Planet Arborist

Shopping & Sustainability

What are the facts?

We are pushing the planet to its limit and beyond in terms of the human demand. With rapidly increasing energy demands from a growing human population, what worked before needs radical rethinking and immediate action

  • For the last 50 years, the amount of energy we use has increased by 2.4% on average a year and has tripled in total over that time
  • The planet no longer has the restorative capability to absorb this huge increase in our energy consumption
  • Every product we buy has a carbon implication which is mostly hidden from us and mostly ignored in marketing
  • On average 10% of what an animal consumes is turned into meat & dairy yet, they are fed 75% of what the human population needs
  • An animal is a net destroyer (up to 75%) of the human edible plant based protein, iron, zinc and Vitamin A fed to it. Only a fraction makes it way into edible meat
  • The vast majority of plant based foods have a very low carbon foot print. There are exceptions. Rice has double the carbon foot print of its nearest carbohydrate, mainly due to how it is grown. However, it is still very sustainable compared to animal based foods
  • Complex & long distance supply chains disconnect us from the origins of products we consume and the producers

What can an individual do?

Our own personal health and that of the planet has to be dealt with in multiple different ways as there is not a single specific action that is sufficient. Here are some broader principles and guidelines

  • Stop buying single use plastics, we should use our own reusable bottles, cutlery and containers
  • Bulk shop whole plant foods especially seeds and nuts and reduce consumption of processed foods to increase health and reduce waste
  • Buy from local producers and seasonally when possible to increase freshness and reduce transport carbon footprint of your consumption
  • Buy for and influence others when you feel you have found fantastic sustainable products
  • Buy from producers who are open and transparent about their supply chains including how thy verify and support sustainable and ethical suppliers
  • Beware and avoid greenwashing by checking company claims for specifics including their supply chain, manufacturing process, packaging and delivery
  • Reduce consumption of animal sourced food and other products when we shop. Try one product at time
  • Choose organic where possible to reduce pesticide and chemical use in growing and manufacturing