I sit and think about what is sustainable consumption and that that question can be interpreted and answered differently depending on who you ask. Recently read a report produced within the research program Mistra Sustainable Consumption – from niche to mainstream.
Sweden is a country where a lot is imported, so our consumption has an environmental impact in countries outside of Sweden. We consume as if there were 4 globes. Sweden is ranked number 14 of the world's "worst" countries and our consumption gives rise to major environmental consequences. Greenhouse gas emissions, use of non-renewable resources such as metal, use of fresh water and emissions of environmental toxins. Imagine if we could consume only 25% of what we do today!
Sustainable consumption of food is to use all the food that is bought and minimize what is thrown away. Read that a third of all food produced is thrown in the garbage (100 kg per person in Sweden). It's really not sustainable.
Sustainable consumption is choosing what is organic, environmentally friendly grown without chemical pesticides. Locally produced on a small scale using environmentally friendly methods can be just as good a choice because many small producers have not certified themselves due to the extra cost.
Sustainable consumption is choosing food that has been transported short distances. Therefore, primarily eat what is locally produced. As well as this, Sweden generally has more sustainable manufacturing and access to energy with low climate emissions. We must not shift our climate impact to other countries that have less resources and are hit harder by climate impact.
One of the 17 Global Climate Goals is about Sustainable consumption and production and we can all think about the choices we make every day to contribute to that.
Here is a list of what you can do to eat more sustainably
- Reduce red meat
- Buy products that are organically certified or fair trade
- Strengthen local society and the economy
- Shop directly from the producer
- Grow, pick berries and mushrooms, process and store
- Reduce food waste, take care of leftovers
- Cook more vegetarian
- Reduce the use of packaging
- Eat seasonally
My list is not complete, it is made on the points I think are most important.
We can all make some better choices, I think.