The 2013 World Environment Day theme is Think.Eat.Save.This anti-food waste and food loss campaign encourages you to reduce your foodprint.
World Environment Day is run by the United Nations Environment Programme and is celebrated every year on 5 June to raise global awareness of the need to take positive environmental action.
How can you use this years theme Think.Eat.Save to take positive environmental action. Think about how you can reduce food wastage in your home. Do you Eat food grown at home? Here are some ways to help you Save the environment;
Eat less meat, eggs and dairy products
On average, Australians like a lot of meat and dairy on their plates—but these are the most resource intensive foods and also produce the most greenhouse gas emissions. You don't have to become a vegetarian or a vegan; just eat them less often, in smaller portions.
Reducing dairy by just 2 cups of milk (or equivalent) per week can save 13,000 litres of water and 250kg of greenhouse pollution a year.
Buy organically grown
Organic food refers to food that is farmed using renewable resources, chemical-free pest control and fertilisers, and practices that maintain good quality soil and water. It also refers to livestock that is raised responsibly — that is, using practices that are natural and inline with animal welfare. Look for the Certified Australian Organic label when you shop.
Love your seafood AND our oceans
There's nothing more Australian than prawns on the barbie or fish ‘n' chips at the beach. However, when choosing seafood, try choosing products that are fished or farmed in an environmentally responsible way. The Marine Stewardship Council certifies sustainably managed fisheries, so look for the MSC label when you're buying your seafood.
To get a list of certified seafood in shops and restaurants, check out the MSC website: msc.org/where-to-buy
Think globally, eat locally
Shop at farmers' markets, buy foods that have a ‘Product of Australia' label and choose foods that are in season. You will reduce your food miles, ecological footprint and your food will be fresher and tastier.
The average Australian's food travels over 70,000 kilometres from producer to consumer. That's nearly two times around the Earth.
Replace junk food and highly processed foods with whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, beans and legumes. Whole foods require less packaging and processing, which saves on energy, greenhouse gas emissions, chemicals and waste. Your health and the planet will both benefit.
Grow your own food
With a little patience and some gardening know-how, it’s possible to grow your own fresh food at home. First choose a site with plenty of sun. Prepare your planting area by mulching, composting and regularly turning over the soil to eliminate weeds. Find out what is in season and choose what you want to plant—pumpkins, potatoes, beetroot, carrots, lettuce and tomatoes are all good choices. Give your seedlings or seeds a good deep watering when you first plant them and water regularly after planting (but don’t overwater!).
If you don’t have a garden, use pots, planters or even recycled polystyrene boxes and place them on your balcony or courtyard. You can plant small lettuce, snow peas, herbs, Asian salad greens, cherry tomatoes and even strawberries.
Raise some chooks
Raising and keeping chickens in the backyard is an easy, economical way to get fresh eggs and save money. They are fairly inexpensive to maintain and you are guaranteed to have eggs that are chemical and hormone free.
Before getting chickens, get familiar with the standards for keeping poultry. Check the NSW legislation Local Government (General) Regulation 2005 - Schedule 2, Part 5, Division 2 at austlii.edu.au
These are some simple ways you can help the environment and save money. For more ways to be sustainable in your home see the Australian Museum Green Home Guide.
So think before you eat to save the environment.