With Australians wasting as much as 20% of the food they purchase, i.e. with more than $1,000 wasted every year by an average household on food they don’t even touch, the importance of reducing these staggering numbers is greater than ever.
Whether food is forgotten about, wrongly thrown away before best-by date or because we don’t know how to use leftovers, we are causing irreparable damage to the environment. Namely, while rotting, food gives off methane, which is much more potent than the carbon pollution from car exhaust. Also, all the resources used in producing food, including water, electricity and others are wasted for nothing if you throw away food.
So, what is it that we need to know and do about reducing and managing food waste? Let’s look at some tips that should help us be much more efficient and responsible.
Educate everyone about the importance
Whether we talk about regular households, companies or even restaurants, it’s vital that you include as many people as possible in the process of trying to minimize food waste. You can run a test and collect all the food you’d waste over a period of one week and calculate how much money you’ll be wasting. Make sure everyone else also finds out about the amount. Also, you should raise their awareness about the impact on the environment to help the cause.
Get professional help
In case you would like to maximize your use of food products and minimize waste, you might need to consult a professional in the increasingly important and popular environmental consulting. They should be able to tell you how you can achieve your goal or, if you are acting on behalf of a restaurant for example, whether you’re in compliance with all necessary standards and regulations.
Also, you might ask a volunteer group concerned with environment protection and helping people go green for help as well. They are bound to give you information about some organizations that collect unused food and distribute it to those who need it.
Although it’s convenient to have a full fridge at all times, you’re also running a risk of not being able to use everything you’ve bought. In order to avoid buying too much food, we first need to make sure we never go shopping for food hungry, because we tend to buy much more then.
Next, we should carefully select the food according to the best-by date and look for products that were produced most recently. That would give you more time to actually use up all the stuff you’ve bought.
Don’t let your fruit, vegetables and other food produce go bad because you’re not keeping them in appropriate conditions. Choose appropriate containers and label them once you put cleaned products in them, so that you know when you bought the products and how long you can keep them.
It makes sense that if you serve smaller portions, you waste less. If you simply have to fill a plate, choose a smaller one and you’ll find yourself faced with less leftovers. The visual effect of a full plate, though a smaller one, will satisfy your need to have a “decent” meal, but you’ll actually be saving both your money and food.
Sort out waste
If you really have to get rid of some food, make sure you sort it out appropriately. Everything that can be recycled, such as food packaging, glass, plastic bottles, paper or organic waste, should be disposed of in a way that it can be reused. Also, you can use food scraps and all green food for compost that you’ll use in your garden.
If you just think about how many people in the world have problems finding food, the idea of you throwing some of it simply because you’ve not been careful is becoming even more disgusting. Likewise, by managing your purchase of food, storing and cooking better you’ll be able to save quite a lot of money if the current statistics is anything to go by.
Finally, the food we buy and consume contains much more than meets the eye. Someone has put in a lot of effort to produce that food and used resources such as water and electricity. So, when you throw away your food, you’re also throwing away everything that’s been used in the process.