Why can’t we see the ‘big picture’?

21st April 2011 Posted by

There is a tendency in the UK to abdicate responsibility and wait for someone else to fix the problem. This is particularly evident in the arena of wasted resources. Every year our nation disposes of 8.3 million tonnes of food and an estimated £12 billion worth of drinks.

This is not only an abhorrent financial loss, but leads to long-term environmental damage. This inefficient consumption means we not only waste a mountain of food and drink, but also water and energy which are used in the process of bringing this food to us, the consumers.

Adding to this the greenhouse gas emissions coming from the production processes, this all results in a significant environmental impact not only in the UK, but also the many countries which provide these resources for us.

Too often I feel commentators concentrate on the end of the ‘food chain’. They worry more about what ends up in the bin than understanding the full ecological footprint of production. This lack of understanding or capacity to cope with the ‘big picture’ often reduces the debate to a micro level. Instead, we should be raising the consciousness of the nation to the challenges and opportunities of a more resource efficient approach.

My hope is that we awaken from our slumber and embrace the possibilities that resource efficiency can deliver. We all need to recognise the responsibility we have as a country to not only protect our environment, but also the countries who quite literally put the food on our tables.

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