by Erich Lawson: Food waste is a major problem staring at us today when billions of people are undernourished and many more go to bed, hungry…
Be it homes, hotels or industries, the amount of food waste generated is massive and yet little thought is given to food waste recycling.
Food waste includes the wastage of valuable resources such as land, energy, water and fuel used to grow, harvest and transport that food. If it ends up in landfills, it releases a potent greenhouse gas – methane while rotting. It is 21 times more harmful than CO2.
Without addressing the issue of food waste, no country will be able to meet its targets for controlling climate change. The benefits of reducing food waste and recycling it are plenty. More awareness needs to be created regarding the impact of food waste on environment and what can be done to reduce and recycle it. This article takes you through all these aspects of food waste management. Let’s take a look:
What Can Be Done at Residential Level?
- Make a grocery shopping list and stick to it. Plan your meals. It will help you save money, mid-week stress and reduce the amount of food waste generated.
- Organize your kitchen including your refrigerator so that you know what you have on hand before planning you meals and the grocery list. Keep the foods with earlier expiration dates on the front shelves in your pantry and the newer foods in the back.
- Store foods properly to make them stay fresh longer. For instance, fruits and vegetables require different humidity levels to stay fresh. Hence, store them separately.
- Once a week, make a meal using all the good leftovers.
- Rather than dumping food scraps into bins, learn to make compost from them. Your wallet as well as your garden will thank you.
- Apartments or housing societies can use apartment compactors for efficient food waste management. Waste compactors are comprehensive waste disposal systems designed to fit limited spaces. They are easy to use, save money and ensure maximum trash compaction.
What Can Be Done at Commercial Level?
- Order only what you need. Don’t be tempted to buy in bulk. Even if you pay less, you will end up throwing away the extra food products which are unused. Create an inventory list depending on the past trends. If you control the amount the food you buy, you will automatically reduce the amount of food you discard.
- Check all the food orders upon arrival. You can use the ones with earlier expiration dates first and save the fresh ones for later. This will save you money and reduce the amount of food you throw away just because it has crossed its expiry date.
- Store all the food items with great care. See to it that no cross contamination occurs. Set the right temperatures in food storage units. Label everything clearly and organize as per your requirements. Try the FIFO (first in first out) policy when it comes to storing food.
- Introduce portion control. This will give more flexibility to your guests, save you money and other valuable resources as well as reduce the amount of food waste generated.
- Rather than discarding the food items mindlessly, sort them out. If some of them can still be used, donate them to the needy people or to organizations which reach out to such people.
By reducing food waste, you cut down the amount of actual garbage to be collected which in turn brings down the garbage collection costs. You can also be eligible for government incentives for adopting green initiatives in your business.
With the growing population, rather than producing more food, let’s aim to feed more people while wasting less of what we already grow. Food waste is a critical parameter driving climate change. Let’s all do our bit to curtail it so as to reduce its effect on our environment.
Erich Lawson is very passionate about the environment and is an advocate of effective recycling. He writes on a wide array of topics to inform readers on how modern recycling equipment can be used by industries to reduce monthly wastage bills and increase recycling revenue. You can learn more about environment saving techniques by visiting his blog on Compactor Management Company.