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New Sustainable Habits for World Food Day 2016

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Every year, countries come together on 16 October for World Food Day to increase awareness of the global campaign to end hunger. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) shines a light on the effects of climate change on food security with this year’s theme ‘Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too’.

The FAO is urging countries to adopt sustainable farming practices, decrease food losses, and to invest in rural development by strengthening smallholding farmers and fisherfolk whose livelihoods are most affected by climate change. In September 2015, 193 countries pledged to end hunger by 2030.

The FAO is challenging all of us to contribute to this goal by simply changing our daily habits and making better decisions. Here’s a three-step guide on joining the movement:

Step 1. Go to FAO’s World Food Day Climate Actions website and pick four actions that interest you.

There are three categories to choose from:

  • Preserve the earth’s precious natural resources (e.g. taking shorter showers)
  • Waste less (e.g. use refillable water bottles and coffee cups)
  • Being climate smart by reducing your carbon footprint. Walk, ride a bicycle and consider using public transport

Step 2. Share your actions on social networks using the hashtag #WFD2016

Take selfies, shoot videos or simply write about your commitment to take action to end hunger. Be an advocate – and let your friends know that they can be one too!

Step 3. Make these four actions into a habit!

It’s extremely easy to start something – but the challenge is to always maintain that commitment. Here are some tips on how to make these actions into life habits:

  • Choose an action that interests you and is easy to start. For example, bringing your own reusable water bottle is something that everyone can (and should) immediately do. It not only saves you money but it is also better for the environment and for your health. Invest in a sturdy bottle that is easy to carry  so that you’ll always want it with you.

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Illustration from JamesClear.com

  • Remind yourself to always carry your water bottle by setting an alarm on your tablet or phone or a daily note on your online calendar. Check out Goals in Google Calendar and 10 other apps to help you form sustainable habits.
  • Give yourself a reward. Having your own water bottle means that you don’t have to spend money on bottled water ever again when eating out. Imagine how much money you would save! Instead of contributing to the world’s plastic waste, you can use the money for something else – such as a delicious dessert.

Forming a new habit can take from two to eight months. In those months, there will be times when you’ll forget to bring that water bottle. That’s okay. Start again and just keep on going.

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