Tips & Resources

Living Sustainably: What to consider when shopping

When food shopping consider the following:

Food Waste – Every year Australia sends more than 4 million tonnes of food waste to landfill. In landfill, waste food produces methane which is a significant greenhouse gas, trapping 25 times more heat than carbon dioxide.

REAP – check out ways to reduce the waste of food – REAP collect unwanted food at markets and restaurants across the Sunshine coast and deliver to charity for people in need.

Food miles – This term is used to describe how far food has travelled before it reaches the consumer. The average Australian produce and pantry items travel approximately 1,200km. It is a good way of looking at the environmental impact of foods and their ingredients. It includes getting foods to you, but also getting waste foods away from you, and to the landfill!  Check out the Food Miles calculator at

Local Seafood – More than 70% of all seafood in Australia comes from overseas often using sustainable fishing practices.

Reducing meat consumption – The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report shows that approximately 14.5% of the world’s GHG emissions derive from livestock which is the same amount of GHG emissions generated by the world’s transport sector. Around 30% of the crops produced worldwide are grown to feed livestock.

Avoiding products containing palm oil – Palm oil is found in about half of the packaged products on the supermarket shelves. Oil plantations have been the cause of widespread deforestation. More than 90% of orangutan habitat has been destroyed in the last 20 years.

Bottled water – More than $500M is spent on bottled water in Australia annually, with most water packaged in plastic. It is estimated that 373 million water bottles each year end up in landfill or in waterways, oceans and bushland.

Contributed by: Annie Guthrie

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