HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT?
Our daily choices have a direct impact on the health of our planet. Our carbon footprint is not limited to how we choose to travel or how we cool our homes; what we eat also has an impact on the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.
Growing food at home eliminates the fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions associated with food transportation from farm to table. According to Cornell University, food is transported an average of 1,500 miles before being consumed. The average American consumes 50,000 gallons of gasoline per year by eating food that is not locally sourced, which creates an output of 16,600 lbs of CO2 per person, per year.
YOUR TRIP TO THE GROCERY STORE:
Our personal transportation to and from the grocery store has a huge impact on the carbon footprint of our food. Perishable food like fresh produce is often the reason we make frequent trips to the grocery store. Growing fresh vegetables in your backyard will reduce the number of trips you need to take to the grocery store.
REDUCING FOOD WASTE & PACKAGING:
Food packaging, like many plastics, are made form petroleum-based materials. These packaging materials use energy in their creation, and require energy-input again to be thrown away. Growing fresh produce at home eliminates the need for disposable packaging.
WHAT ELSE CAN I DO TO REDUCE THE CARBON FOOTPRINT OF MY FOOD?
BE AWARE OF THE IMPACT OF YOUR FOOD CHOICES
BUY LOCAL & ORGANIC:
Buying local produce from farmers’ markets not only reduces the distance your food travels before being consumed, it also gives you the opportunity to meet the people who have dedicated their time and energy to the food on your table. You can find out exactly where your food comes from and how it is grown.
When possible, choosing organic will not only reduce the amount of harmful chemicals present in and on your foods, it will also reduce the carbon footprint of your food choices. Most conventional fertilizers are derived from petroleum. In fact, the average 40-pound bag of conventional fertilizer contains the equivalent of 2.5 gallons of gasoline.
See more at: http://www.ewg.org/meateatersguide/a-meat-eaters-guide-to-climate-change-health-what-you-eat-matters/climate-and-environmental-impacts/
According to the EPA, around 20% of what goes into our landfills is food waste. Throwing away food not only wastes the energy used to grow, process, and transport that food, it also produces methane as it decomposes. Landfills are the number one source of methane from human activities, and methane is one of the most potent greenhouse gases; it is 23 times as damaging in accelerating climate change as the equivalent amount of CO2.
Buy only what you need, save leftovers for the next meal, and compost vegetable scraps.
Green Light New Orleans partners with Tulane University's Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences class EENS 3730 to develop a carbon methodology for the Green Light New Orleans backyard vegetable gardens. The 2 year study is funded by NAPECA and will be released in 2016.