Is Eating Carrots Ethical & Sustainable? Here Are the Facts

Is Eating Carrots Ethical & Sustainable? Here Are the Facts

By
Grace Howarth

Read Time:26 Minutes

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The humble carrot is a staple ingredient in kitchens around the world. So much so, that carrots take the winning role of America’s most trusted, and sixth most consumed vegetable. Carrots are full of nutrients, antioxidants, and carotenoids. As an excellent source of Vitamin A, the debate about whether carrots can help you see in the dark is ongoing, but what cannot be disputed are the health benefits. However, much less is shared about the effect carrots have on the planet and communities. So we had to ask: Is eating carrots ethical and sustainable?

Eating carrots is overall quite ethical. Supporting this industry can help improve the quality of life for farmers. However, agricultural workers are often underpaid and can be vulnerable to abuse or trafficking. Purchasing Fair Trade carrots can ensure your purchase is as ethical as possible.

Eating carrots is sustainable because they have one of the lowest carbon footprints of any vegetable. They have a moderately low water and land footprint, and use few pesticides, making their environmental impact lower than that of many other crops.

In this article, we will assess both the ethical and sustainability practices of the carrot industry. Through these two lenses, you will be able to gain in-depth knowledge of the overall impacts of the carrots that you eat!

Here’s How We Assessed the Ethics & Sustainability of Carrots

The Sustainability Assessment of Food and Agriculture Systems (SAFA) is one of the ways we measure the externalities of our actions, like the consumption of carrots. It is a holistic assessment based on the potential impact of food and agriculture operations on the environment and people. Those impacts are changes in our environment that can have adverse effects on the air, land, water, fish, and wildlife or the inhabitants of the ecosystem.

Ethical: The discipline concerned with what is morally good and bad and morally right and wrong”

Encyclopedia Britannica

Ethics and sustainability are closely interconnected concepts that share a common objective: the well-being and preservation of our planet, including all its life and future generations.

Sustainable: The ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level | Avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance”

Oxford Dictionary

Basically, all goods and services you buy—including carrots—leave an impact on people, animals, and our environment. And when it comes to food in general—and carrots in specific—the following are key factors for their ethics and sustainability:

To understand the overall environmental impact of carrots, we must assess each of their key factors. This Sustainability Assessment of Food and Agriculture Systems (SAFA) is a tool developed for assessing the impact of food and agriculture operations on the environment and people. And this tool helps us to evaluate whether eating carrots is ethical & sustainable.

Here’s How Ethical & Sustainable Eating Carrots Is

All crops have an impact on the environment, as a great many resources, like land and water, are needed to produce food on a mass scale. As well as this, the global consumption of a crop will lead to ethical and sustainable issues, such as land loss and exploitation of workers across the world.

Overall, carrots are one of the more ethical and sustainable food choices out there. They have a very low carbon footprint, water footprint, and use few agrochemicals. As well as this, they store well and have two seasons, making them available to purchase from local farms year-round. Yet, like in many different crop farming operations, there have been reports of child labor in the carrot industry. Purchasing carrots from local, trusted sources can help make this vegetable a more ethical choice.

So, let’s have a look at the ethics & sustainability impact of each key factor of carrots!

Key Assessment FactorsEthics & Sustainability
Social and economic conditions of carrotsThe social and economic conditions around farming carrots are complex. Like all agriculture, farming carrots can be dangerous work and is often underpaid. As well as this, troubling child labor concerns have been discovered in the carrot industry.
Seasonality of carrotsThe seasonality of carrots is fairly sustainable, as carrots have two harvest seasons, and can be stored over many months, making them available to purchase year-round. Unlike warm-season crops, such as tomatoes, carrots can be sustainably eaten throughout both warm and cool seasons and do not have to be imported from warmer climates.
Land requirements for carrotsCarrots, like all crops, have an impact on wildlife, habitable land, biodiversity, and soil erosion. Carrots are a rather land-efficient crop, however the harvest of this crop can have a negative impact on soil health. Overall, the land usage of carrots is relatively sustainable when compared to other vegetables.
Water footprint of carrotsCarrots have a moderately low water footprint of 23 liters per 4-ounce serving. Carrots are drought resistant, so rarely need watering. The amount of water used to grow carrots is far smaller than other crops, such as asparagus or soybeans grown as animal feed, making them a sustainable and ethical choice. Unfortunately, the washing process of carrots can cause pollution of nearby freshwater sources.
Agrochemical usage for carrotsCarrots use relatively small amounts of pesticides and fertilizers, as an overabundance of these agrochemicals can impact growth and taste of the crop. In the US, carrots are considered to be one of the ‘cleanest’ crops when it comes to agrochemical use. However, the pesticide use on carrots in Brazil, is found to be one of the highest in the world. The use of agrochemicals is not only unsustainable, but can cause ethical issues due to the impact they have on farmers’ health.
Carbon footprint of carrotsThe overall carbon footprint of carrots is 0.18 kg (0.4 lb) of CO2e per pound of carrots, which is very low. In comparison to salad vegetables, such as lettuce, salad mix, tomato, cucumber, and bell pepper, carrots produce far fewer carbon emissions. Some farmers in the UK have even started to grow carbon neutral carrots. Out of the most popular vegetables, carrots were found to have the 9th lowest carbon footprint.
Waste generation of carrotsCarrots are one of the most discarded vegetables due to aesthetic reasons. Unfortunately, approximately 25-50% of carrots are thrown away for this reason. Around 87,600 tonnes of avoidable carrot waste is discarded each year. As well as this, the waste created from plastic packaging has a significant impact on the environment.

