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EARTH www.earthmagazine.com

FAST FOOD AND THE NATION

How your diet affects the environment.

December 2011

TOP 10 WAYS TO SAVING ENERGY Try our handy tips.

GOT YOUR TICKET? Cut your carbon footprint.

£3.00


EARTH Dumping household waste is on the rise. Where you can dispose of your waste and what to do if you catch someone dumping theirs - page 8.

Got your ticket? The real facts and figures about public transport - page 14.

Fast food and the nation: the truth behind fast food and the environment - page 34.

Top 10 ways to save energy in the home: try our handy tips - page 38.

Passive smoking effects everyone and everything around you. Laura Young Photography competition. Page 40.

Letters to the editor. Page 60.

Reader’s photography. Page 64.

www.earthmagazine.com


Got Your Ticket? Sharing transport can cut your annual carbon footprint by two-thirds. Buses, coaches and trains consume a lot of energy but divide this amount by the number of passengers on a busy route and they’re far more environmentally friendly than a car.

Swapping an average car commute of 18 miles for the train saves around a tonne of CO2 a year. Taking the train instead of the bus almost halves your carbon emissions for the journey. According to National Express, passengers on a full coach between London and Birmungham are only responsible for a tenth of emissions that one car would produce.

However... A bus produces seven times more CO2 than a car per km, so instead of reaching for your car keys, take the bus and help improve its efficiency. “I don’t have time to take the train.“ Not necessarily true. In London a 4 mile tube journey takes 10 mnutes less than driving.

Footprints in concrete: reducing your carbon footprint.

So how do you get involved? Take the coach for intercity travel. They are the cheapest and most environmentally friendly way to travel long distances. Car share with friends and colleagues. Take the train over the bus when commuting. Laura Young

Laura Young

www.earthmagazine.com

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We all know the effect fast food has on our bodies. But after you’ve finished and thrown away the packet what effect could it have on the environment? Recycling is on the increase but there is more than meets the eye when it comes to fast food and the environment.

A report published in 2000 by Stockholm University and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology revealed that the average cheese burger takes between 7-20mJ of energy to produce. This inclues everything from growing the wheat and making it in to the burger bun to feeding the cattle.

When converted to CO2 it results in an emission of between 1-3.5kg. This does not even take in to account how much methane is produced by the cow itselff. In its lifetime a beef cow can produce 220 kilos of methane through manure and flatulence.

Both fast foods and ready meals are guilty of contributing to the global carbon footprint.Distribting all this food in lorries adds to pollution, CO2 emissions and congestion which all play a part in worldwide climate change.

A blot on the landscape:- how does your diet effect the environment? Laura Young

FAST FOOD FO 34


Most packaging can now be recycled. Laura Young

Packaging is part of an important branding process which touches most products including food products. Food companies, especially those who deal in fast food, have been under considerabl;e pressure recently to reduce the amount of packaging they use.

Increased recyling outlets means you can dispose of pizza boxes, Styrofoam cups and juice cans without harming the environment as much.

Chains like KFC and Burger King have also tried to reduce the level of waste produced by their outlets following a 2003 campaign by “Keep Britain Tidy.�

McDonalds has started using recycled materials for some of their food containers.

Many companies have tried to rise to the challenge...

Conventional polystyrene burger boxes have been replaced with recyclable cardboard.

Local councils have been encouraging fast food outlets to help and promote schemes which will encourage keeping streets tidy and are getting tougher on the production of fast food generated litter.

Many other companies are now doing the same.

Laura Young

OR THE NATION www.earthmagazine.com

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