I Pledge to Stop Food Waste and Compost Correctly!
Project Drawdown ranks 80 solutions for bringing down the levels of carbon dioxide (et al.) in order to avert a climate catastrophe. Food waste is ranked at #3 on the list, producing about half methane and half carbon dioxide all the way along its life, from fertilizing and preparing the land, growing the crops, harvesting, and transporting to market. When it’s thrown into the landfill, it produces methane. All in all, food waste creates over 70 gigatons of greenhouse gases.
In fact, nearly 90% of us throw our food waste into landfills, and the EPA estimates that approximately 40% of the food that is raised is wasted. For folks like you and me, it’s as if we go to the grocery store, buy three bags’ worth of food, and on the way home we drop one of the bags out the window! This month, pay attention to the food you throw out — and let’s learn how to compost correctly!
Living Consciously — together. That is our task this month.
RETHINK – Shop Smart!
- Take Stock: Know what you have and plan meals based on your inventory. Make your shopping list before you shop.
- Stick to your list: Don’t be tempted to over-purchase. It’s a costly waste if you don’t consume what you buy, even if it is on special.
- Buy Wonky: funny-looking or “ugly” produce tastes just as good and shouldn’t be wasted just because it’s not “perfect.”
- Leave a night or two open on your menu planning to eat leftovers!
- Organize your menus to use up the oldest food is used first. Organize your pantry and fridge accordingly.
- Understand labels. Best-before dates are NOT ultimatums! They might only indicate peak freshness, so food is perfectly safe to eat even after these dates. Let your nose be your guide.
- Eat me first! Have a special place for food that needs to be consumed soon.
- Keep it fresh. Keep your fridge between 1-5 degrees C, use airtight containers. See other tips here – this is a GREAT doc that will help you SAVE money by extending the life of your food!
- Preserve It. If the clock is ticking, freeze it, can it, dry or dehydrate it.
CREATIVE COOKING TO MINIMIZE WASTED FOOD!
- Use it all. Scrape out containers; e.g., add the rest of the onion to the recipe.
- Toss only non-edible parts of produce. EVEN better — freeze produce trimmings (onion skins, carrot scrappings, kale ribs, etc.) in a container. Make vegetable broth!
- Get creative with leftovers!
- Can’t eat it all? Share food with neighbors!
- Go To Cooking with Zero Waste in Mind
KNOW WHERE TO THROW! COMPOST CORRECTLY!
- Food waste NEVER belongs in your trash can.
- Line your compost container with paper egg cartons to soak up liquids and keep your container cleaner.
- Keep your green cart “cleaner” by dumping you under-counter container in a brown paper bag.
- Never use plastic or compostable bags in your under-sink container or your outside green cart!