The idea of food waste isn’t particularly a popular topic considering garbage and recycling issues are considerably more mainstream. However, food waste is just as much of a concern than ever. North Americans and Europeans waste between 209 – 253 pounds of food per year. From a global perspective, 1.3 billion tons of food purchased for human consumption goes to waste.
Methane gas is one of the least recovered waste items in the municipal waste stream, but ironically, it is one of the most important items that should be removed due to the releases of methane gas as it decomposes in landfills. Methane gas is a greenhouse gas and when released into the atmosphere has a great affect on climate changes.
There are several different ways to eliminate food waste. The following tips will not only help the reduction of waste, it will also help reduce food cost and benefit the environment we all live in.
• Get creative with leftovers. Toss them into a casserole, smoothie, or a soup.
• Buy only what you need and take only what you need at the dinner table. Rather than doubling up on your plate, remember that second helpings are always there.
• If you realize you have more food than you need or there are plenty of leftovers after a family meal, freeze the rest. This will also save money and time down the road as you already have a meal prepared in the freezer.
• Put compostable food waste into a bin and use it for next year’s garden.
• When new food is purchased from the store, be sure to rotate items in your refrigerator as well as cupboards. Place newer items in the back and older in the front.
• Donate unexpired boxed or canned goods you believe you won’t be using in the future.
• Be sure your fridge is up to par. Check seals and the temperatures to ensure proper storage of your food.
• Shop with meals in mind. This will also help save money as you will be more apt to stick with your shopping list.
Reduction of waste begins with being mindful of your food waste and incorporating new strategies that exemplify your reduction efforts. A little can go a long way in terms of reduction. Once the process begins, it becomes easy to incorporate further changes in your routine.