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Choose the character you want to go shopping with in the virtual supermarket.

Specify the number of people in your family and put in your shopping cart exactly what you buy for your weekly food shopping.

Move through the various departments (fruit, vegetables, meat and fish) and, one by one, put the products in the cart, specifying the quantity and the type of packaging. Click on "Add" to confirm or "Cancel" to remove the product.

If you want to review your purchases and modify the previously chosen quantities, or change the selected packaging, click on the top left green icon of the shopping cart.

When you finish shopping, click on "Proceed to Checkout", answer the questions and discover the final result. Like all purchases worthy of the name, at the end you will receive a receipt. This shows the "price" of your choices, not in monetary terms, but rather in environmental ones, indicating the kilograms of CO2 emitted (the Carbon Footprint) and the litres of water consumed (the Water Footprint).

To reduce the environmental costs of your food, WWF offers you a Sustainability Manual, with ten recommendations for a sustainable diet.

10 simple rules for a sustainable diet

  1. Eat locally grown food
  2. Eat seasonal food
  3. Waste less food: if you bought it, don’t throw it away
  4. Eat less meat
  5. Avoid eating overexploited fish species
  6. Prefer organic food
  7. Buy food with less packaging
  8. Eat less processed food
  9. Drink tap water
  10. Avoid energy and gas wastages when cooking

Our food choices matter. Read on to learn about the 10 environmentally friendly and healthy eating habits

The interactions between environmental change and human societies have a long, complex history spanning many millennia, but these have changed fundamentally in the last century. Human activities are now so pervasive and profound that they are altering the Earth in ways which threaten the very life support system upon which humans depend.
By destroying tropical forests, intensifying industrial farming in sensitive landscapes and watersheds, humankind has made food system the planet’s dominant environmental threat. Agriculture already consumes a large percentage of the earth’s land surface and is destroying habitat, using up freshwater, polluting rivers and oceans, and emitting greenhouse gases more extensively than almost any other human activity. To guarantee the globe’s long-term health, we must dramatically reduce world’s food system adverse impacts.
World population quadrupled within last century and global resource consumption exceeds the planet’s ability to replenish. From mid-1970s, we crossed a critical threshold: human consumption began outstripping what the planet could reproduce. According Ecological Footprint calculations, our demand for renewable ecological resources and the services they provide is now equivalent to that of more than 1.5 Earths. In planetary terms, the costs of our ecological overspending are becoming more evident by the day. Climate change—a result of greenhouse gases being emitted faster than they can be absorbed by forests and oceans—is the most obvious and arguably pressing result. But there are others—shrinking forests, species loss, fisheries collapse, higher commodity prices and civil unrest, to name a few.
To meet the world’s future food security and sustainability needs, food production must grow substantially while, at the same time, agriculture’s environmental footprint must shrink dramatically.
No single strategy is sufficient to solve all our problems. A contributing factor to these profound environmental problem is the amount of food for human consumption that is wasted, either in inefficient supply chains or at consumer-facing stages of its life-cycle, either in households, markets (and supermarkets) and/or restaurants. It is also important to note that there is a significant difference between the amount of food produced (at the farm level) and the amount of food that actually reaches consumption. By reducing food loss and waste, the overall availability of safe and nutritious food for human consumption is improved and the pressure on our ecosystems decreased.
We can dramatically increase global food availability and environmental sustainability by making small changes to our diet and following WWF ten simple sustainable diet principles: oyu can help the environment and eat healthily too!

Why was this shopping cart created?

Whether or not we follow a diet, we have all checked out the calorie and nutrition figures shown on food labels at least once. Nowadays, all foodstuffs have a nutrition facts label that provides detailed information about the nutrients contained in a particular product. But it is not so simple to assess the environmental impact of different foodstuffs such as fish, meat, milk and dairy products, pulses, fruit and vegetables. The WWF "virtual shopping cart" seeks to provide an assessment of the impact of foodstuffs and food waste by using two indicators (the Water and Carbon Footprints), which respectively represent water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. From the environmental point of view, the sustainability of a food product is, in fact, a complex issue. Above all since this can be measured in several ways, depending on the factors taken into consideration: carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions, pollutants in the soil, water or atmosphere, the depletion of water resources, waste produced and the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems. Furthermore, the sustainability of a food product is also influenced by many variables, which include the process of production and transformation, as well as the distance between the place of production and consumption and, in the case of fruit and vegetables, the season in which they are produced and consumed.
The shopping cart with its "environmental receipts" seeks to provide a representation of the environmental outcomes of our behaviour and choices. Being aware of the environmental impact of foodstuffs has a wider significance if it is linked to the search for a diet that is both sustainable for our Planet and a source of wellbeing for individuals who are suffering more and more from diseases linked to bad or excessive nutrition. A sustainable diet, therefore, means not only a reduction of its impact on the environment, reduction of waste, respecting the biophysical limits of the ecosystems which are involved, but also the adoption of healthier dietary habits which are factors that often coincide.

