Climate

1st July 2021

Rise Up for Climate

We owe our perfect climate to the delicate balance of Earth’s systems, from our positioning from the sun to volcanoes, oceans, weather systems and life itself.

However a powerful force is changing our climate: us humans. 

Rising emissions of greenhouse gases as a result of our activity are changing the climate. The effects, long predicted by scientists, are now occurring: loss of sea ice, accelerated sea level rise, acidifying oceans, longer, more intense heat waves and more extreme weather events.

Impacts on us include health risks, reduced food security and water supply, threats to peace and increased displacement and migration. We need to act.

Industrial food production is responsible for one-third of greenhouse gas emissions.

Key emissions include:

  • Nitrous oxide from artificial fertilisers and animal manure, which has a global warming potential (GWP) of 265 times that of carbon dioxide. The gas is released when soil microbes break down excess fertiliser, especially when the ground is wet and there’s less oxygen.
  • Methane (GWP 30 times greater than CO2) from the digestive process of cows and from rice production
  • Carbon dioxide (GWP of 1) from the burning of fossil fuels for machinery and processes.

This is further exacerbated by agricultural expansion, replacing carbon ‘sinks’ with crops or pasture. It is driving deforestation and the destruction of grasslands and peatlands, and causing the degradation of our soils

(Read our blogs on forests and soils to learn more about these vital ecosystems). 

Despite the huge impact of the food system, we waste one-third of all food produced from farm to fork.

Produce is discarded before it even leaves the farm, rejected when it arrives at supermarkets or restaurants, thrown away when there is surplus and wasted in our homes.

There are so many reasons why this happens - from cosmetic standards and over-forecasted demand to inefficiencies in storing and distributing. Increasingly, our unpredictable climate is also a factor.

We can change course and tackle climate change to protect our living planet. 

Reducing food waste is the simplest and most equitable action we can take to limit warming. The global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - our blueprint for a better future - include a target to halve food waste and loss by 2030.

Other sustainable actions we can each support include eating a more plant-based diet and supporting local regenerative and organic farmers. 

Climate change is already affecting people around the world. But by acting now we can reduce risks, be better prepared and respond more effectively. 

There is still time to protect our planet, where people and nature can thrive. 

We’re raising awareness about the impact of our food system on the climate, and the need for action … over a pint.

We’ve collaborated with our friends Rubies in the Rubble on our latest beer, released on 29th July 2021 to mark Earth Overshoot Day. This is the date in the calendar when us humans have used up an entire year’s worth of nature’s resources.

If we halve food waste (in line with SDG 12.3), we can #MoveTheDate by 13 days. If we also choose plant-based food and foods grown with agroecological and regenerative practices, we could further move Earth Overshoot Day by 19 days.

Rubies make award-winning condiments made by preserving fresh fruit & vegetables sourced directly from farms, and mayo made with aquafaba, a plant-based alternative to eggs that is usually thrown away.

They’re a fantastic example of businesses finding solutions to societal problems.

RASPBERRY SOUR

Raspberry Sour is a low alcohol beer (0.5% brewed with surplus fresh bread and wonky raspberries. This tart and refreshing beer is like homemade jam on sourdough toast

This limited-edition beer is part of our Rise Up series, spreading awareness about our food system ahead of the COP26 climate talks in November (where food systems aren’t even on the agenda!).

You can write to your MPs to demand change with our easy-to-use form at toastale.com/riseup.

By supporting businesses that operate for the benefit of people and the planet, particularly certified B Corps such as Toast and Rubies, you can help to change the food system, and change the world.

The Raspberry Sour collaboration launches in our shop on 29th July. 

Find out about the rest of the Rise Up series and find those beers in our shop now. All profits go to our charity partner, Feedback. 


Learn more
Watch: Wasted: The Story of Food Waste, Unbroken Ground (Patagonia), Breaking Boundaries
Listen: Outrage & Optimism podcast
Read: The Future We Choose (Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac), The Fragile Earth: Writing from The New Yorker on Climate Change (David Remnick and Henry Finder)
Act: Support the Climate & Ecological Emergency (CEE) Bill

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