Eating Sustainably – Cheat Sheet
The scientific consensus is in, humans need to eat more consciously to maintain our beautiful planet as we know it. Recent buzz-worthy documentaries the Game Changers (Netflix) and 2040 (selected cinemas) highlight the environmental and health benefits of reconsidering our traditional diets. Sustainable (and ethical) eating has finally hit the mainstream and even fast-food chains are listening, with a bevy of plant-based options like the McDonalds’ PLT are being slowly rolled out internationally. With so many articles and reports out there it can be overwhelming to jump in, but with these five simple, everyday actions you can make a significant impact.
- More Plants, Less Meat
This is the big one and the most controversial for meat lovers. The cattle grown for mass consumption is bad for the planet, with largescale, factory beef farming having a particularly devastating effect on the landscape and water systems. You don’t necessarily have to go vegan or vegetarian, just reducing how often you eat meat each week can make a massive difference.
- Avoid Packaging
From a dietary perspective you already know processed foods aren’t generally a nutritious choice, but there are also environmental drawbacks. Processed usually means packaged, which usually ends up in landfill. Although many cartons and containers can technically be recycled, this rarely happens due to current processing limitations so avoid packaged products whenever you can.
- Source Locally
You’ve probably heard that flying has a substantial carbon footprint, right? Transported food has the same impact when sent across the continent, or globe. Save the imported exotic fruits and fishes for special occasions and seek out local produce from growers in your region.
- Reduce Waste
This one might come as a surprise, but Australians waste A LOT of food, 298kg of food per person, per year according to government reports. Whether it’s slightly odd-shaped fruits and vegetables that supermarkets discard or that big container of leftovers you never got around to eating, this waste adds up. Don’t be afraid of funny of that funny shaped banana and try mixing leftovers into other meals.
If you do have food waste, compost it! Food entering general landfill not only creates methane gases but wastes a valuable resource. Composted food scraps are great for soil and can be utilised by gardeners in place of chemical fertilisers. Don’t have a compost bin or a garden? Not a problem, seek out enthusiastic local composters through community groups or apps like ShareWaste.
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