In the past few months, I have learned a lot about food waste. The statistics are jarring, and it has very harmful effects on the environment. This is an issue that I feel strongly about and the recent IPCC report has definitely scared me into action. I decided that it was time to really commit to taking steps to reduce food waste in my own home.
Quick facts on food waste:
- About 40% of food in America is wasted. This is insane! Can you imagine coming home with 5 bags of groceries and throwing 2 of them away right when you walk in the door?
- The average household wastes about $1500 per year on food they don’t eat.
- Food waste is responsible for about 2.6% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
- If food waste were a country, it would be the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases, behind the U.S. and China.
- The largest source of food waste is consumers. That’s right, no more blaming restaurants and grocery stores, it is individuals like you and me who are doing the damage and have the ability to make an impact.
- About 68% of food that is discarded by households was potentially still edible.
Food waste has a huge impact on the environment and our wallets. While restaurants and grocery stores are a huge part of the problem, individuals and households are also doing a lot of the damage. As individuals, we have the ability to change habits relatively quickly and easily in order to drastically reduce food waste and save money at the same time.
I am just at the beginning of this journey, so I am excited to learn, test, and discover new ways of thinking about food. I hope to use this platform as a place to collect all this information, keep myself motivated, and share my learnings.
This earth is our home and we should be treating it with respect, not just as a tool to be used and abused.
While I am passionate about this and want to do everything I can to help, I am going to start slow. I do not think that being environmentally conscious has to mean flipping your life upside-down. I want to seamlessly integrate these changes into my life in a way that is manageable and sustainable long-term. The first step is to be mindful of the decisions I am making and how those decisions affect the planet. I recently read this quote from Kathryn Kellogg of Going Zero Waste – “It’s not about perfection; It’s about making better choices.” Definitely check out her blog for some awesome tips on reducing waste and living more sustainably.
My goals for November:
- Take a moment to be mindful and notice everything that I throw away. Is this recyclable? Can I compost this? Can I save this or use it to create something new?
- Eat fully vegan when I am cooking food for myself at home.
- Become more educated on food waste, zero waste living, and climate change. Read every day, and keep up with bloggers and social media pages that are focused on these topics.
- Find one way that I can get involved locally.
- Always bring reusable grocery and produce bags when shopping.
- Bring a reusable coffee cup if I am going out for coffee.