With 52 million tons of food going to U.S. landfills annually, it’s no wonder that many communities and businesses have initiated food waste diversion goals. According to ReFED, organic materials make up 21% of U.S. landfill volume!
The impact of landfilled food waste doesn’t stop at the space it consumes at landfills. Food waste globally contributes 8% of total anthropogenic GHG emissions. This makes landfilled food waste contributions to methane emissions near equivalent to that of all road transport emissions!
Fighting food waste at the fridge
The best way to reduce organic waste in landfills is by only buying what you’ll eat and eating everything you buy. We get it, though – life happens! You wind up in a rush one night and grab take out on your way home; you don’t feel up to cooking and toss a pizza in; or you just forget about all those farmers market veggies you bought last weekend.
As much as possible, try to do your shopping around a meal plan for the week. Buy fruits and veggies you know your family will enjoy. Try to go small on any new purchases if you’re not sure how your family will react. Put an “Eat Me First” bin in the front of your fridge to showcase fruits or veggies on the brink of expiration.
When you do end up with expired food, be smart about disposal. Don’t dump everything in the trash. Empty leftovers in your garbage disposal. And when you can, compost! All of these steps avoid stinky garbage cans and trips to your outdoor garbage container.
Now you’re saving money, saving the earth from methane emissions AND saving yourself from taking out the trash that one. last. time.