There are many different ways we can reduce our impact on the environment, starting with our behaviours and habits in the kitchen. Not only is food waste responsible for additional carbon emissions, it also contributes to unnecessary land and water use. Along with food waste, plastic packaging, chemicals used in the kitchen further add to current global environmental issues.
Food waste is one of the most important and easily preventable issues present in our environment. According to the Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, every year we waste approximately 7.6 million tonnes of food across the supply chain. This is equivalent to 312 kg per person, or 1 in 5 grocery shopping bags. If we think back to the water, land mass and energy used to produce this wasted food, our negative impact is even greater. We can make a difference as individual consumers by carefully planning our meals and limiting food waste in our kitchen.
Product food packaging is another major issue contributing to the climate crisis. The plastic wrapper used for your muesli bar will only serve its purpose for a few weeks before ending up in landfill for years. Plastic food packaging heavily contributes to increasing overall carbon emissions, blocking our drains and potentially harming wildlife when it ends up in the ocean. Not only is it energy intensive to produce plastic food packaging, but its negative impact lasts far beyond the time of its disposal. We can easily reduce or limit our use of plastic packaging by shopping at our local bakery and market, make our own snacks and buying produce in bulk.
Food often travels several miles before landing on our plates. Whether it be from across the state or even across the ocean, a significant amount of the food we buy has been either grown, transformed or manufactured in a different state or country. The transportation of food for long distances significantly increases our carbon footprint. A simple way to help reduce our impact is to buy local and seasonal foods. Here are other ways you can lower your carbon footprint.