Knowing how to do your part for the environment can be overwhelming! We’ve broken it down into some helpful hints so you can make environmentally and ethically responsible shopping and community choices.
MAKE FAIR TRADE CHOICES
Fair Trade is a trading partnership based on dialogue, transparency and respect that seeks greater equity in international trade. Keep an eye out for Fair Trade labelled products when doing your weekly shop, ordering your latte at your local coffee shop, or indulging in a sneaky chocolate fix… the choice is easy!
CHOOSE CERTIFIED ORGANIC AND BIODYNAMIC
Opting for certified organic/biodynamic food means you are choosing produce from a farm that has fully converted to organic production. When you buy produce from a farm that is certified organic, you are supporting many years of hard work, patience and care for the environment. Visit ofa.org.au for more information on the benefits of organically produced food.
AVOID FOOD WASTE
Did you know that households throw away more than $2.5 billion worth of edible food per year? Not only that, about 1kg of greenhouse gases can be saved for each kilogram of food waste avoided. Love Food, Hate Waste’s website provides practical tips and tools to waste less food for households and businesses alike. Learn more about groups like Oz Harvest and Secondbite, two organisations that work in the Leichhardt area who reduce waste by rescuing and redistributing surplus fresh food.
THINK ABOUT WHERE YOUR FOOD COMES FROM
Processed foods have a greater ecological footprint than their raw or unprocessed equivalents. Look for Product of Australia labels – these products have significant ingredients or components sourced in Australia, and virtually all of the production processes take place in Australia. Seasonal foods tend to be cheaper, are often sourced locally and therefore minimise food miles – good for the environment, and for you!
GROW YOUR OWN!
Growing your own food saves food miles and allows you to control pesticide use… and we think it tastes better, too. Growing your own food avoids waste as you only pick what you need when you need it – and it saves on packaging. Check out one of the Council’s Community Gardens for more ideas.
EAT SUSTAINABLE SEAFOOD
Over-fishing and harmful fishing practices are a major threat to most of the world’s aquatic ecosystems. Keep an eye out for the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) ecolabel. You can also visit The Australian Marine Conservation Society website to read their Sustainable Seafood Guide.
GET INVOLVED WITH COMMUNITY AND LOCAL NOT FOR PROFITS
Any easy way to become part of the sustainability movement is by joining environmentally-minded groups. Within the Leichhardt area there are many Community and Not for Profits geared towards sustainable, ethical and environmental choices and action.
THINK ABOUT RESTORED/UPCYCLED PRODUCTS
Get your creative juices flowing and try your hand at creating something new out of something old. Whether restored or upcycled, it’s all about reducing what goes into waste and landfill.
INVEST IN SECOND HAND OR VINTAGE
Give an item a second life! Buying second hand avoids the raw materials, energy and water used in the production of new products – plus it extends the life of valuable items and reduces waste to landfill. After food, clothing is the area of consumption that has the greatest impact on the environment.
LEARN ABOUT THE SYDNEY FOOD FAIRNESS ALLIANCE
The Sydney Food Fairness Alliance (SFFA) encourages government, communities and business to work together to ensure access to affordable healthy food for everyone; increase public knowledge about a healthy and productive agriculture in the Sydney Basin. Visit sydneyfoodfairness.org.au for more information.
To access a complete guide to local businesses and organisations paving the way to a brighter future go to www.sustainableleichhardt.com.au. Burwood Council, City of Canada Bay, Inner West Council and Strathfield Council have also teamed up to offer a series of events and workshops called ‘Treading Lightly’ about living sustainably in the Inner West. Find out more at: treading-lightly.eventbrite.com.au.