low carbon love

low carbon love

Meat

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Cutting meat out of your diet is the most effective, quickest, easiest way to lower your impact on the environment. 

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The meat industry is responsible for about a third of our troubles… Around one third of carbon emissions come from livestock, which utilise about one third of the world’s surface is used for grazing and growing grain for food. The meat industry uses about one third of our water and pollutes the rest with 130 times more excrement than the human population produces, not to mention pesticides and antibiotics.

 

In the UK we slaughter 9.8 million pigs, nearly 15 million sheep, 18 million turkeys, 14 million ducks, over 945 million chickens and 2.6 million cattle every year - and 9 out of 10 abattoirs fail undercover health and humane inspections. And if the never-ending environmental degradation wasn’t enough, processed meats have also been labelled a Group 1 carcinogen.

In a decade or two, we may look back on our meat consumption with the same judgement we look back on smoking - and future generations will ask us how we thought we could sustain such a mentally wasteful diet…

A vegetarian or vegan diet slashes your impact on the planet. And commitment can be conditional, contravening isn’t a criminal offence. Do bits, do lots. Try it, and keep at it, and we can heal the world.

The quickest way to... 

lower your emissions, reduce water wastage, prevent pollution and improve human rights 

...is by changing your diet

795 million people, that's one ninth of the population, are still living malnourished.

Yet one third of food is wasted globally.

If we continue to keep buying food as we are now, the plastic problem will grow until there is more plastic in the oceans that fish by 2050.

Now is time to look past the social and cultural implications of our ingrained dietary behaviours, and aim for a more sustainable relationship with our food. This could be a small change, reducing meat consumption, a challenge like cutting plastic to fortify new approaches, or trying to include more seasonal produce. 

MEAT

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Cutting meat out of your diet is the most effective, quickest, easiest way to lower your impact on the environment. 

It’s an industry that doesn’t benefit anyone. Farmers who are now forced to sell meat so cheaply that sales barely cover their costs. Overconsumption of meat is linked to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers. Animal agriculture is the leading cause of human-caused climate change – more damaging than even transport. And billions of animals suffer torment and death annually. 

 

The Industry

The meat industry is responsible for about a third of our troubles… Around one third of carbon emissions come from livestock, it uses about one third of the land for grazing and growing grain for food. The meat industry also uses about one third of our water and pollutes the rest with 130 times more excrement than the human population produces, not to mention all the pesticides and antibiotics.

 

The Slaughter

In the UK we slaughter 9.8 million pigs, nearly 15 million sheep, 18 million turkeys, 14 million ducks, over 945 million chickens and 2.6 million cattle every year - and 9 out of 10 abattoirs fail undercover health and humane inspections. And if the never-ending environmental degradation wasn’t enough, processed meats have also been labelled a Group 1 carcinogen.

The Future

In a decade or two, we may look back on our meat consumption with the same judgement we look back on smoking - and future generations will ask us how we thought we could sustain such a mentally wasteful diet…

Alternatives

Alternatively, plant-based diets are just as rich in protein, iron, calcium and other essential vitamins and minerals. The plant-based sources of these nutrients tend to be low in saturated fat, high in fibre and packed with antioxidants. Vegans are approximately one-ninth as likely to be obese as meat-eaters and have only 40 percent of  the cancer rate of meat-eaters. If you are interested here are 57 other benefits to going vegan.

A vegetarian or vegan diet slashes your impact on the planet. And commitment can be conditional, contravening isn’t a criminal offence. Do bits, do lots. Try it, and keep at it, and we can heal the world.

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WASTE

Over 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted globally every year.... 

 

Waste occurs throughout the chain, from production, transportation, to consumption. It costs the world an estimate. At home, edible oversights cost the average person in the UK around £200 a year, and the average family £700. 

All the world’s nearly one billion hungry people could be fed on less than a quarter of the food that is wasted in the US, UK and Europe. And over half of this food waste in developed countries occurs in the home. 

Eat food, even if it's past it's use-by date. On a plant-based diet this isn't going to cause any problems - and rule of thumb: if it's got mould on it - cut the mould off and continue. If it is really well and truly done, put it in the compost.

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Since beginning in 2016, Olio has shared over 100,000 items of food in communities around 38 countries.

It's like ebay, for old food. Log your item, or search your area for snacks. . . 

Links you to restaurants who have surplus food at seriously discounted rates. 

So far over 27 tonnes of CO2 have been saved by their work.

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PACKAGING

Food packaging is estimated to grow by 4% each year... 

 

Global food packaging in a burgeoning industry that is estimated to grow by 4% each year and in Europe we constitute 34% of demand. Over half of what we throw away is plastic - hundreds of millions of tonnes a year.

 

We produce enough plastic each year to wrap 4 times around the earth, and more worrying still: we have produced more in the last decade than in the whole of the last century. Only 14% of plastic are recycled globally, and though making it is cheap, it is anything by cheerful. It rinses our water resources, ransacks fossil fuels and reaps havoc on rainforests which are felled at an alarming rate every second to meet demands for oil and plastics. Most of our foods come wrapped in this cheap, malleable resource, but if we continue with this level on consumption, there will be more plastic than fish by 2050!

Cut your consumption of this dangerous debris by shopping for a local vegetable box or bag, get ingredients wholesome and pure, and make things from scratch. And if all that pollution enough to prevent plastic proliferation, the leeching from the chemical nature of plastics is also a key health concern…. 

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FOOD MILES

More than half of the UK’s food and feed now comes from overseas, which is burdening poorer countries with the related environmental impacts.

The quantity of food miles in our meals has doubled since the 1970s because we now buy seasonal food all year round; we buy more processed food; and, we like to pay as little for it as possible. Now, 95% of fruit and over 50% of vegetables in Britain are imported.  However, growing bananas in a 50 degree greenhouse in Scotland, for example, would be worst than slinging bunches in shipping containers from Sri Lanka. The solution is a tax on carbon dioxide, so big business pay for their pollution - but this has not yet been successfully implemented. In fact, the shipping industry is heavily criticised for going unmonitored with regards to climate change. 

The only solution is to think, act and talk about it. Make low carbon choices in the kitchen. Cut the carbon with a local vegetable bag, and appreciate an apple from England rather than a mango from the Maldives. Eat Seasonably and embrace the natural flow of local nature to nurture your nutritional needs. 

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