Is Going Plant-Based the Only Way to Eat More Sustainably? An Expert Weighs In

If eating sustainably conjures up images of plant-based food in your mind, that checks out. The environmental effects of eating plant-based (or not) are a hot topic, but what if going plant-based isn't feasible for you? What if you simply aren't interested in completely giving up meat or dairy?

On the latest episode of Need to Know, host Sophia Bush sat down with food writer Alicia Kennedy to discuss sustainable food choices—and, naturally, a plant-based diet came up.

"The biggest impact would be in moving toward a plant-based diet," Kennedy says, when Bush asked her for tangible changes that individual people can make (rather than those made by massive corporations or the government). "That doesn't mean never eating meat, never eating dairy—it means making it a much smaller portion of what one eats every day, over the course of a week, over the course of a month, and years. And that really adds up."

TL;DR: Going plant-based is a great individual step for living more sustainably, but it doesn't have to be all or nothing. Nor is it the only food choice that can help the planet (Kennedy shares plenty more in the video, FYI).

And just like there isn't one food choice that automatically earns you a spot in Mother Earth's good graces, the food world isn't the only industry that needs to do its part (obviously). Another big sustainability factor is the car you drive.

The hydrogen-powered Toyota Mirai, for example, is a zero-emission car that leans into sustainability without sacrificing on function or style. Just imagine driving it to your local farmer's market to load up on plant-based ingredients—win, win, win.

Ready to start eating sustainably? Watch the video above for more tips.

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