Food waste – it’s a daily occurrence in our own homes. We’re all guilty of cleaning out the fridge to find food we’ve wasted. The black-blotched bananas you promised you’d bake into banana bread a week ago. A bag of baby spinach that now resembles damp mown grass. Or the worst: a zucchini that’s turned to soup in its own skin. Warning: do not squeeze!
But with that feeling of guilt comes awareness. We are aware of a problem within our homes. When we scrape a plate full of perfectly good dinner into the bin because the kids were feeling fussy, we notice. When we end up throwing out leftovers because we made too much, we notice. Now we just need to take actions to reduce our food waste.
Yes: the amount of food wasted every year is equivalent to the weight of about two billion elephants. It’s beyond comprehension.
Food waste is truly a global issue that affects just about every developed country in the world. In Australia alone, we produce more than 5.3 million tonnes of waste every year. We’re talking 9000 Olympic sized swimming pools of rotten food scraps.
Sadly, this wasted food is human grade consumption quality. And it’s not only about the food itself. Add to the equation the energy and resources spent growing, producing, transporting and storing this food. Finally, there’s the residual affects after throwing the food out. Food that’s disposed of in landfill releases greenhouse gases, and these emissions contribute to climate change.
There are some easy things we do to contribute to the solution:
The Australian Government introduced the “National Food Waste Strategy” in 2017 with a vision to halve food waste by 2030. This aligns with the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12 of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which is “Responsible Consumption and Production”.
While our Government is taking strategic steps to tackle the overarching systemic problems, it’s over to us to reduce our own personal food waste.
So let’s do our bit. Let’s take the opportunity to take a good look at our own food usage and make one small change today.
What tips do you have for reducing food waste at home? We’d love to hear from you.
The world of sustainability is always changing. The information we’ve provided is based on what was current when we published it. So, please make sure to check the latest standards and guidelines.