Though it may seem like there is nothing that we can do to combat all of the effects of Food Waste, that is far from true! In fact, there are numerous simple switches that the average person can do to reduce their Food Waste footprint. Read below for some easy ideas that you can start today!
Composting is the process in which food waste turns into fertilizer for your plants. Just collect your kitchen scraps and place them into a compost bin in your backyard – in a couple of months, the waste will naturally degrade (with the aid of worms!) and turn into fresh fertilizer that you can use in your garden. This process is great as it just repeats the natural processes of nature to create environmentally-friendly fertilizer.
Backyard composting is not for everyone though. For those of you who cannot stand the smell of the degrading food, or the hassle of rotating the compost bin every couple of days, there are other options.
There are many companies that offer a curbside composting service; just collect your food scraps in a bin and place the bin to the curb each week. The company will compost your waste for you! The only limit is that this service costs money. However, many towns do offer free curbside composting, so make sure you check with your local DPW for more information.
There are also small trash-can shaped bins which you can place on your kitchen counter. These bins can compost your food waste in the shelter of your own home! Many do require the addition of small pellets which help the decomposition of the waste; these are available at a small fee.
But whichever option you choose, composting is definitely the best way to reduce your food waste footprint!
We all have faced it: going to the supermarket and ending up buying double the amount of food that you planned. In fact, supermarkets are geared toward this type of thing; they put more on the shelves than they intend to sell, thus triggering your impulse to buy, and buy and buy…
The average American family spends $1,500 a year on wasted food – if we want to control our food waste footprint, we must focus on purchasing items which contribute the least. Below are some tips you can use at the supermarket:
Buy Local and Seasonal – buy produce which is from local farms and in season. Not only are you supporting small farms, you are also reducing the amount of food miles that your food travels. This thus contributes to less carbon emmissions, and you receive fresher, more nutritious food.
Buy Ugly Produce – buy produce which looks “ugly” and does not meet the conventional standards for looks. Chances are the supermarket will end up throwing that produce away as shoppers will steer clear of it. Contrary to popular belief, these ugly fruits taste exactly the same as their “perfect-looking” counterparts and by purchasing it, you are saving more food from landfills! There are also many websites that allow you to purchase ugly produce and have them shipped to your door – check out imperfectproduce.com.
Food Waste is notorious with schools. Images haunt the minds of parents: students throwing out apples, milk cartons, and cheese sticks without even opening them. But how can we stop this unnecessary food waste?
The Food Rescue program is a program implemented in schools which aims to reduce this problem. It encourages students to place unwanted food items (such as apples, milk cartons, and cheese sticks) in bins on their cafeteria tables; the collected food is then donated to a nearby food shelter/pantry. This allows the food to be given to those who need it instead of ending up in landfills and contributing to global methane emissions.
To start a Food Rescue program in your school, check out our page which has numerous resources as well as an example Food Rescue program.
Be An Advocate:
Speak out. Be bold. Be loud.
In a turbulent environment such as of today, make use of all of information that you have at your disposal. Tell everyone about the effects of Food Waste and encourage them to search for alternate methods for many of the activities that they take for granted. Share with them the tips you see on this website. But remember: change only occurs with an open mind. So as you had an open mind to learn about food waste, make sure to have an open mind about other’s point of view. Because science is continuous; it keeps on changing. And we want to change with it.
And if you wanted to, don’t hesitate to send them over to Operation: Zero Waste; we will be here waiting and ready to teach them a couple of things about Food Waste!