the game. If not, get with it. There are plenty of tutorials online (here's one) and instructional books that make it easy to get rolling -- the key is to start simple and stick with it. The advantage to cooking (as opposed to eating pre-packaged meals or dining out) is that it's a lot cheaper and you can cook in bulk. One big vegetable lasagna or chili dish can feed you for a week for the cost of a single restaurant meal -- and you control what you're putting into your body.


Sideline Meat


Meat doesn't have to be the star of every meal -- or even appear at every meal in any form whatsoever. If you're willing to explore a vegetarian (or semi-vegetarian) diet, you'll likely save money, lose weight, and shift your consumption habits away from resource-high foods like beef and toward more sustainable options such as whole grains.


Eat with the Seasons


Hit farmers markets in search of what's fresh and local, and you can save big while contributing your local food economy. What's more, if you've learned to cook (see tip one) you can process a lot of whatever it is you happen to buy into something delicious and longer-lasting.


Buy in Bulk


Beans, rice, oatmeal, granola and other staples can be bought in bulk -- you'll avoid wasting packaging and often save considerable money in the process. Cook up big batches and you'll save time throughout the week, too.

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