Sustainable ideas

Healthy Living & Eating

Everything we eat and drink all contributes to our carbon footprint.

Resources such as water, land and energy are not only needed for cultivation, rearing, irrigation and harvesting; but also for transportation, storage, processing, packaging and marketing.

Energy and water are also required to chill, freeze, prepare and cook food in our homes, schools, restaurants and shops.

Each year a third of all the food the world produces is wasted, thrown in the bin or ends up in landfill sites. Check out this video from UNEP – Think, Eat Save

Thinking carefully about the way we eat, it’s not only good for us, but also good for the planet.

Visit Mission: Explore FOOD to learn about growing, harvesting, waste and soil. Discover how our choices affect people and places around the world too.

Here are some suggestions to lead more sustainable lives through healthy eating.

Eat locally & seasonally

It’s not only fresher, tastier and healthier – it’s good for the planet too

Look at the labels on fruit and vegetables on supermarket shelves.

Where were they grown? How far have they travelled?

The distance is referred to as food miles

Is there an alternative closer to home?

Try to eat fruit and vegetables that are in season.

Grow your own

You don’t need a garden and you can grow indoors all year round.

Recycle old cartons and containers to make plant pots, hanging baskets and window boxes.

It’s Our World Ambassador and Horticulturist Chris Collins has lots of great advice on what and how to grow for pleasure and for food. Download his Sustainable Gardening Concepts PDF here

Try growing cress, tomatoes, parsley, radishes and strawberries. Find out how to get started from Eat Seasonably

If you have a garden, no matter how small, transform a sunlit corner into a vegetable patch.

Grow vegetable for Wildlife with this activity sheet.

Get Planting

Runner beans, peas or rosemary not only taste great when picked from fresh, but the flowers will attract bees and other insects too!

Speak to your teachers about having an allotment or wild flower bed at school, you could also find out if there is a community garden near you.

Check out Allotment Gardening for more ideas

Find out about food, farming and the countryside from Royal Highland Education Trust

Discover free, local healthy food from Hedgerow Harvest

Look up The Soil Association for planet-friendly organic food and farming.

Visit Garden Organic for Schools

Reduce Food Waste

If apples or strawberries are past their prime, don’t throw them away; make a smoothie or a pie.

Don’t bin black banana’s they make great banana bread or flapjacks.

For more ideas visit Love Food Hate Waste

Take part in the United Nations Environment Programme’s Think East Save Student Challenge (UNEP and WWF Germany Thurn Films)

Composting

Save fruit and vegetable peelings to make compost visit Recycle Now

Everything in nature can be recycled so that nothing goes to waste. It is also good gardening practice to compost!

Take at look the Sustainable Gardening Concepts (PDF) from Chris Collins to find out what can (and cannot) be composted.

Eat Less Meat

We can all reduce our carbon footprint by eating less meat.

Intensive (industrial) and traditional forms of meat production result in the release of greenhouse gases.

Make meat a special treat by introducing meat free days into your week.

Look at the labeling to check the meat is responsibly farmed and sourced.

Be Fish Friendly

Our everyday actions have an impact on our marine environments.

Too many fish are being taken from the sea.

Many species that were once common are now under threat from over fishing and pollution in our seas and oceans.

Make a difference by only choosing to eat fish that are caught or farmed in responsible ways.

Look at the labels on cans and supermarket fresh fish counters or freezers.

Choose dolphin friendly tuna and fish caught in sustainable methods such as line, pot, diver or hand-gathered

Look out for the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) logo.

Visit The Marine Conservation Society and download their Good Fish Pocket Guide to make the best choices

Be Creative with Food

Design a calendar illustrating when fruits and vegetables are in season throughout the year.

Put your imagination to the test with leftovers

Turn stale bread into croutons, stuffing or breadcrumbs

Transform cooked vegetables, fish and meat into soups, pies, pasta bakes and stir-fries

Use visual language to encourage others to think about food on our plates.

Create your own recipes and share them with friends - you could even film yourself making them.

For great ideas on food and gardening visit Henri Le Worm

Get Outdoors

See the Get Out - Get Active for even more ideas.

Digging, planting, watering and weeding is a practical way to enjoy being outdoors.

Not only is it a great way to work-out, but you can enjoy cooking and eating the end results and help to improve the natural habitat for birds, bees, insects and other wildlife.

Getting outdoors is good for us in so many ways. It helps us to:

Understand our connection with nature

Increase levels of activity and fitness

Improve circulation to distribute oxygen and blood through our bodies

Boosts our immunity to coughs and colds

Builds strong bones by absorbing calcium through Vitamin D from sunlight

Reduce stress and improve our sense of well-being

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Its Our World aims to encourage children and young people (aged 4-19 years) in the UK to consider the environment in which they live, not just in an observational way, but also by reflecting upon the impact we all make upon the natural world during everyday life.

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world" - Mahatma Gandhi