Sustainable lifestyles inspire people to find new ways to help the earth. Challenging yourself to learn more about your environmental impact is key to making a difference. While you might focus on using your car less often or donating what you don’t need anymore, you can also change the world by taking a second look at your kitchen.
Food waste is a massive problem that directly affects the planet. Check out why you should care about reducing food waste and minimizing it to improve the world for future generations.
You’ll Feed People
After you finish a meal and glance down at the scraps left on your plate, think about your weekly waste. Do you always make more than you can eat?
Instead of making recipes that leave leftovers rotting in your fridge, raid your pantry. Donate unopened boxes and cans of food so you only have what you need.
Over 37 million Americans depend on food banks each year, which includes 14 million kids. Those cans of soup or boxes of pasta could go a long way in the right hands.
You’ll Save Money
You might have the habit of buying whatever catches your eye at the grocery store. It’s less work than making a meal plan or prepping food. What if that work resulted in more extra money?
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that the average person will save $370 each year on groceries by committing to less food waste. Couples and families stand to save even more.
Everyone could use a little extra cash, so make a no-waste meal plan to help yourself and the planet.
You’ll Reduce Your Trash
Lugging another full garbage bag to the curb isn’t the best way to spend your free time. Creating excess trash also attracts pests into your home. They want to snag the food you don’t eat and invade your house continuously once they realize it’s a constant food source.
Reducing your trash saves time and money because you won’t need to buy expensive boxes of trash bags. Limiting your food waste is a smart strategy for individuals and even businesses.
Some companies go through food every day. Businesses with cafeterias, restaurants and stadiums are just a few places known for dumpsters of rotting food. Instead of continuing this harmful practice, companies can reduce their waste by 30% by creating food recycling programs. They’re easy to start and don’t require much work to keep up with, so business can continue as usual while you keep food on the market for those who need it.
You’ll Prioritize Resources
Every time you buy more food, it takes many resources worldwide to get it into your grocery stores. Agricultural plants, shipping departments and teams of manual labor spend every day devoted to producing food.
It’s a shame when their hard work ends up in a trash can. It’s also a waste of the electricity, water and fossil fuels required to feed the country. Until the food processing industry goes green, becoming conscious of food waste is a simple way to combat the unavoidable pollution currently created during production.
You’ll Mitigate Climate Change
Anyone who wants to go green can start in their kitchen. Reducing your food waste directly helps the environment by keeping trash out of landfills.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that landfills account for 15.1% of methane emissions in the U.S. annually. A national effort to only buy the food you need would make a considerable dent in the emissions directly fueling climate change.
You’ll Set An Example
When you wonder why you should care about reducing food waste, remember that you can set a positive example. As people watch your habits change, you can talk with them about helping the earth and how anyone can join the cause.
Emily is a freelance writer, covering conservation and sustainability. You can read her blog, Conservation Folks, for more of her work.