As children we were always told we must eat our vegetables, and as today is national ‘eat your vegetables day’ there really is no excuse! We know that eating greens is essential for getting the nutrients and vitamins needed for a long, healthy life, but increasing your vegetable intake is now also important for another reason. Meat and dairy farming produce up to 60% of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions, which in turn leads to climate change, deforestation, soil degradation and pollution. Reducing our consumption of animal products is one of the single most effective ways we can reduce our environmental impact.
Eating more veg does not have to be boring, nor does it have to be a solo adventure. Below we take a look at some of the ways you and your neighbours can work together to green up your diet and your community.
Start a community garden project: use your OurHood neighbourhood chat to call upon green-fingered neighbours to create a community garden. Not only is this a great way to provide fresh produce but it a sense of local community. Be creative as you like but make sure to plan before you plant; have a clear vision of the veg you want to grow as well as the tools and equipment that you will need. Be selective about what plants you choose, making sure they are compatible with the environment you live in, and research which season is best to plant them. And don’t be overly ambitious. Start small to make the project manageable, then watch as your veg, garden and community network grows.
See here to read about an inspiring story of a mother from Zimbabwe who turns her backyard into a vegetable garden in order to feed and nourish her neighbourhood in Port Elizabeth.
Share waste veg: over one third of all food produced globally goes to waste. This is both a moral dilemma, with one in nine people in the world starving or malnourished, and an environmental problem, by squandering fresh water and emitting unnatural levels of greenhouse gases, particularly methane. Meal planning, freezing leftovers and composting are all effective ways to reduce food waste. Our favourite way, of course, is to share our leftovers with neighbours. Whether its half a jar of jam, an overripe banana, or some unwanted bread, check with your neighbours first before discarding of it. You can do this by clicking on the Post icon on the OurHood app, searching for the type of post you would like to make, selecting classified, and then filling in the details. This way you can both lower your food waste and bond with your neighbours!
Support local: help your local farmers by finding our which vegetables are in season and buying from them. Our next OurHood update will include a fully automated platform for local businesses. Businesses will be able to post deals designed specifically for locals, boosting their sales whilst giving you the best deal for your buck. See here to read our last post and find out more about the benefits of buying local.
To get you started on your journey to eating more veg, we thought we would throw in a few veg-centred recipes.
The OurHood Team 🙂
Connecting Neighbours, Strengthening Communities