Just as one would leave footprints on beach sand, an impression that marks the earth for a period of time, so do humans place pressure on the environment by the way they live their lives. Food’s carbon footprint, or foodprint, is the greenhouse gas emissions produced by growing, rearing, farming, processing, transporting, storing, cooking and disposing of the food you eat. What can we do to reduce our foodprint?
7 TIPS TO REDUCING YOUR FOODPRINT
Eat less meat and dairy
Livestock farming produces from 20% to 50% of all man-made greenhouse gas emissions. A meat lover has the highest carbon footprint at 3.3 tons of greenhouse gas emissions whereas a vegan diet has the lowest carbon footprint at just 1.5 tons CO2e (Carbon Dioxide Equivalent). You can reduce your foodprint by a quarter just by cutting down on red meats such as beef and lamb.
Bring back home cooking
Take control of the food you eat and base your meals on natural foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole-grains, beans and lentils with a little meat and fish. This allows you to plan your meals ahead to reduce wastage, save your leftovers and create a new meal with them and if you can, make your own compost with uncooked vegetable scraps.
Did you know that a gas oven only uses 6% of its energy to cook? And an electric oven is not much better at 12%. In fact, the most efficient cooking method is simmering on the stove-top. So try eat more raw foods that do not need cooking; use the stove-top whenever possible; next best is the microwave as it uses 50% less energy than an oven; and use the oven sparingly and smartly…reduce preheating, cook multiple foods, turn off early.
Water is a precious resource that is becoming scarce in many countries. One of the major impacts we can have personally is by moving towards a more vegetable based diet, which requires about half the water to produce than that of a meat-based diet.
These few simple changes can help: Use a shopping list to avoid those impulse purchases; avoid products that use lots of packaging; buy in bulk to save money and reduce packaging; check the label – a long list of ingredients generally means a heavily processed item with a high carbon footprint; frozen food has the highest carbon footprint, followed by canned, plastic, glass, then cardboard; and limit buying bottled water.
Go local. Buy items that are locally produced
Food grown in your country, your province or near your home, often tastes better than food shipped thousands of kilometres. The food transport industry adds to carbon dioxide emissions, which pollute the air.
Grow your own food
A great way to save money, get fit and reduce your carbon footprint is to grow your own fruit and vegetables, and they taste great. If you have a garden or backyard, then it is a fun way to make sure your family has access to affordable, healthy, pesticide-free food. And even if you live in an apartment, what about using your balcony or even the communal outside areas?
REDUCING YOUR OVERALL CARBON FOOTPRINT – ONE SMALL STEP AT A TIME
- Don’t throw everything in the bin. Some items can be re-used or recycled. Paper, cardboard, tins, cans and glass are all recycled in South Africa. Re-use shopping bags and envelopes.
- Buy less. If you buy less, you will throw away less.
- Try to buy products with less packaging. Economy packs often give you more value for money and less packaging per kilogram than smaller packs. Buying your fruit and vegetables fresh rather than pre-packaged can also cut down on packaging waste.
Remember the four R’s – reduce, reuse, repair and recycle!
There are a number of things we can do to reduce our FOODPRINT. Let’s start today!
WHERE DOES FUTURELIFE® FIT IN?
Did you know that all FUTURELIFE® products are manufactured locally in South Africa, are non-GMO and are naturally free from artificial colourants, flavourants and preservatives. Our FUTURELIFE® Smart food™ and FUTURELIFE® HIGH PROTEIN Smart food™ also comes in a 1.25kg economy pack helping to make your money go further while reducing your ecological footprint.