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If you’ve been waiting for the right moment to decrease your footprint on our struggling planet, April 22 – Earth Day – is the perfect chance. All over the world, species are dying out due to the destruction of habitats, with horrific images of sealife hampered by trash becoming common in the news, including the story last month of a dead whale washing up on a beach in the Philippines with more than 40 kg of plastic inside its stomach.

It’s time to act. And, as we are increasingly being told, our diets are one of areas in which we can make a real difference. Transport and refrigeration of foods is one of the key killers of our planet. Eating sustainably is the fastest way to reduce your footprint, and in a country like Cambodia, with loads of beautiful fresh local produce available, it isn’t such a big task.

Drink the coffee grown in Mondul Kiri. Eat locally grown fruits, such as bananas, coconuts and mangos, instead of imported. Or give local chicken a try – it goes on and on.

Or have you tried jackfruit? Not straight from the tree, but repurposed and substituted for meat – a trend that is catching on around the world in the face of growing evidence that our hunger for meat, and particularly beef, is responsible for the destruction of our the Amazon Rainforest, which is the lungs of our planet.

The humble and ubiquitous fruit, with its wholesome, stringy texture, has become a favourite of local chefs, too. Its versatility allowing it to be the feature ingredient in a curry, a substitute for pulled pork in burgers and tacos, or to liven up a sweet borbor.

Use Earth Day to take a step towards a lighter footprint: take public transport; recycle; say no to plastics; turn off your television; buy reusable shopping bags; become a vegetarian for a day; or plant some trees – every bit makes a difference, and it will change the way you think about your impact on the planet and set an example for whoever is watching you.