Do you wonder if food waste is good for the environment? Picture this: 40% of the food in the United States goes to waste each year. Huge chunks of this food are discarded before it gets to the consumers. If all these food ends up in the landfill, it creates an environmental menace. While you may think food waste can compost and add nutrients to the soil, the reality is that contaminated food waste rotting at the landfills emits a dangerous gas called methane. Besides environmental pollution, food waste has other negative impacts that run into billions of dollars each year. Think about the resources used to produce food, including labor, water, land, and energy going to waste. Washington, DC is among the cities in the United States taking action and eliminating food waste. Eliminating food waste in Washington DC has many benefits.
Advantages of Reducing Food Waste
- You save money. Buying less food means that you are saving more money to use for other purposes.
- It cuts on the amount of garbage at the landfill. This means that there will be less amount of methane gas produced and will reduce climatic change.
- You save the economy. When you eliminate food waste, you help keep on the resources used to produce food. And this may lead to food prices reduction.
Ways to Eliminate Food Waste in Washington, DC
Buy only enough food.
According to a food waste study, consumers in their homes waste more food than any other part of the food supply chain like the restaurant or the grocery store. Food waste happens when you buy more than necessary food, poor storage, and lack of planning. Before you rush to the grocery store, ensure that you’ve exhausted your pantry and fridge options. Create a menu and only buy food items you need on that menu. Be creative when preparing food and transform edible parts of food that you usually throw away into a side dish.
Practice safe food storage and preservation.
Poorly stored food goes bad quickly, which means you will have to throw them away before consuming them. One of the keys to eliminating food waste in Washington DC is to learn how to safely store and preserve food at home to avoid food wastage. Ensure that your fridge is free from clutter and in good condition to keep food longer. You can check the labels on your food products to see how best you can store them. Refrigerate perishable food products like peeled vegetables. Remember to check your fridge frequently and keep track of food consumption to ensure that you buy only what you need.
Donate excess safe food you have.
Another way to eliminate food waste in Washington, DC is to donate excess but safe food you may have. Donating food to others is a noble cause of helping others in society and an excellent way to keep food out of the landfills. Find donation centers and food banks in Washington DC and drop off excess but safe food. This will help someone have food on their plate.
Inasmuch as you want to utilize food before it goes to waste, there will be food scraps. You can turn this type of food waste into a useful product through composting. Safely sort food waste to avoid contamination and prepare them for composting. This is an eco-friendly way to generate organic manure that you can use in your garden or send off to farmers. If you don’t like composting, you can use compost pickup services available. The Department of Public Works has a composting program where you can drop off food waste at collection points.
Eliminating Food Waste in Washington, DC
Eliminating food waste calls for efforts by all stakeholders in the supply chain. Business owners and individuals alike have a role in reducing food waste ending in the dumping sites.
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