Food and Materials

Last updated June 28, 2021

Food and materials (e.g., consumer goods) are smaller sources of greenhouse gas emissions in our community than transportation and buildings, but they are still notable, especially from a consumption-based emissions perspective. Reducing the impact of consumption and waste will lower our environmental impact.

To become more climate-friendly, we can:

  • Reduce food waste
  • Choose lower-carbon foods
  • Support local farms to improve food security
  • Adopt “lighter living” to reduce consumption and waste of materials

Reduce food waste

Avoidable Food Waste

Did you know that over 60% of edible food produced is wasted in Canada? For the average Canadian household that amounts to 140 kilograms of wasted food and a cost of over $1,100 per year! Visit for great tips about meal planning, food storage, and more.

GHG emissions are generated in every step of the food system, including:

  • Production:
    • Land use change for crop and pasture land (e.g. deforestation, soil management)
    • Energy used in farm vehicles and buildings (e.g. greenhouses)
    • Production and use of fertilizers, pesticides, and other inputs
    • Animals (methane from manure and from enteric fermentation from cows and other ruminants)
  • Food processing and refrigeration
  • Transportation
  • Home and restaurant cooking (consider an electric induction stove!)
  • Waste

Did you know that only about 7% of food’s total GHG emissions come from transportation? Food type makes the biggest difference. See World Resources Institute Protein Scorecard below for example GHG emissions from different food choices. 

Support local food production to improve food security

Climate change affects agricultural production. Increasing local food production, both by supporting local farmers and growing your own in your backyard or a community garden is an important adaptation action.

Adopt “lighter living” to reduce consumption and waste of materials

There are many ways Sooke residents and businesses can shrink their consumption-based GHG impact, including:

  • Rent, borrow, or share rather than buy your own (e.g. car sharing, the library, tool libraries, etc.)
  • Repair rather than buy new –  check out the EMCS Community School Society Makerspace
  • Reduce throw-away packaging by bringing your own containers and bags
  • When you need to buy, consider the lifecycle of the product, and when it makes sense look for:
    • well-made, long-lasting products
    • minimal packaging
    • recycled content and ease of recycling/composting the product
    • third-party certification for eco-friendliness
    • energy-efficient and renewable energy design
  • Take part in the second-hand economy. Many online tools and local businesses and non-profits make it easy, or you could host your own clothing swap!
  • If a product is not useful for someone else when you’re done with it, recycle or compost it. Check out for tips about how to recycle just about everything and how to reduce and reuse, too!

Local Resources