Reducing your environmental footprint with food
As a Green Designated Agent, I'm passionate about saving energy, whether it's real estate related or otherwise. I always look for ways to shrink my environmental footprint. I decided to dedicate this month's blog post to providing knowledge about lowering our food waste. While researching further on the subject, I have gained even more knowledge along the way and have found some helpful websites that I'll share with you.
Food waste is a big problem in the United States. With Americans throwing out 40% of food every year, we throw away billions of dollars. We've come to expect large amounts of food on our plates. No thanks to the restaurant industry, portions within the U.S. are larger than ever; if restaurants provide small portions, most of us are left unsatisfied or disappointed. Dieting to loose weight encourages smaller portions, we've all heard this. But small portions shouldn't be a diet plan, it should be incorporated into our every day lives.
Many Americans feel that throwing out food is no big deal. We do it every day. Some more numbers to think about: Twenty-five percent of all state landfill waste is food and agricultural waste. Forty-five percent of all fruits and veggies produced are wasted. Worldwide, humans waste 1 of every 3 food calories produced. This is enough to feed 3 billion people - 10 times the US population, and more than twice that of China. Each year, more than 66 TRILLION gallons of water go toward producing food that is lost or wasted. This doesn't even count for food that we do consume. We can change this by producing and eating only the food we need. This will also help the important issue of climate change, which I could go on about in a whole other blog post.
So to start out simple, are some tips to help reduce food waste at home.
Did you know that there are compost bins you can purchase at Bed Bath and Beyond? Check out some options HERE. Know nothing about composting at home? That's ok! Visit THIS SITE to find out how!
Take a look at your fridge. I'm sure we've all had moments where we've purchased something that we already had because we forgot we had it. This happens to me with mustard. I have a mustard obsession and always need to make sure I have it in the house. Right now, I have about three bottles of mustard in my fridge. Some tips on ways to reimagine your fridge:
Move leftovers and produce FRONT and CENTER so you don't forget about them.
Designate a bin or shelf to EAT FIRST foods. These are foods that need to be eaten within a week.
Shop your fridge. Cook or eat what you have at home before buying more food. Sounds obvious, but so often we think "I have nothing to eat at home" when really, we just need to get creative with what we have.
Use your freezer! Frozen veggies are just as good as using fresh veggies when cooking. Toss any meat/seafood/bread that you cannot finish by the expiration date into the freezer. I should have mentioned this to my husband a few days ago when he wasted an entire steak because he didn't eat it in time. And I was no help, as I don't eat meat, so I didn't even think about it!
Also, please, EAT YOUR LEFTOVERS and take home what you do not finish at restaurants. I see so many people leave so much on their plates at restaurants. If you don't like leftovers, try giving it to a family member or that poor college student you know.
I could go on, but I'll leave you with this tidbit. If we all reduce our food waste by just 15%, it would be enough to feed 25 MILLION people! Fifteen percent is not that much. We can do it!
Catch more facts HERE.
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