These are the overall summaries, but there is a lot more to the story. In the next few sections, we will dive deeper into each stage to illustrate to you all the important aspects of carrots’ ethics & sustainability.

How Ethical & Sustainable Are the Social and Economic Conditions for Carrots

The social and economic conditions around farming carrots are complex. Like all agriculture, farming carrots can be dangerous work and is often underpaid. As well as this, troubling child labor concerns have been discovered in the carrot industry.

Everything we consume was made or harvested by somebody. In past centuries, this was often someone who lived in your community and who you might have even known personally. But through the rise of globalized distribution systems, we have become increasingly alienated from the people who make our food. This leaves a lot of room for exploitation and abuse, both of which are rampant in the food industry. Here, we will look at how the carrot industry fares in relation to these ethical questions.

How ethical & sustainable are the social and economic conditions of growing carrots?

  • Are farmers paid fair wages to grow carrots: The wages of farmers vary greatly across the US and the globe, with many factors impacting salaries. It has been found that carrot growers supplying supermarkets earn less than 1% of their profit and globally, 20% of farmers live below the poverty line. Migrant workers, in particular, are vulnerable to exploitation, and some workers have been harassed, bullied, forced to live in unsuitable conditions, and forced to work 16 hours a day, 7 days a week. Purchasing Fairtrade carrots ensures that your vegetables have been grown as ethically as possible.
  • How safe are the working conditions to grow carrots: All farmwork poses a hazard, and agriculture is one of the most dangerous industries to work in in the US. Farmers work long hours in direct sunlight, putting themselves at risk of heat stroke or exhaustion. Working with heavy machinery, pesticides, doing repetitive movements, and carrying heavy loads of produce are all activities that could put a carrot farmer at risk of injury. However, carrot farming, and vegetable farming on the whole, is safer than working with livestock.
  • Are there reports of child or forced labor to grow carrots: There are reports of child labor in the carrot industry. For example, in Paraguay, an estimated 4,877 children between the ages of 5-17 grow carrots in rural parts of the country. Child labor in farming is rampant, with 60% of all child laborers working in agriculture. A mixture of poverty, lack of access to education, inadequate agricultural technology, and access to adult labor contributes to the rampant child labor in this industry. In order to make sure your carrot purchases are as ethical as possible, try to buy locally grown produce to ensure that the farmers working to produce your food are being treated fairly.
  • What is the wider economic impact on the communities that grow carrots: Though there are ethical issues when it comes to farming carrots, it is important to note that some communities and farmers can see economic growth. Employment can increase in rural areas and the farming of carrots can alleviate some farmers from poverty, as they are a relatively easy crop to grow.

In short, while carrots are a relatively ethical and sustainable choice, the economic and social conditions of farmers can make them less so. Try to purchase locally or Fairtrade to make your purchase as ethical as possible for carrot farmers.

How Ethical & Sustainable Is the Seasonality for Carrots

The seasonality of carrots is fairly sustainable, as carrots have two harvest seasons, and can be stored over many months, making them available to purchase year-round. Unlike warm-season crops, such as tomatoes, carrots can be sustainably eaten throughout both warm and cool seasons and do not have to be imported from warmer climates.

Every vegetable has a natural season in which they grow, usually lasting a couple of months, which can range depending on the region. However, international demand for every kind of vegetable is year-round. This demand is often met by importing vegetables from tropical places which can grow year-round, or by growing them in greenhouses. Both of these methods use more resources and are thus less sustainable than conventional farming. Here, we will look at how the carrot industry accommodates year-round demand.

