In August of this year, the UN published the results of 24 months of work and research from more than 100 scientists. This report speaks to the continuing crisis of climate change brought on by humans and now, the startling impact it is having on our food supply. Fearful highlights extends from the scientific fact that soil stores carbon and as human practices continue to destroy soil, so goes its ability to store live-saving carbon. Agricultural, forestry and other land practices are causing fully 23% of global greenhouse gas emissions. That’s no longer even significant, that’s catastrophic. All this means that crop yields continue to decline which in turn means that food is getting scarcer and more expensive — something that isn’t missed by the frugal community. In addition, as food gets more expensive, it is becoming less healthy because nutrient and protein levels are declining.
The report cites that nearly 30% of food is lost or wasted when more than 820 million people remain undernourished. If these patterns continue, we are gonna need a bigger boat in the form of land double the size of India if we are to feed the estimated 9.8 billion residents of 2050. The report calls for improved agricultural procedures such as no-tilling farming and better targeted fertilizer application. It mentions plant-based diets with less red meat and reforestation and biofuel development.
But all of this sounds like big stuff you say. What can I, as just one person do? First, know that change starts with one individual. Look at Gandhi, one man’s convictions literally changed the course of history. So, don’t cop out one can become a million and so now. That’s what frugal living is all about ultimately. Individuals benefit certainly, but in the process, you are saving the planet for future generations.
So I don’t know about you, but I plan on being around in 2050 so below is my six point plan, what I am going to do personally to help turn the tide:
- Never stop growing a garden. I will always grow as much as my own produce as possible. The goal is to eventually become completely independent from grocery store produce.
- Continue eating a plant-based diet. I am also slowly, but with marked success, reducing my partner’s reliance on red meat.
- Plant more trees. My yards are tiny but I am thinking they might hold another tree or two and just wait until I retire and move to a home with more land. I love trees. Trees are God’s outdoor canopy. Speak for the trees, just like the Lorax. I want more fruit trees than I can possibly consume the fruit from so I can donate the excess to food shelters and barter for other things I need, classic frugal strategy.
- I will continue to my frugal ways and never waste a scrap of the food I buy and grow. I will never be part of the 30 percent waste, never.
- I will embrace alternative forms of transportation. This is why we plan to retire on an island where we can mostly walk and bike everywhere.
- I will continue to get better by recycling more, reusing more, composting more, repurposing and consuming less. I will be a citizen that leaves this planet a better place for the generations to come.
So, citizens of earth, what are you going to do to help change the world? How are you going to turn the tide and save the planet for our children’s children children?
Food for thought.