It’s easy to feel defeated in the face of news about the state of the world, climate and environment - we’ve all been there - but don’t lose hope. The best antidote to feeling hopeless or anxious is action. If you want to go green in 2020 but aren’t sure how to do so, we have some ideas for you.
We’ve decided to create a mini series of ways to go green and this first part is focused on, of course, food. (Is anyone surprised? :D) Sustainable living and taking action will look different from person to person - the most important thing is to start somewhere and then keep going whatever way you can.
The list we’ve compiled is by no means exhaustive and we can’t claim to have perfected all the green moves. That being said, we hope you find this mini series useful and that it spurs you into joyful action for this beautiful planet!
1. Embrace the wonderful world of plant-based foods
If you’re reading our blog, you’re probably at least somewhat familiar with plant-based diets and meat alternatives and know that plants also have protein. However, how could we talk about food and not mention one of the most impactful food-related changes you could make for the planet? According to The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), switching to a plant-based diet can help fight climate change.They have also stated that more people could be fed using less land if individuals cut down on eating meat.
Additionally, a comprehensive analysis that came out in 2018 revealed that meat and dairy provide just 18% of total calories and 37% of total protein, but use 83% of farmland and produce 60% of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions. Those are some pretty sobering figures! So, let’s delight our taste buds, tummies and the planet by diving into the world of veggies. The options are endless! Remember, it’s not all or nothing - every meal counts.
(Disclaimer: It’s important to note that not everyone has the same access to affordable and wholesome veggie food. Also, Prof Pete Smith, an environmental scientist, commented on the IPCC report saying "We're not telling people to stop eating meat. In some places people have no other choice. But it's obvious that in the West we're eating far too much.")
2. Don’t buy more than you can eat and get creative in the kitchen
We’ve talked about food waste and ways to reduce it in one of our previous posts but let’s recap quickly why we should value our food and be careful not to waste those wrinkly veggies, stale pieces of bread or last night’s leftovers. According to FAO (The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) if food waste was a country it would be the third largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world after the US and China. FAO has estimated that every year approximately 1/3 of the food produced in the world for human consumption gets lost or wasted - that’s roughly 1.3 billion tonnes of food. So, let’s do our best to make sure we’re not contributing to the staggering amount of food waste but feed ourselves, not landfills.
3. If you can, opt for organic
We’ve written about the reasons why we root for organic but, as they say, repetition is the mother of all learning so let’s go through some points again:
- Soil Association summarises it perfectly “Organic farming means working with nature, not against it.”
- Non-organic farming uses pesticides that can pollute nature, water and make their way into our food chain. Many pesticides are very problematic since they destroy much more than just the target pest - they can wreak havoc on the environment and harm other wildlife through direct poisoning, contaminated water courses or disrupted ecosystems.
- Organic farming, in turn, means lower level of pesticides (and no synthetic or petroleum-based pesticides), no manufactured herbicides or artificial fertilisers. Additionally, organic farming leads to more environmentally sustainable land management, improved soil formation and structure, and more wildlife. Organic farms also produce less greenhouse gas emissions. So, whenever you have a chance, favour organic! In case you were wondering, our tempeh is certified organic (the beans are sourced within Europe) and we intend to keep it that way.
Remember, as always, it’s all about progress, not perfection. Now, excuse us while we go cook up a plant-based storm in the kitchen, we got some tempeh recipes to try out...We’re feeling pretty confident that not a morsel of that tempeh dish will go to waste.
P.S. If you’re looking for good vegan recipes, we recommend you check our recipe section!