Inner West Council

Eating Sustainably

Please scroll down the page to view all items, or click on the links below to take you to specific topics:

Love Food Hate Waste

Seasonal Fruit and Vegetable Guide

Food Miles

Eat Organic Produce

Eat Less Meat

Choose Sustainably Harvested Seafood

Local Organic Produce in Your Area

Love Food Hate Waste

Each NSW household throws away more than $1000 of food per year. Wasting food wastes the energy, water and natural resources used to grow, package, transport and market that food.

Ashfield Council has joined the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage Love Food Hate Waste program with the goal of reducing the amount of food waste households and businesses generate. 

Find out how to save money and help the environment by visiting the Love Food Hate Waste website, where there are lots of hints and tips on how you can reduce your food waste, including recipe ideas for using up your leftovers.
 

Seasonal Fruit and Vegetable Guide

Buying locally grown food that is in season requires less energy to produce and transport. It also helps support local farmers. Below is a list of a selection of fruits and vegetables and when they are in season. More resources can be found here.

 

Food Miles

 

Food miles indicate the distance food has travelled from its source to your table and the same principle can be applied to any product. The greater distance travelled, the greater the environmental impact - including transport energy use and the associated pollution.

 In Australia, the food supply chain is responsible for approximately 23 per cent of Australia's total greenhouse gas emissions, making it the second-highest emissions generating activity after power stations. 

Whilst there is some movement toward food mile labelling in Australia, it is still very difficult to find information about how far your product has travelled. While there is no mandatory labelling system, the best way to find out how far your product has travelled is to read the label - is the product made in Australia? Is it packaged overseas? Where does your fruit travel from (sometimes this will be marked on signage, but you can also ask your greengrocer)? Is your favourite beer imported from Germany or made locally? 

All of these questions can help you put together the full story of where your food has travelled from.

 

Eat Organic Produce

 

Certified Organic products are grown and processed without the use of synthetic chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, fertilisers, or genetically modified organisms. Every step of the process for producing a certified organic product has been audited against strict guidelines. Eating organic food is not only good for you and your family, but it is better for the environment - traditional agriculture uses many chemicals and fertilisers, which ultimately end up in our environment. 

There are a number of organic certifiers in Australia - the product must say ‘Certified Organic.' Visit the Organic Federation of Australia website for more information and for a list of accredited organic certifiers.
 

Eat Less Meat

Cutting down the amount of meat you eat can have a really positive environmental impact as meat production is very resource intensive. For example, by reducing your meat consumption by one meal a week you can reduce your greenhouse pollution by up to 300kg and reduce your water use by up to 10,000 litres over one year. Making more sustainable choices when purchasing meat is also important - for example, buying grass- and pasture-fed as well as organic meats is more sustainable than grain fed beef.

 

Choose Sustainably Harvested Seafood

Over 25% of the world's fish stocks are overexploited or depleted. 8% of everything caught in the ocean is thrown back into the water, either dead or dying. The Marine Stewardship Council logo can help you choose fish species that are not overexploited, from fisheries managed in a sustainable way - look for it at your local fish shop or supermarket. Visit the Marine Stewardship Council website or the Australian Marine Conservation Society's Sustainable Seafood Pocket Guide for more information.

Local Organic Produce in Your Area

It's not always easy to consider the many factors that contribute to eating sustainably, so why not let someone else to do the hard work for you?

There are many companies that can deliver fresh food to your home, but it's worth doing some research to find out where the food is sourced from and how it's grown.

We've done a little research and there are plenty of companies that deliver organic produce in the Sydney area (just Google "Sydney organic food delivery"), but so far we've only found one that commits to sourcing local, in season produce. This means the food doesn't need to travel as far to get from the farm to your table, so in other words, it will have fewer food miles and a smaller carbon footprint.

Ooooby is a social enterprise that links local farmers with consumers. A variety of organic fruit and vegetable packages are available through home delivery or pick up from a nearby ‘City Cousin'. Visit the Ooooby website to see if they are a good fit for you. If you know of any other similar businesses or enterprises please let us know!

  

Ethical Shopping

Check out the Shop ethical website for information and issues around choosing ethical products: http://www.ethical.org.au/