Food more than anything else is where intimate personal concerns of health, taste and social relationships get tangled up with fundamental environmental issues and also with important debates over human rights, animal welfare and globalisation. As with food, what we drink influences our health, our mood, our social life – and the world far beyond our doors.

Fortunately, it is also an area where it’s easy for most of us to start taking steps towards living in a more planet-friendly way, on our own terms, and at our own pace. Buying organic, and fair trade or local, and avoiding disposable packaging where possible, are areas where you can make the biggest difference. Organic suppliers also often have environmentally-friendly policies e.g. on packaging and transport – check individual websites for details of any such policy.

There are many different aspects to ‘greener’ food and drink: see the index to the left for the key issues.