9 Foods to Lower Your Carbon Footprint this World Environment Day


Just like that, it’s time to celebrate one of *the most important* global holidays of the year. World Environment Day, if you haven’t had the chance to get involved in years past, is a worldwide celebration of all that our beautiful planet does for us, and offers creative solutions as to how we can best support it into the future. Here on the Sunshine Coast, we have a beautiful festival down by the water. There’s a celebration of indigenous culture, sustainability stalls and talks, delicious plant-based, earth-conscious food, and music so the community can come together as the sun sets.

This year, perhaps the event you take part in may be online. At Food Matters, we believe that a healthy planet is crucial to healthy individuals, especially when you consider the toxins, chemicals, and various pollutants that are leached into our atmosphere every moment. We also know that the foods we eat have a profound impact on the planet and the people around us. So ahead of World Environment Day, I’m going to share nine foods to lower your carbon footprint. But first, let’s talk about eating sustainably!

Sustainability looks different for everyone, based on where you are in the world. For some, it may look like limiting foods wrapped in unnecessary plastics. For others, it may mean reducing meat and dairy intake throughout the week. Another way to eat more sustainably is to eat local, seasonal foods that don’t need to travel halfway across the globe to end up on your plate.

This best way to eat sustainably, as indicated by many climate researchers and nutritionists alike, is by adopting a diet rich in low carbon footprint foods. It does mean taking a step back and making conscious choices with our cooking, but when done as a collective it can help to sustain our planet for years to come. Curious as to what foods you should be eating? Here’s our list!

  1. Locally grown fruits (this may differ based on where you live, but many countries will have fruit unique to their area - which also often makes it uniquely suited to your lifestyle).
  2. Ethically-sourced wholegrains.
  3. Vegetables (especially those that you can re-grow from scraps).
  4. Sustainably sourced nuts (that means small amounts! Here’s what it takes to grow a single cashew, for example).
  5. Beans bought in bulk.
  6. Pulses as protein (our current animal farming practices are a key contributor to greenhouse gas emissions).
  7. Sustainably sourced seafood (we love SMASH fish, but if you’re still unsure, check out our sustainable fish guide)!
  8. Non-GMO tofu & tempeh (when grown with ethical practices, tofu and tempeh especially can be an incredible alternative source of protein, even if just for a couple of days each week).
  9. Any foods you can grow at home! Food miles are a significant part of our overall carbon footprint; the transport associated with shipping apple after apple halfway around the world is having a dangerous impact on our future, so if there are certain foods you’re able to grow at home, I encourage you to do it.

Do you try to eat sustainably and mindfully at home? Let us know how in the comments below!