Eat Right To Help Out - Saving The Planet One Bite At A Time!
Jess: I’ve recently watched the latest David Attenborough documentary, ‘Life on Our Planet’ (you can watch it here), I even did a little Facebook live session on it to give you a summary (you can watch it here). One of the key things that we can easily do as individuals to improve our carbon footprint is to change to a more plant-based diet. Remember even small changes in the right direction are worthwhile and just think, with every mouthful you’ll be making a positive change to limit your contribution to climate change - how easy is that!
Unfortunately, it can seem like quite a complicated issue, but maybe we can help to break it down a little bit for you? Here are some of the key things to think about (in no particular order):
1. What is it that you’re wanting to eat?
Here is a little diagram to get you thinking about what it takes to produce food and what impact it has on the environment, especially meat:
2. Where does your food come from?
Eating food that has been grown locally has many benefits for health, economy and environment.
Seasonal food that is allowed to ripen naturally retains more nutrients
The carbon emissions and habitat destruction from transportation are less
It is easier to keep track of the supply chain if your food is produced by someone locally
3. Is it accredited by an organisation to validate its sustainability?
As a consumer, it is very difficult to get to the bottom of where food is actually produced and how sustainable it is, even if you do have the time for careful research.
Looking out for certain symbols such as the Red Tractor (British food), Rainforest Alliance, Marine Stewardship Council, Responsibly Sourced Palm Oil etc. can give you assurance that what you are eating is environmentally friendly.
4. If it is not a sustainable food item, can you eat less of it?
There’s no need to feel guilty about the occasional treat!
5. Where do you buy your food from?
Supermarkets, for example, although more convenient and tempting for a huge number of us, do have a reputation for not being particularly eco-friendly places to shop. If you can seek better standards through your local farm shop, zero waste shop, market or wholefood seller, then it is better to do this. As well as trusting that food is sourced ethically, you can have the added bonuses of reducing your plastic waste and supporting the local economy, rather than the faceless giants! One of the positives of the recent Coronavirus pandemic is that local food suppliers have been working quickly to improve their efficiency and online offerings as well as offering services such as click and collect and delivery.
There are many other factors to consider (land use, water use, process, organic, free range etc) of course, but these are just a few pointers to help you in the right direction. Personal preference, economics and convenience are of course all factors in how and what you eat however climate change must be considered as an immediate threat. It is a crisis that is affecting us all. I’m sure, like me, you are very glad of being able to make simple changes for the better. So, let’s do it! Stage one, tweak what we eat. Let us know how you get on and what changes you’ll be making.
We are on the brink of launching a very exciting new product which shall take the place of GROWbox, the Planet Action Kit. In the first box, one activity your child will receive is a calendar to decorate where we will encourage monthly eco-pledges to help your journey to sustainability.
The Planet Action Kit is a subscription box which helps primary school aged children to love the planet. Suitable for families as a supplement to school education or home-educated children alike, the Planet Action Kit is a unique solution to get your kids excited by planet-friendly actions. Activities designed by teachers and influenced by nature conservationists, it is a whole lot of fun whilst supporting the National Curriculum. Double win! If you’d like to pre-order your Planet Action Kit, ready to arrive in time for Christmas, please drop a note to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “I love the planet” and we’ll send you a discount code for when it is released.
GROWnings is a weekly blog conversation by ‘Planet & People’ to reflect our values and behaviours and encourage open conversation on topical issues.
We are the creators of GROWbox, for budding planet-friendly kids. GROWbox is an educational resource and subscription box providing personalised learning resources engaging children in planet and people. The activities focus on getting in touch with nature and encouraging a desire to protect it, promoting better mental and physical wellbeing, allowing space for creativity and connectivity.