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Food and its greenhouse gas emissions

The impact our food has on climate change can vary widely, depending on where you live and how the food is produced. We found this graph really useful as a general guide, it features in the BBC’s article ‘Climate change food calculator: What’s your diet’s carbon footprint?’

It can become very difficult to manage your diet, according to the emissions each food produces, the packaging it comes in and what we need for nutrition, so we think it’s best to think in general terms. Grow your own or buy local if possible and reduce your meat, fish and dairy consumption.

Plant-based milks and their environmental impact

It does depend on where you live in the world as to how much of an impact, milk production is responsible for. In the UK our milk production is among the most efficient in the world, largely due to farmers being able to raise their livestock on grass. Therefore as our cow’s milk has a lower than average carbon footprint, we believe that oat milk is the best alternative in the UK.

Milk graph
Waste graph

Estimated decomposition time of waste

Plastic has revolutionised our lives and is still, the best material, in terms of environmental impact, we have, for producing certain items. However, it is a sobering thought indeed to realise that every piece of plastic any of us has ever used is still on the planet.

When discarded, plastic becomes a serious environmental hazard. As it degrades it emits greenhouse gases, suffocates our land and clogs rivers and oceans. After many years it will break down into micro-plastics, causing more harm to living organisms. This table illustrates the importance of reducing every bit of plastic waste where we can, especially single use, non-recyclable items.

The top emitters of C02 around the world

When looking at the emissions produced by countries such as China and India it is worth noting two things. Firstly, most of China’s electricity is still generated from coal and a large proportion of their emissions arise from manufacturing products for the western world. This is why it is so important to reduce the amount of unnecessary ‘stuff’ we purchase. Secondly, if we look at total emissions since 1751 the USA tops the chart, followed by the EU and then China. All three nations clearly need to make some big changes.

Top world emitters
Transport graph

The greenest ways to travel

This chart of CO2 emissions from different types of transport serves as a useful guide when making decisions on travel and is also a valuable reminder of why we are cycling to work in the rain!

Walking or cycling produces no emissions at all and has massive health benefits too but it’s not always safe or practical. Looking at this chart though, we can see what a difference sharing a lift or taking the train makes. Many bus companies are moving to electric vehicles now which will further reduce their emissions.

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