WORLD Environment Day has been celebrated on June 5 each year since 1972. It is an annual event aimed at being the biggest and most widely celebrated day for positive environmental action.
Each year, World Environment Day has a theme. The theme for 2013 is Think Eat Save. Think Eat Save is an anti food waste and food loss campaign that encourages us to reduce our food print.
According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) every year 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted. This is the equivalent of all the food produced in sub Sahara Africa.
At the same time one in seven people go to bed hungry and at the same time more than 20,000 children under the age of five die daily from hunger.
Given this enormous imbalance in lifestyles and the resultant devastating effects on the environment, this year's theme Think Eat Save encourages us to become more aware of the environmental impact of the food choices we make and to make more informed decisions about food.
While the planet is struggling to provide us with enough resources to sustain its seven billion people (growing to nine billion by 2050), FAO estimates that a third of the global food production is either wasted or lost.
Food waste is an enormous drain on natural resources and a contributor to negative environmental impacts.
This year's campaign relies on us to take action from our homes and then witness the power of collective decisions we make to reduce food waste, save money, minimise the environmental impact of food production and force food production processes to become more efficient.
If food is wasted, it means that all the resources and inputs used in the production of that food are also wasted.
For example, it takes about 1000 litres of water to produce one litre of milk, and about 16000 litres of water goes into cows food to produce one hamburger.
The resulting greenhouse gas emissions from the cows themselves, and throughout the food supply chain, all end up in vain if we waste food.
The global food production occupies 25 per cent of all habitable land and is responsible for 25 per cent of fresh water consumption 80 per cent of deforestation, and 30 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions.
It is the largest single driver of biodiversity loss and land change.
It is difficult for us modern day food consumers who are used to the convenience of supermarket shopping and the variety of foods available in all seasons, sourced from around the world.
However, if we are to take action we need to start at home.
We need to think about where our food comes from, what resources were used in its production and transportation from the paddock to our plates and how to dispose of any waste in an environmentally responsible manner.
So remember , think before you eat and help save our environment.
(Information for this article sourced from the UNEP website.)
Further information can be obtained on the Love Food Hate Waste website.