Food – making a difference through what we eat

The food we eat has a climate impact. We need to think more about what we eat and make some changes. We don’t need to change everything we eat immediately, and it’s easy to introduce new foods over time.

Globally, food production is responsible for a third of all greenhouse gas emissions. It is the most important single threat to biodiversity.

Meat production is a special problem. It accounts for 70% of all agricultural land use, occupies 30% of the planet’s land surface and is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gases.

Here in the UK the food we eat accounts for up to 30% of the country’s carbon footprint. This means that our daily food choices really do influence our environmental impact. Buying locally can help cut emissions as well as being good for the local economy.

OxToCC invites you to make a change or two. If you know what you want to do, simply click here to record your action, or consider some of these ideas.

Your first action:

  • Try meat-free meals twice a week – look at the Meat-Free Monday campaign for inspiration and recipes
  • Try some non-dairy alternatives, for example, use oat or nut-based milk for a week

Click here to record it.

Next steps:

If you’ve already cut down on eating meat or are vegetarian or vegan, here’s some more actions to consider

Food-cycle

  • Cut your food waste by using shopping lists, planning your meals and using leftovers – look at the Love Food, Hate Waste website for recipes, handy hints and advice
  • Use your food waste caddy/recycling container. Find out just how much can be collected for recycling, check your Council website. Alternatively, start home composting  – Garden Organic has plenty of tips on this
  • Encourage your school, college or workplace catering to increase meat-free options or run a meat-free Monday scheme

Don’t forget to record your action here.

Taking it further – or set your own actions and tell us about them!

  • Buy locally-produced food and organic whenever possible. Visit a Farmers’ Market or try a vegetable box scheme
  • Grow your own fruit, vegetables and herbs at home – it cuts out ‘food miles’, unnecessary packaging and you can avoid pesticides.
  • If you have time and want to get really involved put your name down for an allotment or join a community gardening project
  • Sign up to Good Food Oxfords Charter and find out what else is happening locally from that site
  • Support Fairtrade products and stockists. The Fairtrade mark is an independent guarantee that producers and their communities are getting a fair deal. This is vitally important as climate change increasingly threatens crops, water supplies and livelihoods. You can join Oxford Fairtrade City, a voluntary group that promotes fair trade.

Record your action here .