Climate change is already affecting all of us, but Llanelli has many opportunities to reduce our emissions and waste, increase our resilience and adapt to the challenges that climate change will bring.
The scale of the climate crisis has led Carmarthenshire County Council to declare a Climate Emergency and we can already see that weather patterns are becoming more volatile and extreme.
We know from talking to the people that use our services that it’s easy to feel that climate change is such a large problem that our actions won’t count. In fact, 67% of people responding to our survey on the climate crisis said that on an individual level they did not think they could personally influence the problem. However, it’s clear that facing this crisis depends on actions we can all take, as well as responses from governments and business. Here are simple, positive steps you can take, regarding food.
We know that climate change is driven by human activity emitting carbon dioxide and other gases. It is estimated that food contributes about 30% of household carbon emission. It does this in a number of ways but there are emissions from the energy used for artificial fertilisers in farming, from food processing and transport, and from rearing livestock. However, the biggest chunk comes from food wasted – thrown away from our kitchens, at the farm, at the processing plant, or the shops. It is estimated that households in the UK waste around 7 million tonnes per annum of which a half is edible - that equates to about £700 per households.
So, I can hear you asking – what can I do?
Reduce waste. You can do this by learning ways to use all of your ingredients, re-use leftovers, and take advantage of gluts and surpluses (e.g. by preserving or freezing). Take a look at our Food Waste Guide or join one of the courses we are running over the spring and summer on preserving and freezing.
Use seasonal produce, rather than out of season fruit and veg that come from faraway places and are often grown in hothouses heated by fossil fuels.
Buy more local produce: This not only cuts transport emissions but local farmers have a more secure market, receiving fairer prices. Talk to us about our food boxes supplied at an affordable price.
Grow your own food. It’s surprising how much you can grow on a small piece of land and it’s a cost-effective way of accessing low-cost food. We’ll be running gardening workshops in the spring and summer and you can practice your skills at our community garden.
Eat less meat and dairy: this reduces emissions and uses land more efficiently.
Support local growers that use practices that nourish the soil and produce healthy food in a changing climate.
So we can all play a part in reducing food waste.