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Celebrate World Environment Day June 5

Join with people around the globe June 5 to celebrate World Environment Day, a day dedicated to positive environmental action. Since its inception in 1972, the United Nations Environment Programme has spurred awareness about global environmental issues. No matter your spot on the globe, you can take part and ensure a greener, brighter tomorrow for people now and for generations to come.

UNEP

Each year, the United Nations picks a theme. The theme for World Environment Day 2013 is Think.Eat.Save. This campaign focuses on reducing food waste and everyone’s overall foodprint. When you consider 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted every year according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization [1], it should gobble up our attention during this day of environmental awareness. Think.Eat.Save. urges people to be more aware of their environmental impact when it comes to food.

I am sure you are thinking of leftovers and rotten food piling up in the garbage, but it’s not just the food that is wasted. The resources that go into every meal also are wasted.  Chemicals, such as fertilizers and pesticides, were sprayed on crops. Fruits and vegetables were trucked and flown hundreds of miles to a warehouse. More packaging was used to wrap up items for grocery store shelves. People labored to bring the food to your dinner table. As you can see, a lot of resources went into the food that is now just going into the trashcan.

So think, eat and save, just like the theme says. You can do this with a few simple food changes, not just on World Environment Day, but every day.

 Here are seven ways to reduce your foodprint:food

  1. Go to the fridge first. Make meals with the food you already have in the fridge. By using this food first, you can ensure it’s used before it goes bad.
  2. Buy local. Limit the numbers of emissions it took your food to get to the table. Fewer miles by truck or plane make the purchase better for the whole planet.
  3. Plan ahead. Plan meals before you shop. This helps you buy only what you need and limits impulse buying, which helps your wallet.
  4. Buy realistically. While buying in bulk can save money, it only saves money if you are able to eat it all before it goes bad.
  5. Eat organic. Organic foods eliminate or reduce the amount of wasted chemicals.
  6. Keep leftovers. When eating out, take home any uneaten food and eat it for lunch the next day.
  7. Preserve fruits and vegetables. Freeze or can surplus fruits and vegetables. If you have a garden or local market, this can be the perfect way to save. The in-season produce will cost less, but can be saved for year-round use.

Through the World Environment Day website, you can track your environmental activities and see how others around the world are doing their part. And remember to share this eco-holiday with others. The more who know, the more we can help the environment.

 

Author: Brenna Malmberg

 

[1] United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization Numbers

 

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