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Reducing your Carbon Footprint through diet

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Reducing your Carbon Footprint through diet

Are you interested in cutting your carbon footprint? Here’s a quick introduction to understanding your carbon footprint and how tweaking your diet can reduce your environmental footprint. Plus a handy vegetable curry recipe you can adapt to what you have to hand.

Self Assess Your Carbon Footprint

When I’m giving talks through my work with Green Outlook I’ll often ask people to consider where they sit on the scale of environmental impact. Are they an over consuming, meat eating, gas guzzling, fast fashion buying, litter bug who consumes resources without care or are they naked and foraging in the woods creating very little to no waste? Often we sit somewhere between but we don’t often think about the direct impact these lifestyle decisions we make have on the environment.

How do you travel, what’s your energy usage, what are you buying and from who, what are you eating, how do you manage your waste? These are questions we’ve got to be asking ourselves if we’re going to have any chance at slowing rising global temperatures. Here’s a quick footprint calculator to help you assess and understand your carbon footprint.

I’d love for you to take some time to assess your lifestyle habits, maybe even rate yourself from 1 (Low Impact) to 10 (High Impact) and see can you move one step down on the scale of environmental impact. That’s right, if we all make small changes across different lifestyle areas our combined efforts will have a positive environmental impact. There’s so much information available now on the man made climate crisis we really have no excuse.

Cutting Back on Meat consumption as an Irish person

Irish farming industry and carbon footprint

The foods we eat and the agricultural industry is a serious contributor to global warming. So one sure way to reduce your environmental impact is to reassess your diet and more importantly your consumption of meat and dairy. Now, that’s easier said than done for many Irish people.

Many of us grew up on a diet of meat, spuds and veg. And for more of us we have a connection to the farming industry in Ireland. We’re caught in that space between what we grew up with and what we know about the high quality of Irish farming and wanting to make a change for a better world based on the fact we know the damaging impact global meat and dairy consumption is having.

Understanding your carbon footprint as an Irish person

I spent a good portion of my childhood on my grandparents farm and my dad still part time farms today. In fact quite a lot of my family and extended family work in the Agri industry in Ireland. Yet I have moved away from eating meat twice a day and begun to incorporate more vegetarian based meals into my diet over the last two years. I still support the Irish agricultural industry by buying local where possible and I haven’t completely cut out meat and dairy, which is a personal choice.

If you haven’t already cut back your consumption of meat (particularly red meat) then take a look online at the many articles and reports detailing the high environmental impact of just 1 burger. It’s not just the methane released (the farting cows have an awful rep) but there’s the land usage, the water consumption as well as the energy and fuel usage. We can all be a bit more mindful and respectful of the environment we live and when we do eat meat we can be more grateful and thankful for the time and effort that went into it as well as paying a fair price for the hard work Farmer’s do.

Give Meatless Monday a go with this easily adaptable recipe:

Vegetable Curry Green Outlook

Hearty Veggie Curry recipe that you can adapt to suit your cupboard and tastes.

What you’ll need:

Spices

You’ll need 1tsp of: Curry Powder, Salt, Pepper

Plus a selection of the following, 1 tsp each: Chilli Powder, Cayenne Pepper, Paprika, Mustard, Turmeric, Cumin Seeds

Vegetables

You’ll need: Potatoes or Sweet Potatoes, Onions, Peppers, Garlic, Spinach

Plus a selection of the following: Fresh Chilli, Mushrooms, Carrots, Frozen Peas, Sweetcorn, Tenderstem Brocolli, Mixed Beans/Chickpeas.

Liquid

One of the following: Coconut milk, Vegetable Stock or Greek Yoghurt

Accompaniments

Rise plus Mango Chutney, Seeds or Raisins

Easy Veggie Curry to reduce your carbon footprint

How To

Heat your chosen spices on a dry pan on a low heat until the spices are fragrant and slightly darkened. Take spices off the heat and place to the side.

Spices for an eco friendly meal

Heat an oil of your choice in a pan and add the onions. Cook until soft and golden (a few minutes). Add your chosen vegetables and potatoes and cook for 2 minutes (Hold back the spinach for now). Add your dry spice mix and mix through. Then add your liquid and bring to a low simmer.

Vegetable Curry
Vegetable Curry at Green Outlook

Leave to simmer for 20 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked. (If you’ve used stock you can thicken the curry sauce with a small spoon of flour) Stir spinach through and allow it to wilt.

Serve with rice and your choice of accompaniments. Enjoy.

Compost the scraps from the vegetables. Date and store the leftovers in the fridge or freezer using a suitable lunchbox.

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