How ethical & sustainable is it to grow carrots in-season vs out-of-season?

  • When is the natural season for growing and harvesting carrots: Carrots have two seasons. They are planted in early spring, and again in late summer. This leads to a summer harvest, and a late fall harvest. The carrots harvested in fall can be stored well over winter, making them available year-round. This long period of seasonality makes carrots a sustainable choice, in comparison to warm-season vegetables that usually are imported from warmer climates.
  • How are carrots naturally grown in-season: Carrots are root vegetables, in the Apiacece family, alongside celery, cilantro, and dill. They grow underground so they generally require far less resources than vegetables grown in polytunnels or energy-intensive greenhouses.
  • How are carrots grown out-of-season: Carrots can actually be grown year-round, with the correct planning. In colder seasons, the crops may be protected with polytunnels. The use of polytunnels can create some environmental issues, due to the plastic coverings which eventually end up in landfill. For example, in Spain, a whale died after swallowing the plastic from a polytunnel. This makes crops grown without the use of polytunnels more ethical and sustainable.

In short, carrots are one of the more sustainable crops, as they can be stored and available at almost any time of the year, without relying on overseas imports.

How Ethical & Sustainable Are the Land Requirements for Carrots

Carrots, like all crops, have an impact on wildlife, habitable land, biodiversity, and soil erosion. Carrots are a rather land-efficient crop, however the harvest of this crop can have a negative impact on soil health. Overall, the land usage of carrots is relatively sustainable when compared to other vegetables.

Illustration of global land use for food production
Our World in Data: Global land use for food production

The growth stage has a major impact on a vegetable’s sustainability. The amount of land used, especially in relation to its expansion, the method with which they are grown, and their effect on surrounding land and wildlife are all important factors. In this section, we will look at the ways in which carrots’ land usage affects their sustainability.

How ethical & sustainable are the land requirements for growing carrots?

In short, carrots are relatively ethical and sustainable when it comes to land usage. The harvesting process can damage soil health, but overall carrots are land-efficient compared to other crops, like asparagus.

How Ethical & Sustainable Is the Water Footprint of Carrots

Carrots have a moderately low water footprint of 23 liters per 4-ounce serving. Carrots are drought resistant, so rarely need watering. The amount of water used to grow carrots is far smaller than other crops, such as asparagus or soybeans grown as animal feed, making them a sustainable and ethical choice. Unfortunately, the washing process of carrots can cause pollution of nearby freshwater sources.

Water usage is one of the most important factors in a vegetable’s sustainability. Practices like irrigation use significant resources and can cause pollution, and as such, factors like the amount of water used, where it is sourced, as well as the way they affect the water sources around them, are all important. Here, we will look at these different angles of carrots’ water footprint.

How ethical & sustainable is the water footprint of growing carrots?

  • What is the overall water usage of carrots: As a drought resistant crop, carrots need to be watered with about an inch of water per week. Either too much or too little water negatively impacts the growth of carrots, with an excess of water encouraging plant disease. The water footprint of 23 liters required per 4-ounce serving is relatively low, meaning that carrots are a sustainable option.
  • What is the green water footprint of carrots: The green water footprint is the amount of water from precipitation stored in the soil and used by plants for growth. The global average green water footprint of carrots is 106 cubic meters per ton, one of the lowest out of the over 200 foods studied.
  • What is the blue water footprint of carrots: The blue water footprint is the amount of water sourced from surface (such as rivers or lakes) or groundwater resources. The global average blue water footprint of carrots is 26 cubic meters per ton, a very low figure compared to the other 200 foods studied. This means they are sustainable when it comes to their blue water footprint.
  • What is the gray water footprint of carrots: The gray water footprint is the amount of freshwater required to clean up water pollution to meet certain quality standards. Essentially, it’s the amount of water needed to make polluted water clean enough to be safe and healthy for humans and the environment. The global average gray water footprint of carrots is 61 cubic meters per ton, a relatively low figure when compared with the other vegetables, meaning carrots have a small environmental impact in this regard.
  • How does the carrot industry affect freshwater and ocean pollution: Carrots have been found to have a significant impact on freshwater pollution, due to the large volumes of effluents and solid waste derived from the processing and packaging of carrots. This is because an excess of water is used in the washing process, to ensure all mud is removed before carrots reach the shops. Carrots can use more water in this process than other root vegetables, like potatoes, and the wastewater pollutes nearby freshwater sources. This negatively impacts the overall sustainability of this crop.

