Way #6: Reduce Food Waste

Pachamama Alliance • 6 September 2018
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30 days/30 ways

Way #6: Reduce Food Waste

According to the Project Drawdown research, food waste is actually the third biggest contributor to global warming. Shocking, no? The good news is that reducing food waste is a Solution that every single one of us can get involved in!

Find out more about this Solution and see what comes to mind about how you can get active with reducing food waste in your life—at home, work or in your community—and not just for September.

We invite you to take on at least two of these steps for reducing food waste this month, and if you’re feeling ambitious consider trying them all!

  1. Shop very consciously for your food this month. Make a list, know what you have and what you need, and err on the side of moderation in buying your perishable foods.
  2. Be mindful of “use-by” dates. The determination for “use-by” and “best-by” dates is not regulated or standardized in the U.S., so rather than treating these dates as the final say, use your best judgement and don’t discard food simply because it’s past the labeled date. A lot of fossil fuels went into growing, transporting, and packaging that item—and once tossed it will release greenhouse gases into the air. Take a look before automatically tossing!
  3. Compost. Most people don’t realize that decomposing food in a landfill releases methane, one of the most potent greenhouse gases. Composting—either at home or at a composting facility near you—converts organic material into nutrient-rich soil rather than methane. And pay attention to what and how much you’re composting—it can help you be more mindful the next time you’re at the grocery store.
  4. Extend the life of perishables. Freezing, pickling, canning, salting, and dehydrating lengthen the shelf life of foods you can’t eat now and keep the pantry stocked. 

Maybe you’re already doing all these food consciousness practices, in which case, give yourself a big hug and go for nice walk in nature today.

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Why Do This Way?

  • Reducing food waste is #3 on the Drawdown Solutions list. Only refrigerant management and offshore wind turbines could make a greater contribution to reducing global warming. Who knew?!
  • One third of all food produced doesn’t actually make it to the table, and in high-income countries a full 35% of food is thrown out by consumers.

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