Sustainable North West
committee member Col Easton began the forum, 'A Mandate for Climate Change for Tamworth', with the question "What can I do in all aspects of my life to reverse climate change?"
The forum, attended by more than 60 people, is the latest in Sustainable North West's community events that include Sustainability Expo, Open House, 100 Mile Dinners, and Youth Enviro Race. It aimed to share ideas with business, government, communities, and individuals about the urgency to increase action on climate change.
The catalyst for the event was the book. 'Drawdown
' by Paul Hawken, which brings together the expertise of 70 students and scholars from 22 countries to list 100 climate solutions with the greatest potential to reduce carbon in the atmosphere. The solutions were then peer reviewed by a 120-person Advisory Board.
Ranked number three in the Drawdown list is Food Waste, from food rotting on farms, or spoiling during storage or transport, to retailers rejecting imperfect produce, and consumers buying too much food, throwing out food past its use-by date, or not using leftovers.
The Australian Government has committed to halving food waste by 2030 and launched the first ever National Food Waste Strategy at a National Food Waste Summit this month.
One of four guest speakers, Matt Hollis, Tamworth Regional Council Senior Waste Manager, said of the 18,000 tonne of annual curbside waste in Tamworth, 6,000-7,000 tonne is food waste, equivalent to about 300kg per person per year. "We love buying stuff and throwing it away," Matt said. "Reducing the amount of waste in your red bin comes down to choices you are making personally."
- recycle food scraps in compost or a worm farm
- feeding appropriate food waste to pets (dogs, chickens, pigs)
- share excess produce or food with friends and family
Add to that:
- using shopping lists to buy what you need
- using leftovers in school and work packed lunches
- freezing excess food
- grow your own herbs and vegetables to have on hand, preserve, and freeze
Other food themes in the top 100 are shifting to a diet rich in plants, restoring abandoned farmland, increasing numbers of clean fuel cookstoves, multistrata agroforesty, improved rice cultivation, silvopasture, regenerative agriculture, conservation agriculture, nutrient management, tree intercropping, composting, biochar, tropical staple trees, managed grazing, and farmland irrigation.
Drawdown states, '...food production can capture carbon as a means to increase fertility, soil health, water availability, yields, and ultimately nutrition and food security.'
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