How to be an eco-friendly foodie

When it comes to eating, cooking and shopping, tiny steps can make a big difference in minimizing the amount of waste that ends up on our landfills and in our oceans. After all, the planet gives us such a wealth of delicious produce, shouldn’t we do our utmost to look after it in return?

Make these simple actions part of your routine…

  • Whether you’re a smoothie fan or coffee addict, carry a reusable cup for your on-the-go drinks. The same goes for water – there are many stylish stainless-steel flasks in the shops that can keep your H2O chilled for up to 24 hours. Check out the KeepCups at Jessie’s Juice Bar (even better, you’ll also get a discount whenever you use it in-store!) and Kirk Market’s range of colorful containers.
  • Take a packed lunch to work in a Tupperware instead of grabbing take-out in plastic boxes; if not practical you can at least bring cutlery with you (rather than using disposable sets every day) and take your plastic tubs home to wash and recycle.
  • Keep some canvas bags in the car to carry your groceries in.
  • Avoid restaurants and bars using unnecessary plastics, and those that don’t recycle. Places like Royal Palms are making a difference by banning plastic straws in favor of biodegradable paper ones.

Recent reports show that an estimated 5-13 million tons of plastic enter oceans each year. UP TO 80 PERCENT OF THIS COMES FROM LAND-BASED SOURCES

  • Take-out orders can be especially wasteful, adding wads of napkins and cutlery you’ll never use, so be sure to politely reject whatever you don’t need.
  • Shop for local and seasonal produce wherever possible to reduce food miles. Try Camana Bay Farmers & Artisans Market (Wednesdays), Market at the Cricket Grounds (Monday-Saturday) and the Green Market at Plantation Organic (Sundays).
  • Avoid buying groceries with unnecessary or wasteful packaging, and instead choose more conscious options – Kirk Market now stocks boxed water, for example. We have considerable power as consumers to “vote with our wallets” and encourage businesses to stock more eco-friendly products.
  • Use ingredients creatively to minimize waste – check out our ‘Waste Not, Want Not’ feature and these recipes that celebrate parts of produce you’d usually discard:

Portobello Mushroom Scallops

Coconut ‘Trash’ Macaroons

Veggie Flax Wraps

Photo by Stephen Clarke
  • Start composting your food waste. Learn how here.
  • Tap water is safe to drink in Cayman; do you really need to buy bottled? Instead, fill carafes and chill in the fridge, adding slices of fruit or sprigs of herbs to infuse with extra flavor if you wish.
  • Plastic, glass, paper and aluminum can be recycled in various places in Cayman, including Camana Bay and all supermarket car parks. Clean and collect materials in a box at home and then make a weekly trip to the recycling bins. Only throw something in the regular trash if it can’t be re-purposed or recycled.