In short, while the water footprint of carrots is relatively low, the wastewater pollution created by washing carrots reduces how sustainable this crop is overall.

How Ethical & Sustainable Is the Agrochemical Usage for Carrots

Carrots use relatively small amounts of pesticides and fertilizers, as an overabundance of these agrochemicals can impact growth and taste of the crop. In the US, carrots are considered to be one of the ‘cleanest’ crops when it comes to agrochemical use. However, the pesticide use on carrots in Brazil, is found to be one of the highest in the world. The use of agrochemicals is not only unsustainable, but can cause ethical issues due to the impact they have on farmers’ health.

Pesticides and fertilizers are agrochemicals that are very unsustainable and damaging to ecosystems. This is because they require resources to create and can easily run off into groundwater and soil systems. Here, we will look at how sustainable carrots’ pesticide and fertilizer rates really are.

How ethical & sustainable is the agrochemical usage of growing carrots?

  • What is the pesticide usage of carrots: The Environmental Working Group’s annual study on pesticide use found carrots to be the fifteenth ‘cleanest’ crop. This made it part of their ‘Clean Fifteen’ list of foods that were found to contain the least amount of pesticides. Since pesticide usage produces carbon emissions through manufacturing, transportation, and application to crops, the fact that carrots are treated with minimal pesticides means the crop has a minimal impact on the environment. In general, crops that use fewer agrochemicals are more sustainable and ethical, as they can cause less harm to wildlife, soil health, water sources, and farmers.
  • What is the fertilizer usage of carrots: Fertilizer is often used when growing carrots, which can have a negative impact on the environment. Nitrogen fertilizer is particularly bad for the environment, as it can cause nature loss and even be damaging to human health. However, an excess use of fertilizer can affect the growth and taste of carrots, so it is used sparingly.
  • Are there any known issues connected to the agrochemical usage for carrots: While pesticide use in America is low, carrots in Brazil were found to have over double the maximum pesticide residue limit allowed by the Brazilian Regulatory Health Agency. 49% of these pesticides are classed as highly dangerous, and can impact human health, as well as biodiversity and wildlife.

In short, carrots in the US use relatively small amounts of pesticide and fertilizers, meaning that they are rather sustainable. However, it is important to note that carrots purchased from Brazil likely have a much larger impact on the planet, due to their overuse of harmful pesticides.

How Ethical & Sustainable Is the Carbon Footprint of Carrots

The overall carbon footprint of carrots is 0.18 kg (0.4 lb) of CO2e per pound of carrots, which is very low. In comparison to salad vegetables, such as lettuce, salad mix, tomato, cucumber, and bell pepper, carrots produce far fewer carbon emissions. Some farmers in the UK have even started to grow carbon neutral carrots. Out of the most popular vegetables, carrots were found to have the 9th lowest carbon footprint.

Illustration of global greenhouse gas emissions from food production
Our World in Data: Global greenhouse gas emissions from food production

Carbon footprint is one aspect of the overall sustainability of a vegetable. It essentially measures how much carbon or other greenhouse gasses the production of vegetables emits into the atmosphere. Emissions from product manufacturing, irrigation, transportation fuel, and landfills all add up to create the overall carbon footprint of a vegetable. Let’s see how the carbon footprint of carrots contributes to their overall sustainability.

How ethical & sustainable is the carbon footprint of carrots?

  • What is the overall carbon footprint of carrots: Carrots have a carbon footprint of 0.18 kg (0.4 lb) of CO2e per pound of produce, which is very low for crops. Over 60% of the carbon footprint is due to the resources used in processing and packaging. Choosing organic, fresh, unpackaged carrots is the most sustainable way to purchase this produce.
  • What are the main contributors to the carbon footprint of carrots: The low carbon footprint of carrots is because they do not require a lot of water, are land-efficient, and are relatively fast-growing. In addition, carrots are found to use very few pesticides in comparison to other vegetables, such as salad mixes. As well as this, they are often produced domestically, reducing food miles. The plastic packaging and processing of carrots has the most significant impact on this low-carbon crop.
  • Which life-cycle stage of carrots has the highest carbon footprint: The carbon footprint of harvesting, processing, and packaging carrots is 0.1 kg (0.23 lb) of CO2e per pound of produce, which makes up 61% of the overall carbon footprint of this crop. The majority of these carbon emissions is due to unnecessary plastic packaging.

