By Isabella Nitti and Troop 15505

As Girl Scouts, it has always been a priority that we are environmentally conscious in. We have spent days picking up trash on our beaches, learning about our ecosystem, and raising awareness about endangered wildlife. But in recent times, it has become increasingly important that we are also mindful about the food that we purchase and consume.

We have been inspired by our “Journey”: a book of information and activities relating to a single theme that helps to better ourselves and our world. The theme of our selected Journey, “Sow What?”, teaches people about their carbon footprint in relation to food consumption. It explains why your carbon footprint is important so you know what steps you can take to reduce it. In addition to learning about our carbon footprint, we explored seasonal foods and how eating local can create a better economy and environment. Surprisingly, it is simple for anyone to be environmentally conscious with their food!

An easy first step is by simply understanding where products come from. Being aware of where one’s food is grown can help to be more active in buying locally grown products that can benefit everyone. When local foods are bought, it supports local farmers, a better economy, and ultimately contributes to a healthier environment. Buying local food also helps us contribute to a healthier environment.

A second step is to take personal responsibility for food waste. It has become commonplace for people to have unnecessary amounts of leftover food. Plus, foods are sold with gratuitous amounts packaging. All of this greatly contributes toward the destruction of our environment; as our landfills are overflowing with uneaten food and packaging waste. But there are some fairly simple solutions that can alleviate this environmental burden. Primarily, everyone should only buy or get what they are certain that they will eat, in both markets and restaurants.

Next, it is very beneficial to refrain from purchasing individually packaged foods. Buying a large bag of chips and using reusable methods of repackaging it saves a lot of material in comparison to small, individually wrapped foods. On the same note, it is very advantageous to buy foods in easily recyclable materials; buy milk and eggs in cardboard cartons rather than plastic containers. Another way to produce less waste is to ensure that every part of a food item is used. For example, radish tops can be saved from being thrown in the garbage by being added to one’s compost, or by sauteing them to make a healthy snack. There are many simple ways to produce less waste with our food, and all of it can make an important positive impression on the health of our environment.

Finally, you can help your environment by reducing your meat consumption. Meat is one of the main producers of excess carbon in our atmosphere. But some meat can be more damaging than others. Some animal meat causes only a small amount of carbon to be released into the atmosphere; for example, chicken creates about 15.2 pounds (6.9 kilograms) of carbon. But other meats like lamb can add 86.4 pounds (39.2 kilograms) of carbon to our atmosphere. Now, we aren’t saying that it is crucial for everyone to start eating vegetarian, but we are trying to convey that by consciously reducing the amount of meat you purchase, even by just a small amount, can make a critical difference

As this article has hopefully portrayed, everything we buy and eat has importance. The food we eat contributes to the amount of carbon in our atmosphere in many ways; From producing all the way to buying. As carbon is toxic to our atmosphere, we must be conscious of how much we create. There are many actions to take that will help reduce our carbon footprint. Some of these include buying local, eating what you buy, buying food that creates less waste, and eating less meat. Anyone can help save our Earth.

What will you do?

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