Food production contributes to climate problems and the eutrophication of a large number of waterways. The majority of the the Baltic Sea’s nutrient load comes from agriculture, and fodder production in particular, for which over half the arable land around the Baltic Sea is used. Industrial livestock production in large facilities also causes manure problems, which often lead to over fertilisation, resulting in increased nutrient leaching.
The environmental problems caused by food can be reduced by increasing the percentage in our diets made up of vegetables, decreasing the amount of meat, and choosing organic food. Those practising organic farming try to recycle nutrients as carefully as possible, as well as avoiding the use of pesticides that can be harmful to the environment and aquatic organisms. Food wastage is another area to which attention should be paid, as when edible food is thrown away, all the environmental problems caused by its production will have been in vain. Choose locally produced products in order to minimise the nitrogen emissions caused by their transportation.
Catching organic fish removes nutrients from the water and reduces eutrophication, as opposed to fish farming, which increases eutrophication. In particular, we should choose fish from the cyprinidae, or carp, family, which are not commonly found on the dining table, but which are actually quite tasty. These include for example roach, bream.
Due to EU legislation, from 2016 organic waste can no longer be put in landfill sites. In the future, bio waste should be put to even more effective use: either through composting or biogas plants, incineration plants, or a property’s own compost heap. The most environmentally friendly place to compost food left-overs is your own garden, where nutrients can quickly be recycled and put to use locally. Nature’s nutrient cycle is based on decomposers turning dead organic matter back into nutrients that new plants can use. Composting creates the best possible conditions for decomposer organisms. There are many benefits to having compost in your garden, for instance, it improves the soil’s water retention capacity as well as its ability to hold on to nutrients.
Early environmental influences, as well as usage, i.e. washing and care, play a significant role in the lifecycle of clothes. Reducing the number of loads of laundry you do, as well as using environmentally friendly detergents, can influence the environmental load. Use your clothes until they are worn out, lengthen their useful life by repairing them, and buy second-hand clothes, as the production of new clothes, depending on the material, can require a lot of water and energy.
The production of clothes has, for the most part, been transferred abroad, so the environmental impact of their production is placed on the country of manufacture. Growing cotton, for example, requires lots of water and pesticides. It is grown in areas that already have low levels of water, which often means growers have to resort to using irrigation. It takes 10,800 litres of water to make one pair of jeans.