In short, the carbon footprint of carrots is low when compared with other vegetables and even lower when compared with other non-plant-based foods. Because of this, they are a sustainable and ethical vegetable option.

Related: Check out our full article on “What Is the Carbon Footprint of Carrots? A Life-Cycle Analysis” to find out all about the carbon footprint of carrots and how each stage of their life-cycle contributes to it (plus, what you can do to reduce your carbon footprint when shopping for carrots).

How Ethical & Sustainable Is the Waste Generation of Carrots

Carrots are one of the most discarded vegetables due to aesthetic reasons. Unfortunately, approximately 25-50% of carrots are thrown away for this reason. Around 87,600 tonnes of avoidable carrot waste is discarded each year. As well as this, the waste created from plastic packaging has a significant impact on the environment.

When vegetable waste, either in the form of packaging or organic materials, is disposed of, it can cause a lot of problems. Whether it’s damaging wildlife, getting into oceans, emitting methane, or dissolving into microplastics that contaminate groundwater, all these materials have their part to play. The sheer amount of waste we produce is reaching a crisis point and won’t be able to continue much longer. In this section, we will look at how sustainable carrots’ waste generation is.

How ethical & sustainable is the waste generation of carrots?

In short, the waste generated by carrots is significant, but can be reduced by correctly storing carrots to lengthen their shelf-life and by purchasing unpackaged vegetables.

What Have Been Historical Ethics & Sustainability Issues Connected to the Carrot Industry

Carrots are thought to have first been grown in Afghanistan in the 7th century. Unlike the distinctive orange we know today, this vegetable used to be red, purple, black, yellow, and white before they were hybridized into the modern carrot. This crop first came to England in Elizabethan times, where the stalks were sometimes used as a fashion accessory!

All crops have had a complex road toward global distribution. They originate in one part of the world and often travel far to end up in your local supermarket. From farm to table, some of our favorite vegetables have racked up some serious damage along the way. Whether it’s exploiting labor, deforestation to meet demand, water pollution, or disruption of wildlife, most crops have left a path of destruction. Let’s see how carrots have fared throughout history.

What have been the key ethical & sustainable issues of the carrot industry?

  • Has labor been exploited because of carrot production: Historically, many agricultural laborers have been exploited, forced to work in dangerous conditions for little pay. From modern day child laborers in Paraguay, to a lack of Covid safety precautions during the pandemic for California farmers, exploitation has been rife in this industry.
  • How much land has been lost because of carrot production: The industrialization of the carrot industry over history has no doubt caused the loss of a lot of land. As the population continues to grow, more land is required to feed people around the globe. In the US alone, 69,700 acres are used to grow carrots. However, carrots are land efficient, and cause far less land to be lost than non plant-based foods.
  • Which wildlife species have been negatively impacted or displaced because of carrot production: In the cultivation and harvest of any crop, many small animals like mice, rabbits, and insects will be displaced or killed by the harvesting equipment. In particular, the caterpillars of the Swallowtail butterfly are fond of carrot flowers and can be killed during harvesting. Carrot plants are not known to have an overly negative impact on wildlife but the pesticides used on them can affect surrounding ecosystems.
  • Have water sources and soil been contaminated because of carrot production: The washing process of carrots uses excess water, causing solid and liquid waste to pollute nearby freshwater sources. However, because carrots use fewer pesticides and fertilizers than most other vegetables, there is little degradation of soil.
  • Other known historical issues: The farming industry is vulnerable to modern day slavery and child labor, and unfortunately carrot production is no different. Across the globe, the people growing and picking our food are some of society’s most impoverished and abused. Although many people are speaking out against the use of forced labor in farming practice, more has to be done to ensure the safety and wellbeing of farmers around the world.

In short, the global consumption of carrots can have a negative impact on the environment and on farming communities. The impact of carrots may be lower than that of other food types, but it is important to recognize the impact that all of our purchases have on the planet and the people on it.

How Can You Reduce Your Environmental Impact and Offset Your Personal Carbon Footprint

There are a few things you can do to ensure the carrots you purchase are as ethical and sustainable as possible. You can also consider offsetting your personal and carrot-related carbon emissions, which work to remove carbon emissions elsewhere that are then attributed to you. Here, we will walk you through how to accomplish both of these things.

