Make Small Changes To Your Diet, Make Big Changes To Your Planet
Did you know that 70% of all freshwater taken from rivers and lakes is used in agriculture? Agriculture is responsible for the majority of deforestation, meaning that our current food system is responsible for 60% of biodiversity loss worldwide. What’s more, food is responsible for around 30% of greenhouse gas emissions globally, and if we don’t take action this number is predicted to grow. The choices we make as consumers can help to avoid this happening.
The signs are clear, our planet is suffering as a result of intensive farming practices in the agricultural industry. To add to this problem, we are becoming more dependent on foreign soil for produce than ever before. Now is the time to ask ourselves what we can do to make more sustainable food choices and help slow down the deterioration of the planet.
Making small adjustments to our diet immediately reduces our carbon footprint. More than anything else it is about being aware of the impact our food choices. To make informed choices we need to ask questions about where our food is comes from, the packaging it uses, how it was grown, and how its production affects the environment.
Following are some tips to help us become more responsible food consumers.
It has been said so many times before, but we don’t have to remove meat from our diet to make a change. Eating vegan just one day a week does way more for the planet than eating locally sourced foods seven days a week. Going vegan automatically halves a person’s carbon footprint as it requires an immense amount of natural resources to mass produce animal products. This means we can still make a big difference by eating a plant-based diet for one or two days each week. By cutting down on our consumption of animal products, we use less fresh water thus reducing the amount of methane being pumped into the atmosphere, we also save valuable land being taken over for animal agriculture. Now it is easier than ever to search for tasty vegan dishes online, so we can all try and reduce the amount of meat we eat.
Buy Fair Trade
Buying Fair Trade foods means you are supporting a company that has invested in improving the working conditions of farmers and farms, it also means that the producer must comply with certain environmental standards. Fair Trade products are farmed using sustainably sourced soil and water and use no GMOs. Even better, most fair-trade products are also organic. As well as Fair Trade and Organic logos on food packaging, others to look out for when shopping include: Freedom Food (animal welfare), MSC and ASC (seafood), and RSPO (palm oil).
Reduce Your Food Waste
In England, the average household wastes around 30% of the food it buys. This is the equivalent of taking £100 out of the bank and putting it straight into the bin. Many of our products can help preserving food, keeping it fresher for longer. Why not try our Bees Wax wrapping, or our Stasher products? They are great for batch cooking (which saves money and reduces food waste). These Stasher Bag can be used to store food in the freezer, and can go straight into the oven or microwave for cooking. They are also dishwasher safe!
Compost Waste Food
The standard means of disposal for most food waste at home includes landfilling and incineration. These practices are not as environmentally or economically sound as composting. Food waste which is landfilled breaks down very slowly due to the lack of oxygen. As it decomposes, it produces methane gas and acidic leachate, which are both environmentally harmful.
It may not be possible to completely eradicate food waste, but rather than putting food scraps into the same bins as household waste, why not start composting. Putting less waste into landfill, reduces civic costs for waste collection, which in turns reduces fuel use. Home waste is 40% compostable material, so let’s keep this out of landfill.
Grow Your Own Vegetables
Even if we don’t all have the time and space to grow all the vegetables we eat, it is possible to grow many wonderful things in a small patch of earth, or even a window box. What could be nicer than homegrown tomatoes, greens and herbs? Growing our own food reduces the food miles needed for our diet which in turn reduces our carbon footprint.
Eat less processed and packaged foods
Sustainably produced food really is better for us and it’s better for the planet we all share. Processed food is often packed full of sugar and salt, it is also packaged in plastic which may be adding a serving of harmful chemicals to the food we eat. The Environmental Health Perspectives undertook a study that saw that exposure to two damaging chemicals, BPA and DEHP, was substantially reduced when participants’ diets were restricted to food with limited packaging. As we know, single use plastic packaging doesn’t biodegrade and has a poor recycling rate. This is very bad news for the planet, not only does plastic end up in landfill, it pollutes our oceans.