Waste Not, Want Not

Today, June 5th, is World Environment Day (WED). An event that is being celebrated across the globe, open to anyone and everyone looking to help make a difference. WED began in 1972 and was first set in motion at the opening of the Stockholm UN Conference. It is one of the main vehicles that the United Nations uses to stimulate worldwide awareness of environmental issues. This year, their main focus is their “Think, Eat, and Save” campaign, urging individuals to use less and waste less food. According to their research, 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted each year, enough to easily feed the starving population of Sub-Saharan Africa. Their plea is that we consider more closely how we use and discard food, making a commitment to reducing our foodprints.

At our current state, with over 7 billion people spread out over the earth, it is evident that we cannot continue to misuse valuable, natural resources. At the moment, global food production takes up 25% of habitable land and is responsible for 70% of fresh water consumption. (Seems a little greedy to me!) One cannot help but be alarmed to find that 80% of deforestation is directly due to food production, as is 30% of the greenhouse gases threatening our climate. Doesn’t it make sense that we start purposefully selecting food with less environmental impact? Especially when you learn that 1 in 7 people in the world go to bed hungry every night and that 20,000 children under the age of five die daily from hunger. That’s with an estimated 1/3 of global food production finding it’s way to the garbage instead of the dinner table. 

Need any other reasons to become involved and consider the message that WED is sending out? Here’s a couple! It gives power to individuals to become agents for change in support of sustainable and equitable development.  It celebrates achievements made towards protecting the environment and highlights the strength of collective decision. It also strives to encourage everyone to do more with less and to work as a whole in an effort to force food production processes to become more efficient. The regenerative capacity of our planet has been exceeded and it’s important that in looking to the future we find ways to provide for the millions and billions of people who will come after us. 

Improving our lives as a result of improving the environment is called Euthenics, and it is something that everyone can have a hand in. Buying locally and buying organic are ways to help protect the environment from added harmful substances such as pesticides and fuel emissions. Buying less, spending less, and wasting less. I will do my part by not only making a commitment to wasting less food in my own home, but making sure that less of our local produce is lost. It is to our advantage that WED is looking at the same goals that Fruit Share Brandon is, giving a boost to our mission. Providing for those without, making smart choices about how we treat our environment, and working to reduce the loss of fresh food through waste. 

Want to learn more and get involved? Visit http://www.unep.org/wed/ for more information on World Environment Day and www.fruitshare.ca to register and help in your own community. 

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