How Your Shopping Choices Affect The Environment

The decisions you make at the grocery store have a direct impact on the environment. Consumers can make a difference and reduce the environmental impact of the food they consume with their shopping choices. We have a lot of power and our decisions can help lessen the impact on our natural world. Here’s a closer look at this issue.

Fifty percent of the world’s habitable land is dedicated to agriculture. Agriculture also requires the use of 70% of the world’s freshwater, and food represents a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions. Agriculture also is responsible for 78% of the freshwater and ocean eutrophication, a term that means polluting water with nutrient-rich substances. Agriculture also has an impact on wildlife — excluding humans, livestock makes up more than 90% of the mammal biomass on earth, outweighing wild mammals by more than 15 to 1. In fact, agriculture has a major influence on the majority of the 28,000 species of wildlife threatened with extinction.

Until relatively recently, most of the earth was wilderness, including grasslands, forests and deserts. Over the last few hundred years, however, as people have turned to agriculture to grow the food necessary to support human life, wild habitats have been replaced by farmland. About 1,000 years ago, less than 5% of land that isn’t desert or ice (considered habitable land) was used for agriculture. Now, farmland takes up more than half of that available land.

For more on what you can do to help lessen your impact at the grocery store, check out the infographic below!