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How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint with Food
- Wednesday 28th November 2018
Your carbon footprint refers to the amount of greenhouse gasses such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, that you are personally responsible for emitting. So, when we talk about reducing our carbon footprint, we are talking about what we can do as individuals to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that we produce in our daily lives. Why is it important? Well, because the gasses that are emitted into our atmosphere are believed by many to be causing global warming. Global warming is said to be having a significant impact on the environmentincluding contributing to the polar ice caps melting, droughts and more frequent extreme weather events.
The rearing of animals and the processing, transportation and disposing of food alone leaves behind a huge carbon footprint. Of course, we can’t stop eating, but here are a few tips on some simple things we can do to reduce carbon emissions with food and contribute towards a healthier future for the earth.
Eat Less Meat
Most animals are raised in factory farms that produce a lot of heavy pollutants. You don’t have to go vegetarian if that doesn’t work for you, but cutting back on meat and dairy will not only help the environment but could also reduce your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer. Replace meat with other proteins such as tofu, quorn and lentils. Just make sure you’re still getting enough iron and zinc in your diet by including lots of wholegrains, beans and a variety of vegetables.
The further food travels the more fuel is required to get it there. Not only this but as the distance increase so does the need for processing and refrigeration to avoid the food spoiling.
Buy Organic Produce
Organic farming methods for both crops and animals use natural methods for soil fertilisation, weed prevention and pest control. Additionally, organic certified farms can’t use antibiotics or growth hormones to raise food animals, which also prevents cruelty to livestock. It’s better for YOU too! Crops are grown in soil that is full of nutrients instead of harmful chemicals that all and up in the food you eat and thus end up in you. Livestock are also free to roam the fields and eat natural food which leads to much less fatty meat.
Limit Bottled Water
Producing plastic bottles and transporting them requires a lot of energy. To put it into perspective, the amount of greenhouse gas produced from making one bottle of water is the equivalent of driving a car two kilometres. Use reusable metal bottles and fill them up with tap water - it’s cheaper too!
Let’s face it, we all have things in our cupboards that passed their use by date a long time ago, or that we have never used, right? Use shopping lists to plan and avoid buying unnecessary items. Avoid products with a lot of packaging or buy in bulk to reduce the amount of packaging. Check the ingredients list as a long list will mean it’s been heavily processed and will have a high carbon footprint.
At SEA LIFE Melbourne, we’re always looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint and encourage our visitors to join the cause. Here’s a taste of what we’ve implemented at our attraction, as part of our commitment to conservation, to reduce our carbon footprint with food:
- Replaced plastic straws with paper straws
- Replaced individual sauce and sugar sachets with 4 litre sauce pump bottles and sugar jars
- Replaced plastic plates with recyclable and biodegradable plates
- Introduced recycled paper napkins
- Introduced re-usable cup coffee discounts
If we all commit to making small changes, imagine the impact we can have on the future of our planet! Go on, join us in our mission to reduce carbon footprints across the globe.