Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Earth Day 2012

Have you ever thought about how much your food buying and consumption habits affect the environment?

About 25% of an average household’s carbon footprint comes from its food. Changing your food buying
and eating habits can reduce your impact on global warming and pollution. In addition, many of these changes will also
save you money and improve your health! [1]

One change that can significantly reduce your food carbon footprint is to reduce the amount of food that you throw away. “Some experts estimate that food waste accounts for 20 to 30 percent of garbage in landfills,” according to Bethany Sanders.[2] The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Loss Project found that we throw away more than 25 percent (25.9 million tons) of all the food we produce.[1]
Food that makes it into a landfill generates methane, a greenhouse gas 23 times as potent as carbon dioxide in trapping heat within our atmosphere. And according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, landfills account for 34 percent of all methane emissions in the US.[1]

So what can you do about this waste? Plan ahead.
Think about your menu for the week, make a grocery list, and stick with
it. Know what foods you have in the
fridge and pantry, and remember that many foods can be frozen and enjoyed

Composting is another option. You can compost fruits, vegetables, coffee
grounds, egg shells and more – just avoid meat, dairy and cooked foods. With time, your compost will turn into a
wonderful fertilizer for your garden.

Another easy change that can significantly reduce your food
carbon footprint is to buy your food locally.
Not only does buying local food provide you with delicious, high-quality,
fresh foods, it also decreases the amount of wasteful packing materials and
fuel required to get the food from its origin to your table, thus cutting back
on greenhouse gas emissions.

One way to buy local is through Community Supported
Agriculture (CSA), which have become a popular way for consumers to buy
seasonal food directly from local farmers. Participants in CSA’s generally
receive a box of seasonal produce each week.
You can go to
to find a CSA near you.

If you would like to estimate your overall carbon footprint,
check out
for a fun footprint calculator. You may
be surprised by how much your eating habits affect the planet.


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