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The food on your plate
Campaigning for an end to global hunger is about more than signing a petition. One of the strongest messages you can send to politicians and companies is through the food you put on your own plate.
Why not take a pledge to do these simple things to help make IF happen?
Enough Food For Everyone IF…we buy fair trade products
Choosing fair trade means more poor farmers and workers can put enough food on the table for their own families because we’re paying a fair price for the food they produce.
The Fairtrade Mark is on thousands of products, including many everyday goods such as coffee and chocolate. The British public already sips its way through 8 million Fairtrade hot drinks a day.
Enough Food For Everyone IF…we love leftovers and hate waste
We can reduce the demand on our food system by cutting waste and loving those leftovers. In the UK, we throw away 15 million tonnes of food every year, almost half which comes from our own homes. Wasting food costs the average household £680 a year. That’s roughly £50 a month. Ouch!
From soups to quiches to fried rice, we can all make our leftovers stretch to another meal or two.
Enough Food For Everyone IF…we choose food that keeps us healthy and helps the planet
From meat-free Fridays or Mondays to making the most of your Sunday roast chicken leftovers, eating less meat must be on the menu. Right now, 40% of the world’s grain harvest is going to feed livestock instead of hungry people. As well as cutting down, why not choose meat, fruit and vegetables from sustainable, local and organic sources? It’s gentler on the food system, good for all of us and for the future.
Here are some suggestions for savvy shoppers:
- Did you know that one kilogram of beef uses 15,000 litres of water? Try eating less meat and choosing free range and freedom foods.
- For many people, fish can be a vital source of nourishment, but overfishing has caused many different types to be in increasingly short supply across the world. Look for labels from the Marine Stewardship Council to make sure that you’re eating the right kind of sustainable fish, and use a source like the Good Fish Guide to avoid buying fish that’s in short supply.
- Buy locally-grown fruit and vegetables. Your food will be fresher, tastier and cheaper as it won’t have travelled so far, plus you’ll also be supporting local producers.
And some tips to save you food and money:
- Make a shopping list – not only can it save you time and money, but planning your meals means you only buy what you need, so you’re not wasting food.
- Label your leftovers and use airtight containers and sealable freezer bags to keep food fresh.
- If food is getting close to its use-by date, eat it up or freeze it.
- Go further to make food fair by checking out the full range of Fairtrade products. Find out about Fair Trade Organisations, which run their businesses entirely on fair trade principles.
- Think about portion size and only cook as much as you’ll eat.
- Set yourself a target of having at least one meat-free day each week.
- Check out what’s in season near you and support your local farmers’ markets.
Pope Benedict XIV on the Environment
Read what Pope Benedict has to say on the environment in this book by Cardinal Turkson
Hungry for change
We live in a world where one in eight people go to bed hungry each night, yet we produce enough food for everyone to have enough to eat.
In response, CAFOD has launched the Hungry for change campaign which calls on David Cameron to use his presidency of the G8 this year to tip the balance of power in favour of small-scale farmers who grow half the world’s food; to push for checks on the power of global food companies and look closely at own attitudes to food.
This campaign ties in perfectly with LiveSimply.
We can live in solidarity with people living in poverty by taking action for change at www.cafod.org.uk/hungry
We can live more sustainably, protect the planet and eat better by opting for fairly traded food, cutting back on meat and choosing local food.
The problem of global hunger is huge, but by living simply we can start to tackle it today in small ways, at home, at work and in our churches.
Try this liturgy for advent
How to be a livesimply parish
Watch this short film clip about the livesimply award
Check out these great films by Mary Colwell designed for clergy in collaboration with Rt Rev. Vincent Nichols Archbishop of Westminster and Rt Rev. Rowan Williams Archbishop of Canterbury. They will give parishes considering doing the livesimply award the extra push they need
The Energy Saving Trust says our obsession with gadgets such as plasma TVs is pushing up bills and emissions. Photograph: Jochen Luebke/AFP/Getty Images
Energy-conscious home owners may religiously switch appliances off at the plug, insulate their houses and turn off lights in empty rooms, but our obsession with gadgets means energy bills and emissions are still rising, according to a report (pdf) on UK home energy use.
