Surf Coast residents are being encouraged to reduce their carbon footprint by embracing sustainable eating opportunities.
Local groups and initiatives such as the Danawa Community Garden, Greenmums 3228 and the Torquay Farmers’ Market are encouraging people to think about the environmental impact of food production, packaging and transportation.
Greenmums 3228 member Leanne Reinke said people need to be aware of what they are eating and the effect it has on the environment.
“People need to ask where their produce comes from, think about the distance it’s travelled and how it’s packaged,” she said.
According to the University of Queensland, choices regarding food packaging and place of origin are the single biggest contributor to most people’s carbon footprint.
People can easily reduce their carbon footprint by simply switching their thinking and considering sustainable alternatives.
Those wishing to eat more sustainably can include more fruit and vegetables into their diet and consider having a meat-free day once a week.
A 1kg portion of beef, according to EPA Victoria, requires 16,000 litres of water in order to get it from paddock to plate, making meat one of the most resource-intensive foods.
Danawa Community Garden Secretary Perry Mills said people are becoming more interested in sustainable eating as vegetable gardens and organic produce increase in popularity.
“There’s a growing interest in eating a plant-based diet and an increased understanding of the importance of growing chemical-free food,” he said.
Eating sustainably is not just good for the environment, it has economic and health benefits too.
“Many of our members have changed their diet to include sustainable eating and this has helped them to control some pretty serious health issues, such as obesity, diabetes and heart problems,” Mr.Mills said.
Torquay Farmers’ Market coordinator David Bell said the increasingly popular market encourages people to change their habits and attitudes to food and support the local community.
“Initiatives such as this help to stimulate the local economy, support small producers and businesses, and increase resilience and connectedness in the community.
“It’s an opportunity to create niche businesses in food production and supply customers with fresh, health and sustainable produce,” Mr Bell said.
For more information, or to get involved, contact Perry Mills from the Danawa Community Garden on 0428848646, email Greenmums 3228 at email@example.com , or for the Torquay Farmers’ Market contact David Bell 0418315026. This article featured in the Surf Coast Times Green the Coast Column.
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