10 Ways to Reduce Your Environmental Footprint

Good Guide
September 14, 2012

1.  Eat less beef, pork, and lamb. Beef's carbon footprint is three to seven times larger than chicken's. Producing one pound of beef uses up twenty-nine times more water than one pound of chicken and fifty times more water than one pound of soybeans. Three liters of oil are required to produce one pound of beef.

2.  Eat out at restaurants less. 11-13% of the food served on an average plate at a restaurant goes to waste. In the UK, 30-40% of all food at restaurants is never eaten. The lighting, cooling, operation of the restaurant, and the energy used to drive there all cost the environment more than cooking that same meal at home.

3.  Eat fewer dairy products. Together with meat, dairy products are responsible for emissions such as CO2, nitrous oxides and methane - all big factors in global warming. Cheese can be just as energy intensive as some meats. Ten liters of milk are used for one kilogram of cheese

4.  Eat fruits and vegetables that are in season (and local when possible). Fresh fruits sold in the winter are often imported or grown in greenhouses, both of which require significant energy use. Importing food by air has a carbon footprint 6 times larger than by ground. A fruit's origin can have a significant impact on the environment -- the energy used to transport grapes from Chile to San Francisco is far greater than transporting them from Napa Valley.

5.  Eat fewer packaged snacks and junk food. The boxes, bags and packets that hold our food account for 10-12% of the cost of our food products. More than half of all plastic packaging is used to package food. One third of the energy used to produce food goes to snacks, candy and soft drinks.

6.  Drink less bottled water. Producing the bottles for US consumption of bottled water for one year requires the equivalent of more than 17 million barrels of oil. Bottling this water produced more than 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide. It takes 3 liters of water to produce 1 liter of bottled water.

You can read the rest of this article and find even more great information at GoodGuide.com...

Originally published in October 2009. 

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