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Eco-tips: cutting down on food waste

Cutting down on food waste is #3 on Project Drawdown’s list of solutions to climate change (we haven’t even gotten to fossil fuels yet!). Number 2 is onshore wind production, primarily using windfarms, and that’s an infrastructure item that the ordinary person might have difficulty installing, although there are mini-turbines that individuals can install, but they have their issues in urban areas; zoning, etc. So; I’ve skipped to number 3 on the list, because this is something that the average person has some control over.

I know I promised that I wouldn’t get into rehashing all the stuff we already know; the IPCC report says we have less that twelve years, yada yada, but I will say that food waste is a problem because when discarded into landfill, it produces methane, which is a powerful driver of global warming.


Sadly, a lot of food wastage is beyond our control; it happens before it even gets to our homes;

That said, there are things that you can do today;

Buy at farmers’ markets to eliminate the middle-men of transportation and packaging, etc that are steps between the farmer and you; at each of those points, there is damage to food, and waste.


Buy less than perfect produce

Buy fruit and veg in smaller amounts and more frequently in order to avoid food spoiling before you get to it. Buy in bulk only those things that have a long shelf life; dried and canned foods, for example.


Don’t peel vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes or carrots; the skins of many fruits and vegetable are the most nutrient rich part of the food, and peeling is creating unnecessary waste. However; washing alone won’t remove pesticides that have been absorbed into the skin of non-organic produce.

When eating out, eat everything on your plate, or ask to take the remainder home.


Compost; my city has a robust “green bin” program which collects and composts food waste, although it does yet include apartment buildings. Compost in your yard if you can.

This site has some good suggestions, some of which duplicate mine


ETA: commenter MimiKrimi has a really good suggestion;

look up what your local anti food waste groups are doing, commercial as well as non profits. They might know about schemes specific to your area and support other worthy causes like protecting heirloom varieties.


Not a local org, but featuring local partners is e.g. Food Save 

Local to me are among others Foodwaste, grassrooted or too good to go. You might be surprised to learn how much is already happening around you were you can join in without much effort on your side. Especially for smaller households (with flexible schedules) too good to go can be a godsend.

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