Tan Zi Xi, Plastic Ocean 2016, Installation displayed at Sassoon Dock in Mumbai, India.
This week’s article on The Green Edit is super important. It’s Part 1 of a two-part-series dedicated to the biggest industries that are currently thriving in our world; food and fashion.
However, these two factors put a heavy burden on our environment therefore we need to make some changes. Whether big or small we can minimise our footprints. Links to documentaries, YouTube videos and websites are included in this post if you want to read up more on the subject.
I’m fully aware that fixing global warming isn’t straightforward, but every little helps. The important thing is to be aware of our actions and know the consequences. I’m a true believer that if people know the facts, and understand the impact of their actions, there is a bigger chance that change will be made.
The Food Industry and some of its negative side effects:
- Industrial farming requires massive amounts of land, food, energy, and water.
- A staggering 51% or more of global greenhouse-gas emissions are caused by animal agriculture, according to a report published by the Worldwatch Institute.
- Farming cows on an industrial level is the source of so much methane and nitrous oxide,(both being far stronger greenhouse gases than carbon dioxide). Click here to watch the trailer of Cowspiracy, a documentary that explores the negative effects of cow farming.
- Non-organic farming uses harmful chemicals to kill pesticides but in turn those chemicals get absorbed by the soil and end up in underground water and oceans.
- Excessive plastic wrapping in supermarkets. Roughly 32% of the plastic we use will eventually end up in our oceans and kill our animals either because they eat it or because the get caught in it. Click here to watch The Monumental Effort to World’s Oceans from Plastic, Vice on HBO.
- Over the years, plastic has been broken down into micro-plastic, which is almost impossible to pick up and clean. The smaller fish on the food chain eat this micro-plastic which causes certain chemicals to be released into their body, which in turn travel all the way up to the food chain and eventually on to our plates. Click here to watch the trailer of A Plastic Ocean.
- Container ships which travel from one end of the world to the other carrying food and other goods, continuously pollute our air and oceans.
- Overpopulation means more mouths to feed. We’ve over fished our oceans, and massively scaled up on farming resulting in bad consequences on animals, our environment and eventually on us. Click here to watch the trailer of Hugh’s Fish Fight Campaign.
Here are some suggestions you might want to take into consideration if you are looking to adopt a more Eco-friendly lifestyle:
- Support local farmers. The food you eat takes fewer miles to reach your plate, which reduces food miles, and in turn it is much better for the environment.
- Know the carbon cost of what you eat. Try to adopt an organic plant-based diet. It’s highly recommended to reduce the amount of meat and fish you eat and to only buy from reliable local farmers. Look for signs like grass-fed, certified organic and free range when buying these products. Click here to watch The diet that helps fight climate change.
- Avoid excessive plastic. Take your canvas tote bag and glass jars when visiting the supermarket. Buy in bulk, and refill! Click here to watch Boyan Slat’s plan to clean the Pacific Ocean from plastic. He is the CEO of The Ocean Clean Up.
- Go for organic where possible. This assures you that what you are buying was grown ethically, with both the environment and you in mind.
- Always use a reusable coffee cup. The vast majority of coffee cups are not recycled due to the PE (Polyethelyn) liner. Only in the U.K they use 7,000,000 coffee cups a day. That’s 2,500,000,000 a year. The vast majority of which go to landfills. Click here to watch The Truth About Recycling Coffee Cups.
- Embrace Reusable & Refillables. There are numerous websites that sell super cool innovations to eliminate single-use packaging. From reusable straws to beeswax wrapping paper to wrap your sandwich in. Visit boobalou.co.uk or www.letsmakecyprusgreen.com/eco-shop/ to shop all your reusable products. Kate Arnell from ECO BOOST shares her zero waste shopping kit in this lovely video. She also created a list of everything she uses, so click this link to check it out.
- Avoid plastic wrapped Snacks & take away boxes. Bring food from home where possible instead of buying take away every day. They always come in single-use plastic containers.
- Start making and baking your own food. For example, granola, cakes, bread, pancakes, vegan cheese, dairy free milk, nut butters, the list is endless!
- Don’t throw away good food! Food that degrades in landfills produce methane, which is 10 times worse than CO2. Composting your leftovers is a better way to go. Click here to watch the trailer for this amazing documentary! It completely changed my perception of food waste. Just Eat it: A Food Waste Story.
I truly hope you’ll take the time to watch everything I listed. We are facing a global issue that urgently needs to be addressed, so every little step we take towards a more eco-friendly living, the more good we’ll do to the environment! As always, if you have any questions or thoughts you want to discuss with me, please get in touch!
Melanie x The Green Edit