Sustainable living refers to what we do in order to minimize our impact on natural resources and the environment. At Sponge & Sparkle, sustainability is one of our key values. I want to make sure we protect our planet’s resources not only for my grand-children, but for children the world over. This Earth Month, we will publish a series of articles on choices each of us can make to live sustainably.
Did you know Americans throw away as much as 40 percent of our food supply every year? Food waste harms the environment. According to a study by the UN Food and Agriculture organization, food loss and waste leads to about 3.3 gigatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. We use an astonishing amount of land, water and fertilizer to produce food that never gets eaten. Food waste harms vulnerable populations in food insecure regions.
The resources we use to create food that no one eats could be saved. Reducing global food waste by a tiny 1% could lead to gains in Sub-Saharan Africa of $40 million per year. Most of these benefits would go to small farmers. (Source – World Bank)
To minimize food waste, try these five tips:
- Start by monitoring what you throw away.
- Plan meals. Use grocery lists to avoid impulse buys. Not only is meal planning good for the environment, it’s good for your waistline.
- Wait until your fresh fruit and perishables are all used up before buying more.
- When unpacking groceries, move older products to the front of the fridge/freezer/pantry and put new products in the back. This way, you’re more likely to use up the older stuff before it expires.
- Eat leftovers! In many cases, food tastes better the next day after the flavors have had the chance to mix.
It turns out our parents were right! Wasting food does affect hungry people in other parts of the world. If you want to live sustainably, do your part by wasting less food. A small change makes a huge difference.
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