Americans discard more than 25 percent of all food produced domestically. That’s about 25.9 million tons of food.
Four thousand miles away, almost eight million residents of Niger — more than half the country’s population — are facing starvation because of climate conditions that have damaged food crops.
What you eat for lunch and what you pack in your child’s school lunch matters more than you might realize.
Climate change is an urgent global problem with social, economic, and environmental consequences.
Care2’s GinaMarie Cheeseman recently wrote that a poll of residents of Florida, Maine, and Massachusetts found that “the majority believe global warming is real and caused by humans,” and “the warming is mostly or partly caused by human activity.”
A tremendous amount of energy goes into the production of the food we consume and so casually discard. An article in New Scientist says that more energy is wasted in the food discarded by people in the U.S. each year than is extracted annually from the oil and gas reserves off the nation’s coastlines.
Most of the packaging around peanut butter, cereal, bread, and most of the other food products we buy comes from cardboard sourced from trees and plastics derived from fossil fuels. If you follow the trail from harvesting of ingredients to shipping, modifying, distribution, and to your kitchen, the energy required to pack your child’s school lunch is staggering and wasteful.
Climate Counts – Consumer Power
The nonprofit organization Climate Counts is a collaborative effort to bring consumers and companies together in the fight against global climate change. In order to promote awareness among consumers, Climate Counts scores companies on their climate impact.
By learning what companies are doing about climate change, we can make informed choices about where we spend our money. The food product companies scored by Climate Counts pulled in over $253.7 billion dollars last year. That’s a lot of money and we all know that nothing speaks louder than the bottom line.
Scores are based on four major elements — reviewing emissions, reducing emissions, public policy positions, and transparency — and give you the information you need to make purchasing decisions.
How You Can Help
The choices you make every day matter. Make climate-conscious consumer decisions that impact not only your health, but the amount energy you use and the waste you generate.
- Make portion control a part of your routine to cut down on waste.
- Make healthy choices for your body’s sake; patronize local organic food producers to support your community.
- Check out company scores on Climate Counts — find out which ones are serious about climate control and which are not.
- Let your voice be heard at the cash register and by reaching out directly — let companies know why you are purchasing from their competitors. Urge them on a path toward sustainability. When money talks, corporations listen.
Related Reading on Care2
- Back-2-Cool: Shopping with Climate Change in Mind
- Throw Away Culture: How the Food We Discard Comes Back to Bite Us
- Why Send Good Food to Landfills While Millions Go Hungry?
- 50 Ways to Never Waste Food Again
- Ways You Can Waste Less Food & Water
From The Petition Site
For more information, visit ClimateCounts.org or on Facebook.com/pages/Climate-Counts
Photo credit: This image is in the public domain - NCI Visuals Online