Avoidable Food Waste, the Lost Net Zero Opportunity
Apple is a sweet fruit that is ready to be harvested from end of August till around November in the UK. Following the 2021 climate summit (cop26) meeting in Glasgow, promises hsve been made, big sums of moent have (in theory) been committed but the dates and far, the times set to act by various governments almost seems too far to matter.
Across the world, tonnes of fruit and veg are produced and 46% are wasted according to the Food and Agriculture Agency. Out of these figure, it is unclear if the amount of food fruit and vegetables wasted in our gardens are accounted for in that figure. It goes without saying that the number of fruit that fall to the ground in our gardens add up to a painfully high number.
As the UK and many other countries accross the world are scrambling to put in place a national programs to reduce their climate impact and become Net Zero, we are not likely to see a very drastic positive change to the pollution level we are experiencing today.
How many fruit waste away at the bottom of the tree, in your garden?
The missed opportunity - I believe that the fasted way to reduce our global demand on the agricultural sector for food and the automotive and aerospace sector for transportation; is for us to individually act in any capacity we could by reducing waste and replenishing our local environments.
One action we can all execute, and its a big one, is to aim to waste no food at all. Those who have fruit growing in their gardens can pass on their harvest to neighbours, colleagues or family. The fruit from your garden can fill the plate of many households closer to you so they spend less buying from the supermarket and subsequently reduce the demand for super larger scale food farming.
Why and how does Large scale food farming affect global warming? Fertilisers are used in large amounts and this generates nitrous oxide, which is a major green house gass(GHG). Also according to the OECD report from the meeting of agricultural ministers 2016, agriculture contributes 17% of green house gases (nitrous oxide and methane) that cause climate change. A further 7 -14% green house gases are also realised through changes in land use.
The lesson to take home here is that by avoiding waste, we can in turn reduce the need for big polluting manufacturing and agricultural productions. The good news is that we all can reduce waste, no matter how frugal you are already, think transportation, food consumption, fashion, accommodation (heating and insulation) - there is always more to do.
So, what are you going to do about your waste? Can you pick one thing each week and make sure you focus on reducing any waste or wasteful activities?
I hope you have a fun and fulfilling time on this sustainable and rewarding lifestyle.