Jussi Nikula / WWF Finland

WWF Finland's Jussi Nikula shares his tips for responsible eating.

Food is an everyday thing, and as much as one-fifth of people's carbon dioxide emissions are caused by food. The environmental impacts related to food production and consumption are diverse, and an alternative better in terms of climate is perhaps not better in terms of the consumption of water resources. Yet, anyone can easily reduce the negative environmental impacts of food by making three simple everyday choices.

1. Substitute some of the meat in your diet for vegetables and sustainable fish

Animal-based raw materials use water resources and the productive arable land and result in climate impacts that are usually at least twice as high as vegetable-based raw materials. There are big differences in meals: producing a hamburger meal requires nearly eight times as much land area as producing spaghetti and tomato sauce.
An environmentally friendly choice is to replace some of the meat with peas and legumes, tofu, soy mince, mushrooms, nuts and sustainably caught fish. A more vegetable-oriented diet is a better alternative in terms of health.

2. Don't throw food away

We throw away huge amounts of food every day. Approximately one fourth of the food produced around the world is thrown away. Food that ends up at landfill sites causes methane emissions, which accelerate climate change even more than carbon dioxide does. On the other hand, the food waste sorted as biowaste is also a problem because, for instance, the climate impact of the production of a few pieces of bread is often bigger than the total impact of making the packaging material and transport.

You can help save not only the environment but also money by buying only what you need and by using leftovers to make delicious snacks.

3. Choose responsibly produced foodstuffs

Every day, we eat food produced in different parts of the world, the production of which can affect the environment of its country of origin and the life of the local population, either positively or negatively. In order to guarantee the availability of sustainably and fairly produced food, several international systems have been developed.
Certified products and organic food should be preferred. It is not necessary to buy only domestic food, because food production provides an income for people in many poor countries.


Jussi Nikula
Head of Programme
WWF Finland