Enjoying fresh, seasonal food is one of the magical things about Christmas. It’s one of the busiest times for Australian farmers, and it’s always exciting to see our produce play a starring role on festive menus.
Celebrating Christmas sustainably is something we can all do to give thanks for the amazing food we have in Australia, whilst supporting local food producers.
Support farmers who are embracing sustainable practices and reducing their carbon footprint.
On my family homestead we do a variety of things to ease our footprint on the land.
Food scraps from the kitchen are fed to our poultry, which in turn provide us with eggs, as well as manure for use on our vegetable garden.
Rainwater tanks catch the infrequent downpours and provide us with clean drinking water. Solar panels on the homestead provide electricity to farm buildings and water pumps which deliver to distant paddock troughs.
Native trees and shrubs are planted around the house and surrounding paddock to provide shade and windbreaks, reducing evaporation and erosion.
We are experimenting with nesting boxes in trees to encourage birds to remain in the area and an island in a dam has also been established to provide waterfowl with a safe environment to rear young.
Conservation reserves are located in areas to protect rare species- contributing to greater biodiversity and safeguarding ecosystem sustainability.
A report issued by the Climate Council, Feeding a Hungry Nation: Climate Change, Food and Farming in Australia , said it is estimated that Australians waste about 360kg per person per year and globally, an estimated 30-50% of all food produced never reaches a human stomach.
Farmers put great effort and resources into producing food – so it’s important to us that it gets eaten!
Whenever possible, plan what food is needed to be purchased, so impulse buying is limited and unnecessary wastage is reduced.
There are loads of ways to capture food before it is lost- whether it’s getting creative with leftover recipes, dining at cafes that let you doggy-bag, or freezing items for use later.
When you are loading up your Christmas plate, take a smaller portion, and go back for seconds if you are still hungry (or it’s super delicious!).
If there are leftovers that cannot be made into a casserole, why not recycle the nutrients in that food by putting them in a compost.
Producing your own fertile soil will enable you to grow your own veggies and fruit.
- For more on how climate change is already impacting the food we eat in Australia, click here.
Anika Molesworth is a climate conscious farmer in outback NSW. She promotes climate change adaption and mitigation strategies . As the 2015 Australian Young Farmer of the Year, Anika is a strong advocator for greater adoption of renewable energies in agriculture.