4 Ways To Reducing Food Waste Contributes to the Circular Economy
You can contribute to the circular economy from your home.
According to Waste Reduction Week in Canada, the circular economy “goes far beyond finding a recycling solution at end-of-life. Circularity incorporates better design that consumes less raw material during production, maximizes value during use, and improves products and services that are intended to eliminate waste.”
One way of supporting the circular economy starts in your kitchen: reducing food waste.
In Canada, about 56.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions are created from food waste. Food rotting in landfills emit methane gas, a gas that’s 25% more toxic to the environment than carbon dioxide. All this waste puts pressure on the food supply chain, from production to supplying communities with more food as alarmingly high levels of food are thrown away.
Minimizing your household’s food waste contributes to the circular economy and climate change mitigation by slowing the release of greenhouse gasses from landfills.
What is climate change?
To answer that question, we should first explore: what is climate? Climate is the usual weather of a place observed over long periods of time. For example, in the Ottawa Valley, our average climate is humid and hot in the summers, and wet but cold in the winters. Climate takes decades and centuries to change.
Climate change is the changes in the average climate, such as increased rainfall or much hotter summers, in an area over a long period of time.
Experts suggest that, by 2030, winters may be up to four weeks shorter and Ottawa’s average temperatures will increase by 1.8 C.
How can you reduce food waste at home?
This Circular Economy Month, we’re celebrating Waste Reduction Week by highlighting 4 ways to reduce your food waste.
In Canada, 58% of all food produced is lost or wasted – that’s 35.5 million tonnes. At the consumer level, about 2.38 million tonnes is lost. What does that mean for your budget, though? Each year, households lose $1,766 to avoidable food waste.
How can you cut down on your household’s food waste?
Know what you have in stock
Before heading to the grocers, know what’s in your pantry and freezer first. Taking stock of what you already have and putting together a grocery list can help eliminate unnecessary purchases and waste.
Meal prepping (and knowing what can freeze well!) is also a great way to avoid throwing food in the trash. You don’t need to commit to prepping a week’s worth of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners though: starting with something realistic to your lifestyle will be much easier to maintain in the long run.
There are many uses for composting, from alleviating the amount of methane build-up in landfills to using it as fertilizer for your garden. There are a few different types of bins, so be sure to choose the one that suits your needs.
Start a garden
Fresh vegetables and herbs in cooking is a delight. Starting a garden in your backyard, on your balcony, or under a grow light indoors can help reduce your carbon footprint. Herbs, cucumbers, tomatoes, and salad greens are great places to start, especially for novice gardeners. This can also help cut the costs of your grocery bills in the long run.