We’ve got one thing in common...we eat! Food is a universal language and absolutely essential to any travel experience! Even if you do not speak Chinese or Russian, you can communicate with the locals through taste and all the senses. We know it well, since we do like a nice Food tour experience ourselves.
However, the problem is that the production and disposal of food contribute massively to our global carbon footprint. Responsible sourcing and a mindful consumption are critical to support local businesses and destinations.
SO..HOW CAN WE REDUCE OUR FOOD-RELATED EMISSIONS?
According to the definition of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the sustainable tourism “takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities.” In short, it’s a tourism that respects the natural environment, resources, culture and traditions of a place.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
Buy less: to reduce your food waste as much as possible. Overbuying is a big contributor to food waste at home. Make a list and stick to it when you go shopping to avoid buying too much.
Go for ugly: Look for the ‘perfectly imperfect’ fruits & veggies in your grocery store. So called ‘ugly’ produce usually gets passed up and eventually these items, which are perfectly fine to eat, get discarded.
Compost what you do not eat.
Choose local: Check out farmers markets (meet the farmer, learn their names and connect with the people growing your food) or look out produce grown locally at your grocery store – this reduces the footprint associated with transporting your food to you, and contributes to sustainable agricultural practices.
Learn how to store food! Take produce out of plastic bags. Airtight wrappings suffocate fresh produce and speed up the decay process. Don’t wash until you’re ready to eat it. Moisture encourages decomposition and mould growth. Don’t rip off fruit stems. Once living cells are broken, microorganisms start to grow. Keep produce whole as long as possible. Eat the most perishable items first—raspberries last a few days; potatoes can hang around for about a month. Seep up the ripening process by putting the item (a pear, for example) in a paper bag with a banana. Are you refrigerating properly? Did you know potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, cucumbers and onions should never be refrigerated? Have a look here.
Cook more! Your new daily habits can significantly reduce your emissions. Find ways to use your leftovers (use vegetable peels and scraps to make homemade stock for example). And better yet; go meatless! Reducing your meat consumption means reducing your carbon footprint.
Skip the buffet! If you are in a hotel (hopefully one day), skip the buffet and go for a single meal. We know it is tempting to stuff your plate with absolutely all breakfast options. But we guarantee you won’t finish all those mini muffins, mini croissants and 3 types of eggs.
Try Plant food travel! Traveling is a great chance to go meat-less for a day (or longer). You can even go for an entirely vegan itinerary.
BE MINDEFUL OF YOUR FOODPRINT!
What is foodprint? The measure of the environmental impacts associated with growing, producing, transporting, and storing our food (earthday.org). Take this quiz to find out what yours is now.