It is possible to take everyday actions to reduce your carbon footprint. One, it is in your kitchen, and is to take into account how you prepare your food to combat climate change.
In August this year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) detailed very clearly in its report that diet is key in the fight against climate change.
Diets dominated by legumes and vegetables produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions than those in which meat is abundant.
The proposal is not to become vegetarian or vegan (although both options, properly controlled, are perfectly healthy and safe), but to limit the consumption of foods of animal origin and, if you do, look for those produced in a sustainable way.
Beyond what we eat every day, the way we cook also impacts the environment. In the world there is already talk of the “climarian diet", An alternative to" climatarian "anglicism, which could be defined as a person who chooses what and how to eat based on what is least harmful to the planet.
Cooking recipes committed to the climate
The Ecology and Development Foundation (ECODES), with the support of the Biodiversity Foundation, in 2016 carried out a project called “Food Committed to the Climate”. Among many other actions, a manual was prepared, available for free download in pdf, called "Cookery Recipe Book Committed to the Climate".
The book offers simple ideas for cooking with locally available, seasonal, and readily available ingredients. It provides ideas and clues to reflect and reduce our carbon footprint in the kitchen.
This is a low-carbon diet
In general, to cook in a more ecological way, four guidelines must be taken into account:
- consume seasonal and nearby products,
- more foods of plant origin than animal,
- use energy efficiently before, during and after cooking, and reuse food scraps to make other recipes.
Choose organic food
In this way, you are supporting a production model that uses techniques that are more respectful with the environment. Organic farming does not use synthetic chemicals, which produce many emissions in their manufacture and transport, is less mechanized and favors biodiversity.
Eat seasonal foods
In this way, it helps to respect the natural production cycle and to avoid mileage. Think that, for example, the grapes you find in supermarkets in summer do not come from Spain, but from Chile, and only in their transport have tons of greenhouse gases been emitted.
Eat local foods
This practice has to do with what we mentioned in the previous section. A fact: in 2011 Spain imported more than 25 million tons of food, emitting more than 4 million tons of CO2.
Cuisine Committed to the Climate: More vegetables and less meat
We have already discussed it at the beginning. It is estimated that global livestock activity is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions. The Cookbook Committed to the Climate gives you an example: producing a kilo of lentils emits only 1 kilo of carbon dioxide, but producing a kilo of beef emits 27 kilos of CO2. In addition, for the kilo of lentils, 5,854 liters of water are needed compared to the 15,400 liters that the same amount of veal requires.
Eat more raw foods
They are very healthy and, as they do not have cooking time, their carbon footprint is lower.
Use the pressure cooker more and limit the use of the oven
The pressure cooker reduces cooking times by up to 70%, which generates significant energy savings. If you don't have one, these quick cookers are a good option for cooking with less energy.
For the rest of pots and pots: always put the lid on and choose those of a suitable size for the volume of what you are cooking. With respect to the conventional oven, use it in moderation and try to use its capacity to the maximum, for example cooking several dishes at the same time, so as not to waste energy.
Against food waste
Spanish households throw away no less than 1.5 million tons of food annually, which is equivalent to half a kilo of food per person per week. They are valid products for consumption and this waste has a significant carbon footprint.
Choose efficient appliances
Household appliances account for more than 45% of household electricity consumption. If you opt for efficient appliances, in addition to respecting the environment, you will save a lot on the electricity bill.
Cook fewer times, but more
Take advantage of the pressure cooker to make a large pot of chickpeas. What you can spare for another day or freeze it, you will also save a lot of time.
Avoid plastic packaging, and of course separate and recycle
Whenever possible it is advisable to buy in bulk. In the case of containers, try to reuse them (for example, glass jars can be used to store nuts, breadcrumbs ...), and at the end of their useful life, take them to the appropriate recycling container.
Decide where and how to buy
If you buy in places close to your home, you can walk and reduce your emissions. In case you need to go by car, plan your purchase well to make the most of the trip. Making a list will also help you know what you really need and avoid food waste.