June 5 is World Environment Day, an annual event created in 1972 by the United Nations Environment Program, which aims to be the biggest and most widely celebrated global day for positive environmental action.
Every year has a different theme, and this year’s is Think.Eat.Save. Think.Eat.Save is an anti-food waste and food loss campaign that encourages you to reduce your foodprint. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, every year 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted. At the same time, 1 in every 7 people in the world goes to bed hungry and more than 20,000 children under the age of 5 die from hunger every day.
Here are 7 ways to become more aware of the environmental impact of the food choices you make:
1. Make The Most Of Your Garden
Create a part of your garden that is edible, and plant seasonal crops. Even if you only have a balcony or a tiny plot, you can still grow food such as a potato in a bag and small sprout gardens in your windowsill. Grow herbs and spices that add flavor to your food and at the same time have medicinal, beauty, healing, spiritual and other usages.
2. Make Thoughtful Decisions
Make a list before you go shopping, and stick to it once you get to the store. Resist impulse buys! Plan your lists with your family, so everyone has a say. Consider carefully before making a purchase: Do you really need it? Or will it go to waste?
3. Create A Compost Pile
Compost your scraps and use this to boost your garden’s production. For a successful compost pile, you need both brown materials, which are good sources of carbon – shredded newspapers, cardboard, straw, yard waste, dried leaves; and green materials, good sources of nitrogen – vegetable and fruit waste, coffee grounds, eggshells, and lawn clippings. No meat scraps, bones or cheese.
4. Watch Your Fish
Fishing practices worldwide are damaging our oceans – depleting fish populations, destroying habitats and polluting the water. As an informed consumer, you can help turn the tide. By choosing fish that are abundant, well-managed and caught or farmed in environmentally friendly ways, you can support fisheries and fish farms that are healthier for ocean wildlife and the environment. Check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s free guide.
5. Cut Down On Beef Consumption
Producing a pound of beef requires 30 times more water than producing a pound of wheat and 200 times more water than a pound of potatoes. According to a report issued by the World Wildlife Fund, more pasture is used for cattle that all other domesticated animals and crops combined.
6. Make Your Own
Even if you need food in a hurry, making it at home will almost always be less wasteful (also cheaper and healthier) than eating out. How long can it take to pull out some salad ingredients and toss them together, or assemble a PBJ with celery and carrot sticks on the side?
7. Reduce Food Waste
If you’re not already into the refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle habit, choose today to make it a part of your daily life. All that clutter has to go somewhere, so either make a choice not to bring in into the house to begin with or, if it has to leave, make good choices about where it’s going to end up.
Photo Credit: thinkstock
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