Dryland and feet walking over it

What we can do

Consumers can make a positive difference because government policy and suppliers are extremely sensitive to individual market choices. If every consumer were to buy products that do not degrade the land, suppliers will cut back the flow of these products, and send a powerful signal to the producer of the change needed to stay in business.

Changing our diet and shopping behaviours can free up land for other uses and lower carbon emissions. Dietary change alone can free up between 80 and 240 million hectares of land.

Specific actions

  • Shift to more a balanced diet, featuring plant-based foods. This will improve your health, reduce demand for agricultural land and water, contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation and preserve habitats.
  • Ensure the meat you consume is grown ethically and sustainably.
  • Shop for groceries at local farmer’s markets and seek out locally grown produce in the supermarket to support local farmers and reduce the carbon footprint.
  • When you cannot buy locally grown food, choose a supermarket that is dedicated to revealing where products and ingredients are produced.
  • Reduce food waste by buying only what you need.
  • Plant fruit trees in schoolyards and in communal parks for a healthy snack within easy reach, and grow vegetables on your own property.
  • Make compost at home and use it in your own or community gardens instead of chemical pesticides and fertilizers.
  • Repair, donate, swap clothes and avoid fast-fashion, to save water and prevent contamination of natural resources.
  • Use a handkerchief instead of disposable tissues.
  • Plant green roofs to cool homes in the summer and prevent heat loss in the winter, thus reducing your carbon footprint.

 

Food. Feed. Fibre cards represented by fruits, a lamb and a cap.

Impact of food, feed and fibre

Food

  • An extra 593 million hectares of agricultural land, an area nearly twice the size of India, will be required by 2050 over 2010 levels.
  • One-third of all food produced each year is lost or wasted, while 821 million people are undernourished.

Feed

  • Land used for grazing and grain production to feed animals accounts for 80% of agricultural land globally.
  • Beef production in Europe requires 80 times more land than is needed to produce cereals.

Fibre

  • The amount of clothes bought in the EU per person has increased by 40% in just a few decades.
  • The fashion industry consumes around 93 billion cubic metres of water per year.