Eat well, reduce your carbon footprint, and maybe save yourself some money too!
Check out our top tips below - but these are just some suggestions you may like to try. If you have some top tips you'd like to share please contact Horsham District Council and we can add them to these pages.
When it comes to our diets, the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) says we need to buy less meat, milk, cheese and butter - but also eat more locally sourced seasonal food, and throw less of it away.
You might be surprised to discover that farming animals is one of the biggest contributors to climate change.
Meat and dairy production causes 14.5% of planet-warming gases. Find out more from Friends of the Earth.
Producing meat industrially uses more carbon per calorie than producing grains and vegetables, and cutting meat and dairy products from your diet could reduce an individual's carbon footprint from food by two-thirds, according to an Oxford study published in the journal Science.
- Eat less (and better) meat, particularly red meat (lamb and beef) and less dairy. You don’t have to go totally plant based, replacing one or two meat-based meals a week with a vegetarian option will significantly reduce your CO2 emissions over the course of a whole year.
- Eating more locally produced season food means less imported food and less air miles. It might also mean you can try some new interesting food AND you will be supporting local businesses.
- What's your diet's carbon footprint?
Find out what your diet carbon footprint is in the BBC's Climate change food calculator
- Grow your own fruit and veg. There are many local groups in the Horsham District who can give advice and encouragement. Some, such as Transition Horsham, also organise seed swaps - so whilst you benefit form fresh home grown food you can also feel virtuous for helping to protect the planet as your plants absorb carbon dioxide.
- Advantages of growing your own can also have benefits for wildlife if you include:
- Planting some bee-friendly flowers and help to protect some important wildlife
- Protecting an important habitat by only using peat free compost! There are some very good alternatives
- Add a wildflower section and or pond to your garden to encourage wildlife into it and consider leaving some areas of grass to grow long.
Individual actions can have a huge collective impact on carbon emissions. Here are three ideas to potentially cut the carbon footprint of your food shop:
- Shop local: Consider buying some of your food from local producers. It's a good way to Buy Local and reduce the carbon footprint of your produce.
- Grow your own: With Spring upon us there's no better time to think about growing your own produce this year. Check out the RHS simple guide to growing your own
- Buy seasonal: Buying food when it's in season in the UK is a great way to reduce food miles and could also save you money. Check out this guide to seasonal fruit and vegetables from the Vegetarian Society.
- Home composting is the most environmentally-friendly way of dealing with unwanted kitchen and garden waste, plus it produces compost that can be used as an excellent soil improver.
- Composting is useful in all gardens. Only in the very smallest gardens will it be difficult to find space for a compost heap and material to fill it. Owners of such small plots could consider worm composting instead. The RHS is a great place to start thinking about composting.
- HOT BIN TRIALS: Here at Horsham District Council we are trialling a Hot Bin with some of our residents to help transform unwanted food waste into rich compost.
A Hot Bin can take anything from cooked food waste (including bones) to peelings and turn it into rich compost in 30 – 90 days by heating the waste up to 60°C. The result is a nutrient-rich compost for your garden for minimal effort and reduced food waste in your rubbish bin.
We've given seven Horsham District families a Hot Bin and a food waste caddy each for the kitchen. The families will weigh the food waste they put into the Hot Bin and provide feedback each month. Find out how they got on.
FIND OUT MORE
- Allotments in the Horsham District
- Community gardening: Find a local gardening group
- Reducing our food waste is a critical factor in mitigating the causes of climate change: It reduces methane emissions which is a 30% more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide; it conserves energy and resources and, as an extra bonus for you, it saves you money and supports the community.
- Horsham Community Fridge The Horsham Community Fridge is based at The Well Being Hub in The Forum and offers excess food from local businesses, supermarkets and allotments, that would otherwise be wasted, and is available to everyone in the Community. Find out more about the Horsham Community Fridge.
- OLIO – redistributes edible waste food from businesses and households, and offer them to you for free or a fraction of the original price. This prevents buying more food and waste!
Download the Olio app.
- Food waste collections: In Autumn 2021 we undertook a three month food waste collection trial with one hundred varied households across the District. The trial has now closed and we will be reviewing the data in the coming weeks. So far we know that in three months:
- Each household on average recycled over 3kg of food waste per week.
- General waste per household was cut on average from 6kg to 4kg per week.
This means that the quantity of household waste each week was reduced by one third! Visit our dedicated food waste webpage for updates.