Friday, March 21, 2014

Save Money and Resources With Garbage


Did you know…
            In terms of food waste...
  • The global volume of food wastage is estimated at 1.6 billion tons of "primary product equivalents." Total food wastage for the edible part of this amounts to 1.3 billion tons.
  •  Food wastage's carbon footprint is estimated at 3.3 billion tons of CO2 equivalent of GHG released into the atmosphere per year.

  • The total volume of water used each year to produce food that is lost or wasted (250km3) is equivalent to three times the annual flow of Russia's Volga River, or three times the volume of Lake Geneva. The Volga river can be seen below.

  • Similarly, 1.4 billion hectares of land - 28% percent of the world's agricultural area is used annually to produce food that is lost or wasted.
  •  Fruit wastage contributes significantly to water waste in Asia, Latin America, and Europe, mainly as a result of extremely high wastage levels.
  • Similarly, large volumes of vegetable wastage in industrialized Asia, Europe, and South and South East Asia translates into a large carbon footprint for that sector.


More did you know facts...
  • The billions of pounds of plastic make up about 40 percent of the world’s oceans surfaces.
  • Some of the highest emissions levels come from landfills and contribute to climate change.
  • The garbage you create, and dispose of, affects biodiversity through the use and wastage of natural resources, the emissions produced, and pollution that collects in streams, rivers, and oceans.
 See more at: http://www.unep.org/newscentre/default.aspx?DocumentID=2726&ArticleID=9611#sthash.j0ybjgjY.dpuf


Now lets look at this on a personal level…
            I live with my partner, 3 small children, 2 small dogs, and 4 houseguests. The garbage that our home creates is more than the average home. I used to think we did our part with reducing and reusing garbage recycling the obvious items like glass, metal, and paper. Additionally, I thought creating a compost heap was too much energy and I was helping the landfills by donating biodegradable material that would help break down other material in the landfills. However, according to the facts above, I could help the environment even more by creating a home compost heap. A home composting heap will also help give my houseguests something to do besides drive me crazy, or burn some of my kids’ energy, or save me money on fertilizer (personally I like the idea of exhausting my kids and guests).

How can you make a difference…
            If you already recycle and compost, GREAT! Do you have to throw out food that has gone bad in your refrigerator or freezer?  

That’s a lot of food and money that is being wasted. Here are some ways to limit that:
  • Plan meals, use grocery lists, and avoid impulse buys. Only buy items when you have used up all previously bought perishable items.
  • Don’t over-buy. If you're making a salad, don’t buy an extra bag of lettuce just in case; and buying in bulk really isn’t your friend.
  • When you shop don’t be afraid to buy funny-looking fruit. In a lot of cases the funny fruit gets tossed even though nothing is wrong with it aside from its unusual figure.
  • Eat leftovers.
  • Designate a night each week to eat leftovers instead of making another meal.
  • Store food properly in the refrigerator.
  • Understand expiration dates.

For more ways to save food and money go to

Sources included:

Thank you for your time, have fun saving money and most importantly, saving our resources!

Written by: Tiffany William

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