The Vital Connection: Our Planet, Our Health, and Sustainability at Nüssli118°

A hexagonal, glass award in a wood frame.

Business and sustainability are two concepts that are fundamentally intertwined at Nüssli118°. While business refers to the activities and operations of our organization, sustainability encompasses our ability to maintain and preserve the natural environment, social systems, and economic structures for the benefit of present and future generations. As a plant-powered company, we are constantly asking questions and learning more about how our dietary choices impact the health of our bodies, minds, and the communities around us. At Nüssli118° we view our products as more than delicious treats – they’re also our way of contributing to a healthier world. By prioritizing sustainability in all aspects of our business, we hope to inspire others to do the same and create a better future for ourselves and generations to come.

Fresh green beans are piled into straw baskets. A sign reads locally grown.

Plant-Based Diet & Environmental Health

A plant-based diet is healthy for both our bodies and the planet. Eating a plant-based diet can have numerous health benefits, while also being more sustainable in terms of the environment. Plant-based diets can help reduce greenhouse emissions, conserve water and energy, and reduce land usage for animal agriculture. Additionally, they are often healthier than traditional diets because they are typically low in saturated fat and high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients. Eating a plant-based diet is a great way to make a positive impact on the environment while also improving your overall health.

A plant-based diet supports sustainability in several ways:

  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions: Animal agriculture is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, particularly methane and nitrous oxide. A plant-based diet reduces the demand for animal products, which in turn reduces the amount of greenhouse gasses emitted.
  • Reduced land use: Animal agriculture requires a large amount of land for grazing and growing feed crops. A plant-based diet requires significantly less land, which can be used for other purposes such as reforestation or conservation.
  • Reduced water use: Animal agriculture requires a large amount of water for drinking, cleaning, and growing feed crops. A plant-based diet requires significantly less water, which can be conserved for other uses.
  • Reduced deforestation: Animal agriculture is a leading cause of deforestation, particularly in tropical regions where forests are cleared for grazing and growing feed crops. A plant-based diet reduces the demand for animal products, which in turn reduces the pressure to clear forests for agriculture.
  • Reduced use of antibiotics: Animal agriculture is a major user of antibiotics, which can contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. A plant-based diet reduces the demand for animal products, which in turn reduces the need for antibiotics in animal agriculture.

Overall, a plant-based diet is a more sustainable choice than a diet that includes animal products. By reducing the demand for animal products, we can help to reduce the environmental impact of agriculture and support a more sustainable food system.

The tops of bright orange carrots emerge from brown soil.

Supporting A Sustainable Food System

At Nüssli118°, our commitment to sustainability goes beyond our plant-powered products. We are also dedicated to minimizing our environmental impact by working with suppliers who uphold high standards of sustainability such as Tierra Farms, Bremner Farms, and Frontier Coop. We also source our ingredients from local, organic farms whenever possible to reduce our carbon footprint and support small-scale agriculture. In both, we prioritize fair labor practices and partner with suppliers who share our values of social and economic justice. Sustainable food production practices contribute to the overall health of our planet. With a focus on conserving natural resources such as water, soil, and biodiversity, they help to maintain ecological balance and prevent soil erosion, water pollution, and loss of biodiversity.

Organic farming avoids the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, which can harm soil quality and water resources. By avoiding the use of harmful chemicals and promoting natural fertilizers, sustainable food production can improve soil health. Sustainable practices like crop rotation, cover cropping, and reduced tillage help to improve the soil and reduce erosion. Avoiding the use of harmful chemicals can also help to reduce the amount of pollutants that enter our waterways, such as pesticides and fertilizers, which preserves water quality and protects aquatic ecosystems. These practices, in turn, lead to healthier plants, increased yields, and more resilient ecosystems. 

By promoting biodiversity and reducing reliance on monoculture farming, sustainable food production practices can help to increase food security for communities around the world. Fair trade food products and sustainability are closely linked. Fair trade practices aim to promote social, economic, and environmental sustainability. When farmers and workers are paid fairly for their products, they are able to invest in their communities, improve their livelihoods, and protect the environment. By choosing fair trade products, we can support sustainable agriculture and contribute to a more equitable and just food system.

A pile of leaves, flowers, fruits, vegetables, and peels composting in a slat wood box.

Reducing Waste: A Key Component of Sustainability

Sustainable food production practices also help to reduce food waste by promoting efficient use of resources and minimizing losses during production, storage, and distribution. According to the Conservation Law Foundation, the United States wastes 119 billion pounds of food each year! Unfortunately, many food retailers, not just consumers, contribute to this waste. At Nüssli118°, we are striving to be a zero waste kitchen to do our part not to contribute to the negative environmental impact of food waste and the depletion of precious resources. 

We are fortunate to participate in the composting and recycling programs through the City of Cambridge. Composting and recycling are two of the most effective ways to reduce waste and promote sustainability. Composting is the process of breaking down organic materials such as food scraps, yard waste, and paper into nutrient-rich soil that can be used in gardens or farms. Recycling involves sorting, collecting, processing, and reusing materials such as plastic, glass, metal, paper, cardboard in order to create new products. Both composting and recycling help reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills or incinerators by diverting materials away from these disposal sites. Additionally, composting and recycling can help conserve resources since they reuse materials instead of creating new ones from scratch.

The Cambridge composting initiative for small businesses supports our efforts to care for the environment. It redirects food waste from landfills and transforms food scraps into renewable energy. We also reduce our food waste by making food to order and using all of the ingredients we purchase. Not only do we recycle, we also source packaging that is made from compostable and recyclable materials, such as plant-based plastics, to reduce waste and pollution. As a small business, we understand it can be daunting to think about how to implement sustainability into operations, but by taking these steps, we aim to contribute to a more sustainable future while also creating a positive impact on our communities.

Net-woven bags filled with vegetables with jars of grains and wood untensils.

Small Changes Make a Big Difference

We know you're always on the lookout for new ways to reduce your impact on the environment, so we thought we'd share with you some of our favorite sustainable food practices.

 Our first tip is to make sure that the food you buy is organic and locally sourced—this way, it's less likely to have been transported across the country or around the world. It also means that you'll be supporting local farmers—who deserve our support!

Second, reduce food waste by planning meals ahead of time and only purchasing what is needed; and choose plant-based options to reduce the environmental impact of meat and dairy production.

Third, think about what kind of packaging your food comes in. Is it compostable or recyclable? If not, how can you reduce its impact on the environment? For example, maybe you could order from a company that uses compostable packaging instead of plastic bags. Or maybe you could bring your own reusable container when you go grocery shopping so you don't have to use any packaging at all!

Fourth, embrace the doggie bag. If you’re enjoying a meal out and can’t finish your portion, why not bring it home to enjoy? Restaurants throw this food away, contributing to the staggering amount of food waste each year.

Finally, we want to encourage you to start a zero waste kitchen! This means buying items that can be used over and over again—things like reusable containers for storing leftovers or bulk foods like nuts and seeds so that they don't end up going bad before getting eaten. It also means using reusable produce bags instead of plastic ones when shopping at the store.


Sustainable food production is an important part of our lives, and it is becoming increasingly important to adopt sustainable practices in our everyday lives. Eating sustainably is vital for the health of our planet. With the current state of our environment, it's more crucial than ever to make sure that we are doing our part to reduce waste and help protect natural resources. One of the most impactful ways to participate in sustainable food production is through the choices we make as consumers. It's important to remember that small changes in our individual choices can have a big impact on the health of our planet. By adopting sustainable practices in our food consumption, we can help preserve the natural resources we rely on for future generations.


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