From 18th to 26th September, the Oxfordshire Great Big Green Week is helping and encouraging people and organisations to act to respond to the climate and nature emergency. The week will take place five weeks before world leaders meet in Glasgow for the United Nations ‘COP26’ Climate Conference. Oxfordshire Great Big Green Week is part of the national Great Big Green Week, during which communities across the UK will join together in a call for decisive climate action.
Food and agriculture are significant contributors to climate change. In Oxfordshire, the food we eat in Oxfordshire makes up 43% of our ecological footprint. (Source: Moore 2019, Oxfordshire Ecological Footprinting Study for Bioregional)
Food systems currently account for 21-37% of total GHGs, and are at the heart of many of the world’s major challenges today including biodiversity loss, enduring hunger and malnutrition, and an escalating public health crisis.The Glasgow Food and Climate Declaration (ENG)
But food production does not have to be destructive. There are many ways we can drastically reduce the climate impact of what we eat, and even make a positive contribution for example by sequestering carbon in healthy, living organic soils or increasing biodiversity on farms. Climate-friendly diets also tend to be more healthy, and if we all ate more veg and locally produced, pasture-fed meat we could significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, limit deforestation and improve animals' lives.
During Oxfordshire Great Big Green Week, Good Food Oxfordshire and Independent Oxford are running Oxfordshire Menu, a campaign to celebrate local, sustainably produced food and independent food producers in our county. Among other activities, we will run cooking challenges and a sustainable procurement webinar hosted by OxLEP Business. And we are inviting local food businesses to join in and highlight local, seasonal and climate-friendly options on their menus.
See what events are happening around food during Green Week and find out how you can get involved as an individual, community group, organisation or business: