The ecological footprint: discover how you can reduce it

There are many ways to reduce your ecological footprint. The pressure on the environment can also be eased while shopping. Every gesture counts, so get inspired by these ideas.

What is your ecological footprint?

Your ecological footprint is the estimate of how much of nature you need to maintain your way of life, often expressed in hectares. Among other things, your eating habits, energy consumption, and transport methods influence the size of your ecological footprint.

On average, what you eat amounts to 30% of your ecological footprint. If you would like to reduce your impact on the environment, start with your groceries. The following tips help you to get on your way.

Make an eco-conscious shopping list

When making your shopping list, creating your weekly menu or while shopping, take a look at the Eco-score of your ingredients and go for eco-conscious choices. The guide encourages you to go all out for more sustainable food and reduce your ecological footprint: 

  • more vegetable food, less and better-quality meat
  • products with organic or other quality labels
  • local food
  • products without or with more eco-friendly packaging
  • food with less impact on our biodiversity (e.g.: without endangered fish species or non-sustainable palm oil)

Go local and seasonal

  • Fruit and vegetables in your shopping cart usually have less impact on your ecological footprint than meat.
  • If you want to make the most environmentally-friendly choice between the different types of fruit and vegetables, choose local and seasonal harvests. Outside the local harvest season, fruit and vegetables come from heated greenhouses, refrigerated storage or are transported from other countries. Our fruit and vegetable calendar shows you what to indulge in this month.
  • Besides, organic products also have an edge.
  • Unwrapped scores better, so be sure to bring your reusable bags to the shop.
You can choose a packaging-free version of many fruits and vegetables You can choose a packaging-free version of many fruits and vegetables

Be aware of the ‘use by’ and ‘best before’ dates

  • Use by' indicates that a product is not safe to eat or drink after this date. It mainly concerns products from the fresh market such as soft cheeses, salad mix, meat or yoghurt.
  • Best before' guarantees a product of excellent quality until the date is exceeded. Afterwards, the smell or taste may be slightly affected, but it is usually still safe to eat. So you don't have to throw these products away immediately. The storage method, however, does matter.
Food that has a ‘best before’ shelf life can usually be used for longer. Food that has a ‘best before’ shelf life can usually be used for longer.

Buy what you eat, and eat what you buy.

What a waste of energy, water, fertilisers and more when the food eventually ends up in the bin. Tips for avoiding food waste:

  • Try to draw up a weekly menu and make a shopping list. Keep in mind the necessary quantities. That way you only buy what you really need. Need help? The Colruyt and OKay meal boxes contain exactly the necessary ingredients.
  • Pay attention to the shelf life of your products.
  • Make a leftover meal. (Vegetable) leftovers can easily be used in quiche, pasta or soup. Or use them in your lunch the next day.
  • Freeze leftovers. Did you know that you can freeze grated cheese, fresh herbs and even wine?
Get creative with leftovers Get creative with leftovers
All you need to know about the Eco-score

The Eco-score makes it easier to make eco-friendly choices. At a glance you can see information about the environmental impact of a product. 

Calculating the Eco-score, how to do it

The Eco-score summarizes the environmental impact throughout the life cycle of a product. In addition, additional plus or minus points can be awarded.

A smaller impact for our products

The Eco-score helps you to consume more sustainably. And it helps us to reduce the ecological impact of our own-brand products.