Our global food system is responsible for about one third of the greenhouse emission. Food that has to travel a lot before it gets to the consumer, inefficient food precessing and using a lot of package material are very bad for global warming. For those who do care about our environment, it’s important to know how easily you can reduce your carbon footprint with some simple tips and tricks.
Method of transport
Transport of food is responsible for around 11% of the total carbon emission. But also the method of getting it where it needs to be, can have a big and negative impact on our environment. To get the contents of 20 containers full of bananas to the United States, you can use either 20 planes or you can use one container ship. The planes will be much faster but the container ship will be a lot cheaper and it won’t be as pollutant. Unfortunately, food companies often choose the first option because of the fast delivering and the easiness of an airplane.
A possible solution is to buy vegetables that were grown and processed in your own region. That way, the food doesn’t have to travel that far. It may be a little bit more expensive, but at least you will have helped our environment a bit. Another tip is to buy seasonal foods. They mostly come from your own country, which is better then when it comes from Africa.
On the other hand, someone who buys only fair trade products, simply cannot reduce his carbon footprint. Those kind of product always come from poor countries, mostly from another continent. So someone who wants to contribute to the development of pour African countries and to the preservation of our environment, will have to choose between the two. Both are good initiatives, but only one can be put into practice.
Processing and packaging
Some foods, like candy bars, are heavily processed in factories with a high energy input. Those kind of foods also need a lot of package materials, and that means a lot of waste. Even small water bottles are very pollutant. It’s estimated that all Americans throw away 40 million plastic bottles EVERY DAY! Carbonated water is even worse. They have to be kept under constant pressure while transported. This means an even higher energy input.
Just by buying products that are less processed and packed, you can bring your carbon footprint down. Drinking purified water is much more better then drinking water that has been bottled and shipped trans-continental.
We all know we really have to do something about the environmental problems in the world. Carbon dioxide is one of the worst greenhouse gases. The waste coming from package material and the energy used for transport are very pollutant. Just by doing some small things, you can bring your carbon footprint down. So lets all put it to the test and start consuming seasonal en regional products, and we’ll see the results. Hopefully it will not be too late.