Changing your diet and recycling food is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. This is one of the easiest things you can do to help the environment. Composting food can reduce the methane and CO2 released by organic waste.
Global food miles account for nearly one-fifth of total food-system emissions
Using data from 74 countries, researchers calculated the carbon footprint of the global food transport system. They considered the four transport modes – air, water, rail, and road – and calculated emissions per tonne of food.
They found that international transport accounts for 71% of the total food-system miles. The top four emitters are China, India, Russia, and the United States.
The study found that wealthy countries contributed significantly more to the problem than developing countries. For example, they estimated that the per capita emissions for food transport were about seven times higher in rich countries than in developing countries.
The paper highlights the importance of electrifying goods vehicles. It also highlights the need to move food production closer to population centers.
The main drivers of global greenhouse gas emissions are food production and transportation to market. The production phase accounts for 83% of total GHG emissions. The transport phase accounts for 11% of life-cycle GHG emissions.
Out-of-season produce can have a hefty carbon footprint
Buying produce out of season can harm your wallet, but it’s not the only time you’ll be sacrificing the quality of life for the planet’s sake. Out-of-season produce is notoriously prone to spoilage, which is bad news for your wallet. In short, it’s the smart move to buy your produce locally or, if you’re fortunate, import it from faraway land.
The best time to do it is during peak harvest when the crop is freshest. Of course, you should not expect access to the same gimmicks you’d get in a warehouse or grocery store, but that’s not to say your local produce could be better.
The most crucial point is that you’ll want to keep an eye out for your local produce while you’re out and about. For instance, you should avoid crowds and visit the local farmers’ market instead.
Composting leftovers reduces methane and CO2 released by organic waste
Whether looking for an eco-friendly way to recycle waste or reduce your carbon footprint, composting is an efficient and cost-effective way to reduce the amount of methane and CO2 released by organic waste. It also helps reduce harmful emissions from landfills and incinerators.
Composting is a process by which microbes break down organic material. The process results in a mixture of organic components that are composted and used to fertilize soil without chemicals. This process can also stabilize soil and help plants grow.
Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that traps heat more efficiently than carbon dioxide. This greenhouse gas is responsible for one-third of the climate crisis, and its effects on our climate are significant. It is twenty-five times more potent than carbon dioxide. It can also be recycled and used to power kitchen stoves.
Composting can also help to reduce pesticide use and protect natural resources. In addition, it can be a simple backyard process that takes little time and money.
Changing diets can reduce emissions
According to a recent study commissioned by the Center for Biological Diversity, changing diets can reduce food emissions. For example, the study found that the diets of the United States’ youngest eaters are less carbon-intensive than those of adults.
The report also shows that a small number of individuals can significantly affect national-level emissions. For example, the report estimates that if a household switched from eating red meat and dairy to chicken, fish, or eggs one day per week, it would reduce its carbon footprint by about 27%.
The study found that Americans ate less meat, poultry, and dairy than in previous years. This reduction contributed to a 46.4% drop in the diet’s carbon footprint.
The most significant reduction came from the youngest eaters, who cut their carbon footprint by 47.2% over 15 years. This is in line with keeping global warming below 1.5 deg C. It also means that if the US population reduced its meat consumption by 50%, the country would cut its annual emissions by 224 million metric tons. This would account for nearly 24% of the country’s emissions reduction required to meet the Paris climate goals.