If we do not cool our love affair with gadgets and appliances such as smartphones, tablet PCs and electric toothbrushes we are likely to fall short of 2020 targets to cut domestic electricity emissions by 34%, says the report from the Energy Saving Trust, an independent organisation that advises on saving energy and lowering carbon emissions.
“If we look over the last five years a lot has changed and a lot of progress has been made making the most energy-sapping appliances more efficient,” said Dr Paula Owen, the author of the report The Elephant in the Living Room. “But where we still have a long way to go is with our gadgets and home entertainment appliances, which are using more and more electricity.”
A desire for energy-guzzling products such as extra large fridges and flatscreen televisions is pushing up home electricity bills and making carbon targets increasingly unlikely to be achieved, she said.
“What amazes me is that you wouldn’t buy a car without taking into consideration how fuel-efficient it was but people will buy electrical products without thinking about how much it is going to cost to run them,” she added. “As energy prices continue to rise they are eating up more of our money. People need to be more educated about what these gadgets cost.”
Among the main offenders are big plasma TVs, 600-litre fridge freezers, wireless routers that remain on all day, tumble dryers and 50W halogen spotlights. The number of domestic gadgets and appliances in the average UK household increased by three and a half times between 1990 and 2009, according to the report, and overall energy consumption from consumer electronic goods rose by more than 600% between 1970 and 2009.
“Human ingenuity knows no bounds and we will not stop finding you ways to entertain ourselves with new technology, and of course that is to be applauded,” said Owen. “But we are obsessed with gadgets and in these austere times people need to think about what they buy, if they need it and how they use it.”
The research comes five years after the Energy Saving Trust’s report The Rise of the Machines which found that the number of electrical appliances, products and gadgets people typically own has trebled since the 1970s. Although these appliances have been getting more efficient, electricity consumption from domestic appliances doubled between 1970 and 2002.
The new report finds that despite householders’ efforts to switch to energy-efficient products, we are actually consuming more energy than five years ago, with almost a third of all the UK’s carbon emissions coming from the home.
Progress has been made, said Owen. Lighting and fridges – traditionally the most energy-consuming products in the home – are becoming more efficient, while the phasing out of incandescent light bulbs has brought down the overall contribution of lighting, and is expected to lead to further reductions by 2020.
The proliferation of new gadgets such as laptops, tablets and powerful desktops shows no sign of abating, however. Between 2000 and 2009 electricity use from home computing more than doubled, and the number of devices in Britain’s homes rose from 30,000 to 65,000. Laptop ownership is expected to treble by 2020, and the report says this may help bring energy consumption down, as new models consume around 15% less energy than desktop machines.
But it warns that more should be done to help consumers make the right choices so emission targets can be met. “To achieve our targets for 2020 we are going to have to try harder … if we continue like this we are not going to make it,” said Owen.
Dr Sarah Wykes
Lead Analyst Environment and Climate Change
Climate Stewards is a Christian charity with the mission of reducing and counteracting the causes of climate change, using positive local action. They are passionate about carrying out this aim using projects which have direct benefits to both local people and biodiversity. In Ghana, tree planting projects are in designated sites to suit local needs. They currently have plantations located in Kumasi, in central Ghana and Damongo, in the drier North of the country and have also just started planting...
Its is 20 years since the first UN conference on Sustainable development in Rio and they are back there again this year. CAFOD, Progressio and lots of other organisations will be there standing up for justice for the poor. You can help them by supporting their campaigns. As Holy Week is so close how about getting your church as whole to show their support. Go to http://www.cafod.org.uk/thirst or http://www.progressio.org.uk/backrio and take action
Transition towns network
Transition Network helps communities deal with climate change and shrinking supplies of cheap energy (peak oil). This process, which we call Transition, aims to create stronger, happier communities. Towns and villages all over Britain are launching Transition initiatives. Could yours be one of them?
Lots of information, inspiration and resources on the Transition Network website.