What You Should Know
Buying Fair Trade coffee, can help to maintain biodiversity and sustainable living in developing countries by providing local people with the ability to compete in a global marketplace. Eating locally grown foods can help to reduce environmentally-related shipping costs such as carbon emissions from planes and trucks, and supporting sustainable agriculture can reduce the use of pesticides and minimize resource waste in farming. These are just some of the various ways in which we can protect our environment by making smarter decisions about the foods we eat.
How You Can Help
- Avoid wasting food! Take small first portions when you are eating at John Jay or elsewhere—you can always go back for seconds later. Take note of how much you are throwing away after each meal.
- Use reusable containers for water and other drinks instead of plastic bottles and disposable cups to reduce waste.
- When you go shopping for groceries, bring along your own reusable bags.
- Support local and sustainably grown agriculture. Foods shipped over long distances take incredible resources and lead to large carbon emissions while in transit. They are also more likely to include chemicals intended to preserve them for the long-haul. Meanwhile, farms that focus on sustainability will use less of valuable resources and will not use pesticides that could be harmful both to you and to the environment.
- Buy fair trade products when possible. Products with the fair trade label such as coffee, cocoa, or sugar ensure that producers in developing countries are paid a fair price for their goods. These producers in turn are less likely to be forced to turn to more environmentally harmful practices to survive. Most fair trade products are also certified organic and shade-grown.
- If you have a kitchen at home, consider home composting. Read more at the New York City Compost Project.