If, like us, you are concerned about your carbon footprint and are looking for ways to reduce the impact your lifestyle has on our environment, you’ll know it can be difficult to know where to begin. There are so many different statistics and opinions circulating about what to eat and how to eat it. But, after many hours of searching, Canopy Press team member Izzy Harridence shares her top tips for successful sustainable eating habits!
Eat less meat
You’ve probably heard this one a lot, but this tip is number one for good reason. Believe it or not, the global livestock industry produces more greenhouse gases than all cars, planes, trains and ships combined!¹ Beef and dairy are said to be the worst offenders². Reports also state that keeping meat consumption to levels recommended by health professionals would not only significantly lower emissions but also reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.¹ But if transitioning to a full vegetarian or vegan diet seems unattainable, even small steps like having one meat-free day a week can make a difference.
Soy confusing? Going nuts?
If you’ve taken note of tip 1 and cut down on your meat and dairy intake, fantastic! But we were saddened to learn that the increasing demand for alternatives such as almond milk and tofu is having its own detrimental effect on the planet.
80% of the world’s almond crops are grown in California, which is currently experiencing its worst drought ever on record. It takes five litres of water to grow one almond, and thanks to almond milk’s popularity, almond orchards continue to be planted. This has led to farmers drilling down thousands of feet in search of water, which is creating state-wide subsidence issues which reports say could even trigger earthquakes³. However, you shouldn’t ditch your plant milk just yet (dairy milk still has the biggest environmental impact), experts recommend oat milk as the most sustainable option of the dairy alternatives4.
In Brazil, the world’s top supplier of soy beans, the Cerrado grasslands are being destroyed at an alarming rate to make room for soy farms. Public outcry is leading producers away from further deforestation of the Amazon rainforest, but the Cerrado is now disappearing in its place, damaging water supplies and putting native wildlife at risk⁵. The best advice here is to simply avoid Brazilian tofu, and choose brands that source European or US soy.
Be careful of the ‘B’ word
Shocking images of our oceans and landscapes filled with plastic waste has, thankfully, led businesses and brands to rethink their policies regarding single-use plastics and packaging. The market for bioplastics – substitutes made from maize, sugarcane, wheat, and other crops – is growing by 20-30% every year⁶, which sounds like a good thing, right? Wrong!
Despite being described as “biodegradable”, “sustainable”, and “compostable”, less than 40% of bioplastics are actually designed to be biodegradable, and there are very few facilities that are able to properly recycle them⁷. So think twice before being charmed by vendors offering food and drinks in bioplastic packaging. The advice remains to eat and drink in where possible, using the bar/restaurant’s plates, cups and cutlery, or carry your own cutlery and reusable cup in your bag for green eating on-the-go.
Here at Canopy Press, we’re excited to see the positive changes that we could potentially achieve in years to come with small steps to be more green. Of course, it goes without saying that when considering changes regarding shopping and eating habits, it is important to bear your own dietary requirements in mind and do your research carefully, as we all know a balanced diet is key to good health and happiness!
Marketing Coordinator, Canopy Press