Food waste is feeding carbon emissions

Many factors contribute to climate change, from the products we use to the cars we drive. However, the biggest contributor might be unexpected. It’s from something we all do every day: eat.

Food waste is a significant, yet often underrated, concern. An overwhelming amount of food is wasted annually in the world, 1.3 billion tonnes to be exact. This can be attributed to poor harvest conditions, businesses tossing uneaten meals and leftovers, people misreading labels and expiration dates, or a lack of understanding of how to use certain products. With approximately one-third of all food going to waste and hundreds of millions of people going hungry, it is vital to seek out solutions.

After food is grown and processed, it is shipped off to stores, and eventually ends up in our homes. Unfortunately, an unproportionate amount of household food is typically thrown into the trash and sent to landfills. Even worse, biodegradable food scraps cannot decompose in these landfills due to a poor environment surrounded by plastics and other garbage. All of the leftover food waste produces methane (a greenhouse gas) which contributes to pollution and ozone depletion. In fact, 14.1 percent of methane production in 2017 was attributed to food waste.

Luckily, there are several ways to easily reduce food waste in your personal life:

  1. Plan grocery trips — Creating a plan is the best way to ensure you are buying groceries effectively. You will buy the right amount of food and likely skip on extras.

501(c)4 youth movement bridging the gap between non-climate groups & intersectional climate action.