What is the Water Footprint?

The Water Footprint is an indicator of water use in relation to the production and use of consumer goods. The concept is analogous to the Ecological and Carbon Footprints, but indicates water use instead of land or fossil energy use. The Water Footprint of a product is the volume of freshwater used to produce the product, calculated over the various steps in the production chain. Water use is measured in terms of water volumes consumed (evaporated) or polluted. The Water Footprint calculates the amount of water 'embodied' in a product, the virtual-water content of a product: the water is said to be virtual because once a tomato is produced, the water actually used to produce it is no longer contained in the tomato (prof. John Anthony Allan from King's College London introduced the virtual water concept). The concept of virtual water helps us realize how much water is needed to produce different goods and services. The Water Footprint is a geographically explicit indicator that shows not only volumes of water use and pollution, but also the locations. A Water Footprint generally breaks down into three components: the blue, green, and gray Water Footprints. The blue Water Footprint is the volume of freshwater that is evaporated from the global blue water resources (surface and groundwater). The green Water Footprint is the volume of water evaporated from the global green water resources (rainwater stored in the soil). The gray Water Footprint is the volume of polluted water. The basis for the Water Footprint concept and methodology was developed by prof. Arjen Hoekstra at UNESCO-IHE and further developed at the University of Twente, the Netherlands.
The Water Footprint concept was introduced in response to the need for a consumption-based indicator of freshwater use. The Water Footprint concept aims primarily at illustrating the hidden links between human consumption and water use and between global trade and water resources management. This concept has good water governance.
For further details

What is the Carbon Footprint?

The Carbon Footprint measures the total amount of GHG emissions that are directly and indirectly caused by an activity or are accumulated over the life stages of a product. Carbon emissions are generated at each stage of a product's life cycle, from the production of the raw materials, to the manufacture, delivery, use of the product at home and finally its disposal or recycling. A product's Carbon Footprint can vary widely across these different stages. The Carbon Footprint is expressed in terms of the total amount of greenhouse gases in mass units (kg, t, etc.). When only CO2 is included, the unit is kg CO2; if other GHGs are included the unit is kg CO2-e, expressing the mass of CO2-equivalents. For example, tomatoes grown in large greenhouses requiring huge amounts of energy for both heating and lighting, which is usually produced by burning oil and gas have a large Carbon Footprint: for every kilo of tomatoes grown in greenhouses 3,5 kg of CO2 are produced while the same quantity produced in a field produces less than 0,5 kg, an amount which is 70 times lower! If we also add the large distances associated with the transport of tomatoes from abroad to supermarkets we are faced with tomatoes which have a huge Carbon Footprint. Is evident that seasonal food, grown without heat or greenhouses, in a relatively natural climate has a lower impact on climate.

Why are the environmental impacts of meat production so high?

It has now been confirmed by the international scientific community that animal products - beef, lamb, pork and chicken - have a higher environmental impact compared to foodstuffs of vegetable origin. Of course, any foodstuffs we consume, including fruit and vegetables, have environmental costs, but the costs for the production of vegetables are much lower than those for the production of meat and other animal derivates. Indeed, to produce animal proteins and calories, big quantities of vegetable protein and calories are necessary. Steak, for example, comes from an animal that has been living for some years on a farm, fed with grain and grass which have been cultivated in seeded, irrigated, fertilized fields protected by pesticides, which in turn have been artificially produced by chemical companies that have consumed energy and emitted pollutants into the environment. For these reasons, livestock represents the second cause of climate change. Furthermore, livestock is also the biggest user of soil in the world. Deforestation to convert lands to grazing constitutes a serious environmental problem in many areas worldwide.

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We can confront the scarcity of water and global warming by being more conscious of what we put on our tables and by reducing waste to zero.

How does the production of tomatoes affect the environment? Or a steak?
How is food waste linked to the degradation of our Planet's environment?

To find out about this we need to understand that all the food we eat has its own particular “life cycle” which starts with its production or cultivation and continues until it arrives on our tables. The food industries consume resources, release pollution and emit greenhouse gases during the phases of production, transformation and wholesale and retail distribution before the final phase of consumption. This whole process has a deep impact on the environment which is exacerbated even more when the food which has been produced and bought is then wasted. It is not only necessary to change the way in which food is produced but also the way in which it is consumed by choosing food which has a minor impact on the environment and by avoiding waste.