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Wednesday
Jun052013

World Environment Day - Think.Eat.Save

This year, the theme for World Environment Day is ‘Think.Eat.Save’, which is an anti food waste and food loss campaign that aims to address and encourage the issues that surround those that have too much and those that have too little. Too often food is wasted, while 1 in every 7 people in the world goes to bed hungry due to the imbalance in distribution and lifestyle.

Image courtesy of Steve Snodgrass

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted annually. The result of this is devastating on the environment as the countries that have an overwhelming amount of food, and therefore an overwhelming amount of waste, are heavily contributing to the destruction of wildlife and harming the environment due to the over production of food products and a lack of recycling. Think.Eat.Save aims to encourage those with a wider selection of food sources to moderate their purchases, be sparing with what they do have and recycle where they can, for this will decrease the carbon footprint of numerous households and save energy and curb the risks for wildlife that could be harmed by loose rubbish and discarded food waste. Think.Eat.Save wants the general public “to become more aware of the environmental impact of the food choices you make and empowers you to make informed decisions.”

Image courtesy of North Devon Council

The idea is to allow the response to be easier by taking action from home, and by that you could “save money, minimise the environmental impact of food production and force food production processes to become more efficient.” By having control over what we choose to buy to eat, we can make sure that it comes from sustainable sources, is as local as possible to reduce transport costs, is organic where possible so chemicals have not been used that could have an environmental impact; and we can make sure that we use only what we buy and that therefore all of the resources, food and water that have gone into creating that product for consumption have not gone to waste.

Image courtesy of Leslie Science & Nature Centre

It’s not just the prevention of financial waste that the Think.Eat.Save is trying to encourage, the focus is mainly on the environmental effects that the chemicals that have been used to produce the food which is then wasted, will have globally. It equates to a huge amount of squandering of resources if the food which has been produced is then wasted and simply thrown away or unused. When we are faced with statistics such as the amount of food lost or wasted every year is equivalent to more than half of the world’s annual cereal crops, it is staggering that we allow that level of wastage to occur.

Image courtesy of jbloom

It is easy to start a small process of food waste prevention that could then lead to bigger results. You can get involved in things like Food Recycling schemes, by simply preserving food you can make it last longer and prevent wastage, or by buying less and from local sources you can minimise the environmental impact. World Environment Day is all about learning about what you can do to reduce your carbon footprint and your environmental impact; if we start now then it could still have a positive enough effect to allow the planet to recuperate slightly!

Sustainable consumption is all about ‘doing more and better with less,’ which will have immensely beneficial consequences for the environment and for us; we just need to start acting on the mistakes we are making and start to reshape our future.

By Ellie Cambridge

To get involved in conservation of the environment you can take part in projects such as the Galapagos Islands Community Development & Agriculture where you can help plant and tend to seedlings and trees, or the Peru Amazon Rainforest Conservation project that contributes towards vital scientific work to promote sustainable living and conservation within the Amazon rainforest, or Ecuador Sustainable Agriculture project that involves the running of a farm and encourages the education of the local community on ecotourism and sustainability.

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