Our lifestyle choices do have an effect on the environment. It’s not easy, but making the conscious decision to live a healthier life does reduce your impact on the planet. Choosing to avoid plastic packaging where possible results in less waste. Eating healthier meals also reduces your paper and plastic waste from takeaway meals.
Our food and shopping choices not only benefit our own health and longevity, but they also have further consequences down the line for the environment. Disposable coffee cups, plastic straws and grocery packets are all items that we can live without – there are numerous alternatives available that are better for our oceans, land and animals.
Every choice you make at the supermarket has the ability to lessen your impact on the planet or to further add to the growing effect that humans have already had on Earth’s ability to sustain life. Some decisions are simple, like opting for a paper bag instead of a plastic one, but others are more difficult because they ultimately mean we need to change our lifestyle and routines.
Caring for your health means caring for the environment
Evidence from numerous studies suggests that our eating and living habits do have consequences for the planet. Although one person’s lifestyle choices have a minimal impact, when an entire country’s choices are compounded, the effects are far greater.
South Africans are beginning to consider the environmental impact of their food choices. Local supermarkets and businesses are also taking steps to educate the public about recycling and waste disposal, as well as reducing their own packaging waste.
Eating locally-sourced whole foods instead of processed and sugary foods means that there is less waste from food processing factories. Vegetables and fruit are eaten in their entirety and what little parts are not eaten are biodegradable.
Processed foods are linked to heart disease, diabetes and high cholesterol, and they often result in a lot of waste in factories. Farm-fresh raw products purchased at local markets and grocery stores have a far smaller carbon footprint and waste output.
We need to change our approach to food for the good of the planet
Globally, food production is responsible for about one-third of our total carbon output. This food production and supply will need to grow by 50% before the year 2050 if it is to sustain the Earth’s growing population. However, about 30% of all the food produced today is wasted.
If humans are to minimise their impact on the environment, we need to completely shift our mindset about food; the way we produce it, cook it and consume it. It will require effort to minimise food waste, prepare more meals from raw ingredients and to reduce our consumption of processed foods. However, the effort will be worth it – for our bodies and the planet that sustains us.
As mentioned before, many South Africans are becoming aware of their decisions. More and more citizens are moving away from single-use plastic products and from brands that are detrimental to the environment. It proves that sustainability is becoming an important factor in our purchasing decisions.
Restaurants are more commonly adopting farm-to-fork strategies and are increasing the use of organic foods in their kitchen. Suppliers, manufacturers and retailers in support of sustainable living are becoming a more popular and welcome solution in South Africa.
Averda is a leading waste management provider with over 50 years of experience across three continents. Through growth, transformation and engagement, we strive to find new ways of managing waste while protecting the community and environment.
By pairing international expertise with local insights, we have secured our position as one of South Africa’s most respected providers of waste management and industrial cleaning services. We also operate in the recycling, pipe inspection, CCTV, infrastructure inspection, hydro-demolition, high-pressure water jetting and catalyst handling industries.
Follow us Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for the best tips on recycling and the latest industry news. See our Instagram and YouTube channels for more insights into environmental affairs and our work with local communities.