We make a choice everyday whether or not to act against climate change. One of the biggest ways an individual can have a positive impact is through our food choices. Through food waste diversion and choosing a more plant based diet, we can reduce our individual CO2 and methane emissions. Below we've listed some tips on how to stop making pollution through your diet.
Avoiding Food Waste:
Did you know that one third of all food produced globally is wasted? In Canada, the average household creates 140kg of food waste per year, 63% of which could have been eaten. Imagine the money you could save!
For Canada as a whole, the total amount is almost 2.2 million tonnes of edible food waste each year. That’s equivalent to 9.8 million tonnes of CO2 and 2.1 million cars on the road, according to the Government of Canada (1). Shocking right!? So what can you do?
• Eat your food! Eat what’s in your fridge and in your cupboards.
• Grocery shop more often, this will stop you from buying too much at once and having food go to waste.
• Buy the “ugly produce,” as this is the food that needs to get eaten first and stores will often throw away this produce; even though it’s perfectly good to eat.
• Compost! Diverting food waste to the compost is much better than sending it to a landfill. Organic matter sent to landfill produces methane, a greenhouse gas 24x more pollutant than CO2. So, get that green bin out and start creating healthy soil.
Going Plant Based:
Food packaging creates a lot of waste. If you evaluate the waste in your house, where does the majority come from? Most household waste comes from the kitchen; specifically meat and dairy containers (2). Most animal based products come wrapped in plastic. Milk, cheese, yogurt, meat, and other pre-packaged snacks are all examples of plastic food packaging.
Going plant based allows you to reduce your grocery shopping waste. You can purchase “naked” (package free) fruits and vegetables, and shop in bulk for grains, snacks, nuts, legumes, and so much more (but don’t forget to bring your own containers).
These 2 simple changes can give you the power to reduce pollution. If you start using up the food you buy and being conscious of purchasing products without packaging, you can make a massive difference.
We have the power to create change. Check out Love Food Hate Waste Canada (@lfhw_ca) for simple steps to help reduce your food waste and comment below if you need inspiration on how to incorporate a plant based diet into your life.
Let's stop pollution together!
Sarah & Lexi
1- Canada, E. (2019). Food loss and waste - Canada.ca. [online] Canada.ca. Available at: https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/managing-reducing-waste/food-loss-waste.html [Accessed 6 Feb. 2020].
2- Food Matters Action Kit. (2020). Food Matters Action Kit. [online] Available at: http://www.cec.org/flwy/index.php [Accessed 6 Feb. 2020].