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Food

Pro-Environmentalism for the Environment, Your health or … Your Wallet?

Our lives depend on energy. From the food we eat to the smartphone we hold all day long. Wherever we look we can see the energy flow. It is the well-known energy footprint. Do we ever wonder how much energy we spend daily? Do we ever wonder if this energy is intelligently ‘spent’?

Energy means resources, and resources means environmental cost. Until today, we have not “solved the problem” of unlimited energy on a large scale. So the spending of each watt should be done with reverence, like it was the last one. Sci-fi movies often depict a future with people fighting over energy resources. This is not far from reality, if you imagine the rate with which use it combined with the rate of the growing population, which increases our energy needs.

Even if it is gas, oil, or a more ‘friendly energy’ form from an environmental standpoint, such as solar power, wind, or others, the problem is and always will the thin line between consumption and overconsumption. Even the most eco-friendly device can be anti-ecological if we use it all day long. Here two practical things you can do to be pro-environmental without any costs to your quality of life.

Start with ‘technology overconsumption addiction.’ We often buy so many unnecessary things with spontaneous shopping. This is bad for both the environment and your wallet. These are things that need resources and energy (which is actually resources) to be made. Nearly 13 tons of water are needed to make a smartphone, even if there is no water in it! That is because it has metals which need water and energy for searching and digging. How many smartphones have you used until now in your life? They are probably now in a landfill.

It is best to buy electronic devices according to the eco-labels, and try to find those with lower energy consumption levels. Do not try to find the cheapest. Read about the energy needed and calculate the requirements for a year. Maybe the cheapest or the most expensive is not the best choice. Find the model that is eco-friendly and which possibly have updates and can last for many years. Turn off the devices from the OFF button and last but not least, do not overuse them! Using without reason means energy loss!

Moving now to another front: Cook your own food. Industrialized ready-to-eat or frozen food is unhealthy and bad for the environment and your wallet. Organize and buy your meals and snacks on the weekend if there is no time during working days. Always remember that anything you prepare, even a burger with fried potatoes, will be much healthier than McDonald’s. Use small pots, small stoves, and avoid the oven as much as possible. Before paying in each store, carefully look your basket. How much your money is well spent for your body?

Evropi-Sofia Dalampira is an Agriculturist-MSc Botany-Biology and PhD in Agricultural Economics, Agricultural-Environmental Education and Science Communication.

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