Introduction: Reduce by Your Carbon Footprint by Changing Your Eating Habits
In the following few steps I will describe to you different ways that you can reduce your carbon footprint by changing how you eat. This includes what you eat, when you eat what, and where you buy what you eat.
Step 1: Overview
Before I get into the instruction of how to do this I'd like to answer any questions you may have.
First a definition, taken directly from the Wikipedia pagethe Wikipedia page, a carbon footprint is a "measure of the impact human activities have on the environment in terms of the amount of green house gases produced, measured in units of carbon dioxide." Well there you have it. Basically a carbon footprint is how much your activities and purchases contribute to climate change. The goal of this instructable is to show methods that you can use to reduce your footprint.
Step 2: Changing What You Eat When
This is known as eating seasonally. Basically you only eat food that are in season, or growing, in your local area.
Why this helps reduce your footprint:
If you eat seasonally it means that your are going to have to be buying food that grows near you. This means that less gas and other resources will be spent on shipping your non-seasonal food to where you leave. Less gas burned for transportation means less carbon released.
Now, where will you buy all of this seasonal food?
Onto step 3!
Step 3: Change Where You Buy Your Food From
After reading the previous step your are now going to be shopping seasonally. The best place to shop for reducing your footprint would be from a local farmer's market or something similar where local farmers come to sell their goods. Aside from being a greener place to shop the farmers market also has a much friendlier atmosphere because most people are there because they want to be there not because they are making tons of money on it. Also the food is almost guaranteed to be fresher than food bought in the grocery store. While at the market I would highly recommend reusable grocery bags.
Why this helps:
This helps with a number of things. First, at a farmers market less packaging is likely to be used because the farmers are going to be moving it themselves and usually not moving it very far. The reusable bags help because you don't go through tons of plastic bags when you shop. Instead you just use one, or two, or however many you need. However many you might need it will certainly be less than all the plastic ones you'll use in a lifetime which means that less plastic bags have to be made which means less production which cuts back on pollution, your carbon footprint, and climate change!
Step 4: Change What You Eat
The biggest thing you will want to change is start purchasing as much organic food as you can. Second, eat less meat, mainly beef.
Why this helps:
Organic food means that no chemicals were used in the production of the food, i.e. no pesticides, fertilizers, human waste, or sewage sludge. Also in most countries for food to be organic it cannot have been genetically altered. This helps because the production of pesticides ant fertilizers gives of carbon which we are trying to reduce.
Cows produce a lot of methane. A gas, that while not carbon, still contributes to climate change. Also beef production requires lots of food to grown for the cows to eat. Which is usually not organic, and even when it is still needs to grown in large quantities. Non-organic beef has also most likely been pumped with growth hormones and lots of antibiotics, which the production of give of carbon. If you can't go with out beef at least try to get organic beef.