How to reduce your carbon footprint and food miles
Many of our clients are aware of their environment and make conscious choices to reduce their carbon footprint. Food miles are a way of measuring how far food has travelled before it reaches your home and the impact that journey has on the environment. This may be in terms of fuels used by boats, trains or planes and the pollution it causes. It can also include packaging and landfill. We should all be doing our bit to reduce our carbon footprint so here are five simple tips on how you can help by reducing your food miles:
Buy local produce when it is in season
Buying your fruit and vegetables when they are in season means that you are buying locally grown produce. Australia and America are spoilt for choice when it comes to food availability. Being such large countries we have several climate zones which means locally grown produce is available all year. Fruit and vegetables in season are cheaper, fresher, tastier and retain more nutrients than food that has travelled from the other side of the world to get to your table. Fresh is best.
Ditch the plastic
Plastic bags used to contribute greatly to landfill before Australia banned them at the supermarket. We used 10 million plastic shopping bags per day. That’s 4 billion per year and it’s estimated that 50 million of these ended up in our waterways. You can still purchase plastic bags for your groceries and even though the number we use has reduced greatly, keeping recyclable bags in the boot of your car is a great way to maximise their use and reduce the manufacture, waste and pollution of plastic bags.
Reduce packaged foods
There are many ways you can reduce your packaging including buying sandwich and snack boxes rather than wrapping them in cling wrap or zip lock bags. The boxes can be washed and reused for many years whereas plastic wrapping you can only use once. This will also save you money which is always a bonus. Another way to reduce packaging is to buy in bulk or buy large quantities of food. Rice and other grains tend to have a long shelf life so buying them in larger quantities helps to reduce the packaging needed on individual or smaller serves.
Many schools have introduced Wrap Free Wednesdays to try and reduce the amount of packaging put in their bins each week. Get on board and speak with your school about doing the same. Whole school communities get involved meaning that 2 or 3 generations are doing their bit to help the environment and setting a good example for everyone. What better way to contribute than have hundreds and thousands of people working together!
Grow your own food
Many fruit, vegetables and herbs can be grown in a small area of soil and pots. All it takes is a little sunshine, water and time and you can have fresh food at call. While you are outside you can soak up some rays and increase your Vitamin D levels too. Healthy food and healthy body’s!
Recycle your food scraps
What better way to provide nutrients to your veggie garden than with your very own compost! Keep a small container in the kitchen and throw your food scraps in it to add to your compost bin when it gets full. You can use the compost to grow an abundant supply of fresh food that is packed with nutrients.
Written by Lisa Stegena, Nutritionist
Nutrition Force is a Western Australian based company of Nutritionists and Accredited Practising Dietitians that offer weight loss programs, private dietetic consultations, children’s nutrition & dietetics, school nutrition and Corporate Wellness programs. If you would like more information on our Perth Dietitians and the other services we offer call us today on (08) 9385 7755.