World Environment Day is June 5

We’ve got Only One Earth, and what you eat makes an impact!
Emily Kennedy

Every year, the fifth of June marks World Environment Day. This year’s theme, Only One Earth, is all about taking collective action to “celebrate, protect, and restore our planet.” One of the ways we feel the effects of climate change here in Kings County is through what we eat.

Over the last number of years, the Valley has faced extensive droughts, alongside an increased frequency of heatwaves and coastal storms. This creates an added challenge to not just traditional agriculture, but anyone who relies heavily on foraging as well. The result? Smaller yields and increased food insecurity.

According to a 2019 report from Statistics Canada, Nova Scotia continues to be the province with the highest rate of food insecurity in Canada. The most recent statistic does not take into account the impacts of Covid-19, yet was listed at 18.8% food insecure. This means nearly 20% of Nova Scotians, or one in five, do not have access to adequate food intake on a daily basis.

As our planet is tested further with the increased presence of climate-related impacts, met with the most recent costs of transportation, it is likely that the cost of food will continue to rise. While we are now better equipped to recognize the impacts of climate change on our food systems, this doesn’t make finding solutions any easier. More and more households are struggling to make ends meet as it is.

Learning to care for the planet whilst considering the impacts on our wider community gives us the greatest opportunity to make a difference, right here at home. Purchasing only what you need through meal planning and saving or sharing leftovers is a great way to divert food waste and save money. Supporting local food producers as much as possible not only helps the local economy, but the environment more broadly. You can even try your hand at gardening.

I encourage you to go to WorldEnvironmentDay.Global and look at the Practical Guide to living sustainably in harmony with nature, developed for World Environment Day 2022. Here you’ll find more tips on how your everyday choices can affect food systems, finances, transportation, business, and industry. We are all powerful people; many small actions can lead to big impact.

Emily Kennedy is a climate change adaptation specialist, and uses this knowledge in outdoor programming as the owner of resiliFIT Coaching. She is also a member of Kings County Community Food Council. The Council’s vision is to have a sustainable, local food system in Kings County, where everyone has access to enough nutritious, safe, ecological, and culturally appropriate food. For more information on our work and how you can get involved please contact us!