With less than a month to go before COP26, fears about the climate are more prevalent than ever. There is a lot of work to be done to preserve the health of the planet for future generations. The scale of this task is making a lot of people worried, and the term ‘climate anxiety’ has been coined to describe how many are feeling. There is a feeling of helplessness that contributes to climate anxiety, but there are things we can all do to help the planet. One part of our lives that has a big impact on planet health is the food we eat. So, what can we all control to help protect the planet?
Buy locally grown food
Transporting food to our supermarket shelves takes a lot of energy. Most of this energy is derived from burning fossil fuels. Therefore, reducing the distance food travels can drastically reduce the impact of this industry on the planet.
Choose organic options
An added benefit of buying local food is that often you can choose items that are grown organically. Foods grown without the use of pesticides or chemical fertilisers are generally better for the planet. Biodiversity is often adversely affected by chemicals that are introduced to the ecosystem by farming. Supporting local growers that protect wildlife by not using these chemicals is a great way to help protect the planet.
Grow your own
Throughout the lockdowns of the past year and a half lots of people turned their hand to growing their own food. Whether this was carrots and runner beans in vegetable patches or herbs in window boxes, this is a great way to help the planet. The carbon footprint of home-grown food is usually much lower than food bought at the supermarket. This is largely due to the much smaller distance it needs to travel to reach your plate. Growing food is also great for your mental health generally. Getting outdoors has been shown to help keep people’s mental health in check, so embracing your green fingers can really help to keep climate anxiety at bay.
Choose more plant-based options
Experts agree that we should all be transitioning to a diet revolving around plants, with much fewer animal products. Not only can this be a healthy diet, but it also puts less pressure on the planet than a diet heavy in animal products. More people are embracing vegetarian and vegan diets, and they are much more accessible than a few years ago. If you’re in need of inspiration, a quick internet search will give you endless tasty recipes to try! Additionally, plant-based diets can be good for your wallet too, so what’s not to love?
As with any type of anxiety, if you are struggling seek advice from a healthcare professional. In the meantime, making small changes to your food choices can help you feel more in control of your impact on the planet.