"Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper."
— Adelle Davis, American nutritionist

 

It's easy to make breakfast more than a sugary muffin wolfed down between rush-hour brake stomps. If you're smart about it, you'll not only save money and be more energetic, satiated and mentally sharp throughout the day — you'll also reduce your contribution to climate change.

 

1. Don't get fast food. Most of it is bad for you (fat, sodium and cholesterol) as well as the planet (large carbon footprint, factory farming and packaging waste). Very few healthy breakfasts involve a Croissan'wich or a Frescuit.

 

2. Get local food. Fresh pork products can be preservative-free, and if they come from organic local farms they're less destructive to the environment than meat from industrial farms. If you can't buy fresh from a local butcher or farmer's market, try to at least minimize the distance the food is shipped, driven and flown — burning fossil fuels along the way — from the farm to your table.

 

3. Eat organic meat and eggs. Industrial hog and poultry farms are some of the most notorious agricultural polluters in the United States, and it's no secret the animals aren't always treated well. Organic farms produce less chemical and biological pollution than conventional industrial farms, and also don't use synthetic pesticides, antibiotics or growth hormones.

 

4. Better yet, eat less meat. Plant farming is less energy-intensive, and thus more environmentally friendly, than animal farming. A 2006 University of Chicago study even found that the greenhouse gas emissions from meat- and plant-based diets can differ as much as the emissions from driving a regular sedan and a gas-electric hybrid. Meat is also generally more expensive than plant-based breakfasts, and you can get more vitamins, fiber and antioxidants and less fat, sodium and cholesterol. If you're worried about missing your morning protein, try incorporating more dairy, nuts or beans into your breakfast, or just eat a small amount of meat, like an egg or turkey bacon.

 

5. Recycle. If you do get a to-go breakfast, save your trash in a bag and recycle the waste when you get to work or back home. Better yet, bring your own reusable plate, cup or silverware. If you make your own breakfast, whether it's granola and a grapefruit or bacon and eggs, you'll have some kind of waste left — a cereal box, fruit rind, bacon wrapper, egg carton. Try to buy products with recyclable packaging, and consider composting what you can in your back yard.

 

How do you do it?

Do you eat this for breakfast every day? Or are you trying to wean yourself off of these? Either way, we'd love to hear any further advice, criticism, successes or failures you want to share. And there are many readers out there who could benefit from your wisdom. So let us hear from you in the comment space below, and your offering will become part of this complete breakfast guide.

 

Also on MNN:

How to green your breakfast: Worst foods

How to green your breakfast: Best foods

How to green your breakfast: Saving money