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Why does what I eat matter?

This is your hub of everyday tips to make a positive, planet-saving change through what you eat.

Roughly half of the planet’s habitable land is used to produce food for humans. The way food is grown, reared and produced can do great harm or great good. Today it's the leading cause of habitat destruction, biodiversity loss, water pollution and freshwater extraction.  

There are many solutions, including regenerative agriculture (farming with nature at its heart), new technologies and waste management.

What can I actually do?

  1. Eat more plants and less meat, fish, and dairy

    Switch out meat for wholefood, plant-based alternatives where you can. Try oat milk in your daily cuppa – it generally has less impact on land, water and climate.
  2. Reduce your food waste

    Compost all your unavoidable scraps and use as much of your veggies as possible (stalks and leaves are great in soups and stews!). Meal planning before shopping helps reduce waste and save money.
  3. Grow your own

    Start small with a simple window box of lettuce or beansprouts. If you don’t have time or space to grow food, find a community garden to participate in.
  4. Save water and protect waterways

    Save water in your garden by not using your hose and installing a water butt. In the home, take shorter showers and fix any leaky taps. 

    Avoid using pesticides or washing your car or clothes with harsh chemicals, as they can get into soils and waterways.

Can how I shop make a difference?

  1. Seek out seasonal, local food

    Make a point of visiting your local farmers’ market, butcher and green grocers instead of supermarkets.
  2. Buy water-friendly products

    Choose cleaning products and detergents carefully, being mindful of what goes down the drain and into the ocean. 

    Also seek out water-efficient products like flow aerators, taps, and shower heads, or put a water saving device in your cistern, run full loads in your washing machines and dishwasher.

  3. Buy sustainable produce

    Look for certifications on food labels – like the Marine Stewardship Council, the Soil Association, Fairtrade, organic, and B Corp.

  4. Avoid packaging where you can

    Take your own bags to the shops so you don't need to use single-use plastic. Look for products with less (or more eco-friendly) packaging.

How do I get the word out?

  1. Have conversations about food

    Don't be shy. Share your thoughts (and food!) with your family and friends. Maybe they’ll pick up a few tips!

    Listen to our Plate to Planet podcast to hear conversations between food experts at Eden and WWF-UK discussing food, community, and sustainability.

  2. Turn the weekly shop into an activity

    Team up with your family or friends to look for products with the least packaging or play spot the sustainable food symbol at the supermarket. Others might wonder what you’re doing!
  3. Share your food successes

    Share your home-grown crops with family and friends or swap it with other growers. Share pictures of your produce or a new plant-based recipe you've nailed.
  4. Share your top tips and lend a hand

    Offer your new-found expertise to others. Perhaps that's helping to clear some space for their own growing or taking them out to a farmers' market.

Can I find out more?

  1. Be curious about where your food comes from

    Ask in restaurants or markets where products have come from – especially meat and fish. Are they local, seasonal and from sustainable sources?
  2. Ask food brands the big questions

    Contact a brand if you have questions about their products – share with them any suggestions you have.
  3. Check water quality in your area

    Be aware of any pollution events near you, by visiting trusted sources e.g. The Environment Agency, especially if you swim, fish or grow your own.

  4. Learn about your food footprint

    The Soil Association, Earth Day, and The BBC all have handy online advice for reducing our carbon footprint through our diet, as well as ways to conserve water.

Eden's food and water initiatives

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