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Ward off Climate Change

About the author

Gary Warden was raised in the Perth Hills. After graduating from the University of Western Australia with a degree in Geology, Gary joined BHP Billiton where he spent 18 years working in a variety of roles in a number of locations around the world. Prior to leaving BHP Billiton in December 2006, Gary was Global Manager for the company's US$1Billion business improvement program.

While he was originally sceptical about the claims relating to climate change, he became convinced of the urgency of the issue in early 2006. He left BHP Billiton primarily to spend more time with his young family, but also to dedicate himself to creating a more sustainable life for himself and his family and to support others in making that change.

In September 2007 he was trained by Al Gore and has delivered the "Inconvenient Truth" lectures to thousands of west australians since then. In November 2007 Gary ran for the senate in the Federal Election representing the Climate Change Coalition.

In addition to his climate change lectures, he has facilitated Living Smart workshops across Perth. Between 2008 and 2009 he was on the Executive Committee of the Conservation Council of Western Australia including one year as Vice President.

Gary co-founded and is Executive Director of the very exciting Days of Change program, one of the largest sustainability programs in Australia and is now General Manager WA for Eco-Kinetics, one of the largest Solar PV companies in Australia and subsidiary of ASX-listed CBD Energy.

Reducing Your Food Emissions

The following chart shows the CO2 emissions associated with different types of foods.

There are very high emissions associated with getting that piece of red meat on your dinner plate. First of all there are emissions associated with the use of fertilisers for growing pasture and grain used to feed livestock. Secondly most livestock produce significant emissions of methane - a very potent greenhouse gas.

Hopefully this chart is clear - eat less red meat!!

For those of us who love our red meat, it may seem a big ask to reduce our red meat intake. However for the average household in Australia, emissions associated with the food consumed represents the largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions for the household - more than 25%. So if you are truly serious about reducing your emissions, consideration must be given to reducing your red meat intake. This doesn't necessarily mean becoming vegetarian. As the chart above shows, chicken, fish and eggs are all relatively low in emissions and are good alternatives to red meat (though not as good as vegetables).

The good news is that there is one red meat readily available in Australia that is low in emissions - Kangaroo! 

I've got a range of recipes on my website that are all low in carbon. Check these out here

You can also reduce your food-related emissions by buying local produce and reducing the amount of processed foods that you eat. The act of processing food typically results in the generation of greenhouse gases. So eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, and prepare food at home.

There are an increasing number of Farmers' Markets available in Western Australia. Farmers' Markets are fantastic as you not only get locally grown food, you also ensure that the farmers receive the profits for their efforts. There are currently Farmers' Markets in the following locations in Western Australia:

  • City Farm Organic Farmers' Market: Saturday 8am-12pm
  • Mt Claremont Primary School: Saturdays 8am-12pm
  • North Fremantle - Corner High Street and Marmion Street: Sundays 8am-12pm
  • Carnarvon
  • Albany 

Even better than buying local fruit and vegetables is growing your own. With fruit and vegetable prices increasing rapidly as fuel prices rise, this is an attractive option.  

The last area in which you can reduce your food-related emissions is by reducing the amount of food packaging. You can do this by avoiding any foods that come individually wrapped portions (eg large packets of potato chips with individually wrapped servings, individually wrapped tea bags etc). Some stores have large containers of non-perishable goods such as beans, rice, pasta, spices, flours and nuts. Buying these items in bulk will ensure that you minimise any packaging.