Sustainability is a major consideration for the food I buy, so I’m wondering if carbon pricing may be the way forward. I’d be interested to hear your views.
The London School of Economics defines carbon pricing as ‘a cost applied to carbon pollution to encourage polluters to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases they emit into the atmosphere’.
Do you think introducing something like that could lead to more sustainable shopping?
While the origin of the food we buy is often displayed on its packaging, the environmental impact of it reaching our shelves can be quite a bit harder to work out.
There’s lots of research and information available about the environmental impact of producing our food, but I don’t think interpreting it is very straightforward – if it’s not put on the packaging, are we able to make an informed choice?
Controversy and costs
Hypothetically, such measures could make everyday items more expensive and lower demand for others, which wouldn’t be without its controversies.
However, some research suggests that transporting food isn’t usually the main contributor to carbon emissions, but producing the food itself is what causes the most impact.
Would it be beneficial to see that impact on a product’s packaging?
The costs to consumers would also be a concern, so, would other measures, such as ‘carbon ratings’ displayed help better inform purchases?
Making sustainable choices
Clearly it’s not a straightforward issue, but as a consumer who wants to reduce their environmental impact as much as possible, I personally think the more information we have available to us, the better.
From what I’ve seen, the data about the carbon released for different types of products is already out there, but I think we need to make it easier for everyone to access.
But what do you think? Are you trying to become a more sustainable shopper?
Would carbon pricing make a positive impact, or do you think it could actually cause more harm than good? What other methods could we use to help reduce our carbon footprint?
I’d be interested to discuss your thoughts and ideas in the comments.