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Kati Malmelin: Joint efforts to improve our planet

Kati Malmelin | 28.10.2015

Our wellbeing depends on the food, water and energy provided by nature. We don’t have a shortage of essential natural resources in Finland, but our ecological footprint is large.

Photo: © Pauliina Heinänen / WWF

It is easy to decrease your ecological footprint by paying attention to what you eat. Food accounts for about 20% of the carbon dioxide emissions caused by humans. In Finland, people complain about the price of food but at the same time throw away 20–30 kilos of edible food per person each year.

Each of us can contribute to the responsibility of their own food choices by following WWF guidelines, which are ultimately quite simple: replace some of the meat with vegetables and sustainable fish, don’t throw food away and favour responsibly produced food.

How to make the change?

Eva Heiskanen, Research Director of the National Consumer Research Centre, has said that the five issues that affect a sustainable way of life are awareness, other people, habits, supply and the operating environment.

During the current flood of information, we have no shortage of knowledge. But how is it with the other issues? Do I change if no one else in my circle of acquaintances seems interested? Or how do I change if there are no responsible options available in the way that is suitable for me?

Retail trade has a significant role to play in the development of the responsibility of food consumption. The supply of responsible fish and, say, of Fairtrade products, has already increased. WWF hopes that this development will continue and strengthen.

Let’s succeed together

The trading sector also has a particularly large impact on how people’s consumption habits change and how we can promote this change together. For example, the increasingly innovative social media services available for us create interesting opportunities to enhance general interest in responsible practices, for peer communications and social learning.

Kesko’s grocery trade and media house Aller recently announced that they are establishing a joint impressive food media aiming to become the sector leader in Finland. It is interesting to see how this service will encourage Finnish people to make delicious everyday food choices that are also responsible from the viewpoint of the environment. At the same time, any possible prejudices concerning the price or delicious taste of responsible food can also be removed.

Read more about work by WWF Finland:

Photo of Kati Malmelin: © Aki-Pekka Sinikoski / WWF

Writer: Kati Malmelin, Director, Corporate Relations, WWF Finland

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