When we were put into lockdown in March, the country started panic buying staples like toilet roll, flour, eggs, milk, and pasta. But as time went on, we became used to the new normal of one shopping trip a week for essential items only. Our daily trips to the corner shop were a thing of the past, and as offices closed around the country our daily coffee habit from the café was cut out. Not only did these small adjustments have an impact on our finances, they made us more aware of our eating habits, and how with small changes we can live and eat sustainably.
Pre-lockdown, it was estimated that UK households waste 4.5 million tonnes of food each year. However, lockdown has helped show us we were over-buying food, with time being the biggest factor for food waste. This is because while we may shop with a list and recipe ideas for the week ahead, often we would arrive home from work later than anticipated and all our good intentions would go out the window – leaving all the fresh food we’d bought for the week to go off.
During lockdown however, when most of us started working from home, we were given back the hours that had previously been lost due to commuting. This extra time allowed us to use our kitchens again, cooking meals from scratch using all the lovely ingredients we had bought.
Whilst we were all stuck indoors, mother nature was allowed to let loose during the global pandemic. We saw images of clear canals in Venice, villages in India saw the Himalayas for the first time in decades, and CO2 levels were reduced. Seeing these images of countries around the world showed us all the impact we are having on the planet and made us more aware of the damage we are causing – especially if we don’t change.
In a recent survey it was found that 81% of us became increasingly concerned about environmental issues during lockdown. And we are beginning to question where our food is coming from, as well as how it is packaged. With supermarkets like Morrisons leading the way in becoming an environmentally responsible retailer.
Whilst Monday to Friday saw most of us eating responsibly, and sustainably, the weekends were definitely where the wheels fell off. In a recent study it was found that Saturday evening was the time when most of us cheated on our heathy eating plan. Unsurprisingly chocolate and crisps came top of the pile.
However, with our new-found food awareness, many are calling for the use of palm oil to be banned in products because of the devastation farming palm oil has on forests and animal habitats.
With lengthy queues often forming outside supermarkets and online delivery slots being few and far between, many consumers have switched to the independent retailers on their local high street for everyday essentials.
Prior to Covid-19 we were already seeing a growing trend towards buying locally produced food, with many consumers beginning to make a notable effort to buy seasonal produce with reduced air miles, and lockdown appears to have reinforced this change.
Are you continuing to live more sustainably post lockdown?
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