Slender Wonder goes green

Steps to a Lower Carbon Diet

Odds are that you’ve put some thought recently into trying to reduce your carbon footprint – either via saving electricity, saving on transportation by getting on the Gautrain or recycling paper. But did you know that even your diet can impact your carbon footprint? Here’s how choosing the right foods can make a positive impact on the environment.

5 Steps to a Lower Carbon Diet

  1. Buy Local. Local farmers’ markets are the perfect places to purchase local foods. Local foods do not have to travel a long distance on freight, so they’re a lower carbon choice than imports. Some grocery store chains now identify the origin of the fresh produce and meat so you can choose. On top of that, nutrient loss happens during transportation, so local produce retains more nutrients than long-distance produce!
  2. Be Mindful of High Carbon Foods. Not all local foods are necessarily low carbon. Meat and dairy, in particular, are considered high carbon foods. Livestock production contributes to 18% of the world’s greenhouse gases. Ruminants (cows, sheep, and goats) naturally emit methane, a greenhouse gas 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide. You don’t need to be a vegan to live an eco-friendly life, but controlling the meat portion sizes will help. To find out about the carbon score of specific foods, visitwww.eatlowcarbon.org.
  3. Use Fewer Packaged Foods. Processing and packaging both require high energy power. Refrigerated and frozen packaged foods require even more energy for chilled transportation.
  4. Make compost and Doggybag All Leftovers. Waste heading to the landfill contributes to potent gasses and of course contribute to more transportation costs. Did you know 40-60% of household waste could be composted? Or why not make your ‘wormery’? Visit www.ecowormfarms.co.za or http://www.wwf.org.za to get tips on these topics.
  5. Go Seasonal and choose less Hot-House Produce. Certain produce thrive in specific weather conditions. Your favourite fruits and vegetables will be much cheaper, tastier and healthier if you enjoy them in season. Hot houses are used to simulate the natural climate of each crop to grow produce in locations, or at times of year, that they otherwise wouldn’t grow. Powering a hot-house operation takes lots of energy, which may produce more carbon emissions.

The following list shows when fruits and vegetables are in season in the Southern Hemisphere.

Seasonal fruit & vegetable in South Africa

Spring

September, October, November

Summer

December, January, February

Autumn

March, April, May

Winter

June, July, August

FRUIT

Apples

Avocados

Bananas

Cape gooseberries

(Coconuts)

Dates

Grapefruit

Guavas

Lemons

Naartjies

Nectarines

Oranges

Pawpaws or papaya

Pears

Pineapples

Sweet melon

Strawberries

November:

Apricots

Blackberries

Cherries

Plums

Prunes

Raspberries

Sweet melon

Watermelon

Apricots

Bananas

Blackberries

Cherries

Figs

Grapes

Guavas

Lemons

Litchis

Mangoes

Melon

Mulberries

Nectarines

Pawpaws or papayas

Peaches

Pineapples

Plums

Pomegranates

Prunes

Quinces

Raspberries

Strawberries

Sweet melon

Summer berries

Watermelon

 

Apples

Avocados

Figs

Granadillas

Grapefruit

Grapes

Lemons

Naartjies

Oranges

Pawpaws or Papayas

Pears

Pineapples

Plums

Pomegranates

Quinces

Sweet melon

Watermelon

Apples

Avocados

Dates

Grapefruit

Lemons

Limes

Melon

Naartjies

Oranges

Pawpaws or Papayas

Pears

Pineapples

VEGETABLES

Artichokes

Asparagus

Aubergines or Eggplants

Baby marrows

Brussels sprouts

Kale spinach

Parsnips

Red onions

Rhubarb

Turnips

Watercress

Artichokes

Asparagus

Aubergines or Egg plants

Baby marrows

Chives

Green beans

Patty pans

Radishes

Red onions

Rhubarb

Aubergines or Egg plants

Baby marrows

Broccoli

Brussels sprouts

Hubbard squash

Parsnips

Radishes

Sweet peppers

Turnips

 

Asparagus

Broccoli

Brussels sprouts

Fennel

Jerusalem artichokes

Kale spinach

Parsnips

Pumpkin

Radishes

Turnips

Watercress

 

Fruit and vegetables not shown are available throughout the year eg beetroot, lettuce, cucumbers or might be imported eg kiwi fruit.

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