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World Environment Day 2013: Reducing food wastage

World Environment Day 2013

On 2013’s World Environment Day (WED) themed “Think.Eat.Save”, Digby Hall, Aurecon Senior ESD Specialist, shares some challenging and achievable goals to reduce food wastage and improve communities negatively impacted by global consumption.

Sustainability is as much about people as it is about planet - we go hand in hand, and the way we treat each other is reflected in how we treat our ecology and the very systems that we depend on.

Our food footprints or 'foodprints' account for 25 – 30 per cent of our total ecological impact. While that is a huge portion of our total footprint, there are many simple things we can do to reduce this.

WED’s 'Think.Eat.Save' theme for this year is around reducing food waste, but it is really about reducing our planetary impact and improving the lives of people in the process.

The top five tips and challenges for reducing our food footprints are:

  1. Waste not want not: Reduce your food waste and save a bundle. Can you avoid generating any food waste in your office?
  2. A chicken, a cow, and a fish walked into a bar: Meat has a high ecological footprint. Consider cutting back on consumption, reducing red meat intake, having a ‘Meatless Monday’ to see what it feels like, or even going pescetarian or vegetarian.
  3. Where the heck did this come from? Buy local. A Locavore is someone who sources their food within a 100 mile radius of where they live. This cuts down on transport emissions and favours nutritious and fresh seasonal produce. 
  4. Doctor I'm having a chemical reaction: Buy some organic produce and do a taste test. Most of our fresh food is laden with high footprint pesticides, petro-chemical fertilisers and other tasty additions.
  5. Get naked: Reduce your intake of processed foods and get into the fresh 'naked' produce - no processing and no packaging. Try to go a day eating only natural unprocessed foods (it's harder than you think).

Today set yourself these simple targets:

  1. Zero food waste
  2. Recycle all packaging
  3. Socialise - eat with a friend, eat slowly, and share some thoughts on how we might achieve a zero food waste future

You can follow Digby on his Green Futures blog.

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