How Can You Shop for Carrots More Ethically & Sustainably

In this section, we give you a short list of ways you can reduce the negative environmental effects of carrots, based on those parts of the life-cycle of carrots that would otherwise most negatively impact the environment:

  1. Shop locally and seasonally: Carrots are in prime season in June and July, and from October-December in California. Buying from local farms reduces the carbon emissions produced and makes it have a smaller environmental impact.
  2. Choose organic: Organic carrots produce a much lower carbon footprint than non-organic vegetables, due to the lack of pesticide production, distribution, and the overall higher health of soil for crops, insects, and animals.
  3. Buy plastic-free: Avoid pre-processed and packaged carrots, and instead opt for whole, loose produce. This will decrease the overall environmental impact of your purchase massively.

Following some of these methods can really help you to cut down on your environmental impact of eating carrots. None of these will completely eradicate these negative impacts, since there are always effects that may be outside of your control. But some reduction is always better than nothing!

Which Organizations Can You Support to Help Promote Ethics & Sustainability

While carrots can be the cause of a wide range of environmental damage and ethical issues, there are also some organizations that help you reduce parts of your impact that would otherwise be outside of your control. These organizations are working hard to prevent and reverse ethical and sustainable problems caused by industries like agriculture.

In the table below are some of the best charities that work in the areas where carrot production has affected the environment—and beyond:

Overall ethics & sustainabilityBest charities that advance ethics worldwide
Best charities that promote sustainability
Social and economic impactBest charities that help farmers
SeasonalityBest charities that fight to protect our environment
Land requirementsBest charities for reforestation
Best wildlife conservation charities
Best charities for protecting the Amazon rainforest
Water footprintBest charities that fight for clean water
Best charities that help conserve our rivers
Best charities to save our oceans
Agrochemical usageBest charities for helping farm animals
Carbon footprintBest charities for climate change
Best carbon offsets for individuals
Waste generationBest charities that fight to reduce food waste
Best charities that fight to end plastic pollution
Best charities that promote recycling

Though it is helpful to reduce the environmental impact of your personal carrot consumption, supporting these organizations takes your positive impact a step further. You will be reaching far beyond your own consumption impacts and helping to build a better world for everyone!

How Can You Offset Your Personal Carbon Footprint

The carbon footprint is a key part of how sustainable we live. And it is one of the ways we measure the effects of our human-induced global climate change. Yes, even from eating carrots!

Carbon footprint: the amount of greenhouse gasses and specifically carbon dioxide emitted by something (such as a person’s activities or a product’s manufacture and transport) during a given period”

Merriam Webster

Basically, it is the amount of carbon emitted by you as an individual or an organization providing you with goods and services – including carrots:

Illustration of carbon emissions from food
Our World in Data: Emissions from food alone would take us past 1.5°C or 2°C this century

Carbon offsets are reductions in carbon emissions that are used to compensate for carbon emissions occurring elsewhere – for example for the carbon emissions that are associated with carrots. They are measured in tons of CO2 equivalents and are bought and sold through international brokers, online retailers, and trading platforms on what is known as the global carbon offset market. 

Carbon Offset: a way for a company or person to reduce the level of carbon dioxide for which they are responsible by paying money to a company that works to reduce the total amount produced in the world, for example by planting trees

Oxford Dictionary

In terms of carrots – and indeed all food types – there will always be a carbon footprint, because of the resources it takes to get your food from farms to the place where you’ll eventually eat them. And while there are ways to reduce your carbon footprint when shopping for carrots, carbon offsets would be a way to reduce your CO2e emissions all the way down to net zero (or even to become climate positive).

However, when you purchase carbon offsets, it’s important that they actually make a difference in offsetting (aka reducing) total carbon emissions. To achieve that, the following are key criteria:

  • Carbon offset projects have to be effective (different projects have different effectiveness rates)
  • Carbon offset projects have to be additional
  • Carbon offset projects have to be permanent
  • The claims from carbon offset projects have to be verifiable

To find the best carbon offsets for you personally, check out our full guide on the best carbon offsets for individuals, where you’ll also learn more about how these carbon offset projects work, what their respective offsetting costs are, and what your best way would be to offset your own carbon emissions.

Related: Check out our full guide on “What Are the Best Carbon Offsets for Individuals: Complete 2024 List” to find the best carbon offset providers for your personal carbon emissions and those associated to, e.g., eating carrots.

Final Thoughts

Carrots are relatively ethical and sustainable when compared with other vegetables and even more so when compared with other foods. However, you can try to reduce your carbon footprint even further by eating organic, reducing food and plastic waste, and purchasing local, seasonal produce. When you do enjoy carrots, think about whether you can offset the carbon emissions created, to make this healthy snack an even more ethical and sustainable option!

Stay impactful,

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