The majority of the American population doesn’t give a second thought about how much food waste they make. Unwanted food, leftovers, and spoiled produce are thrown away accumulating to more than 40 million tons of food waste annually. Out of the 40 million, only 2.5 million are composted and 7.5 million goes to combustion with energy recovery. These numbers are according to the 2017 fact sheet on Municipal Solid Waste published by the US Environmental Protection Agency in November 2019.
A US Non-Profit organization, National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) conducted its own research and discovered that 40 percent of total food production goes to waste.
All the efforts spent in producing, transporting and preparing food gets wasted. Thanksgiving is the time when family members gather and you may want to impress but think about how much food and money you’ll be wasting if you cooked too much food.
Having a close number of headcounts may help in estimating how much food you’re serving. Be more eco-friendly when using disposables like cups and other utensils. Choose compostable materials as much as possible over nonbiodegradable plastics. If you had too much food, offer your guests to take some food with them in reusable containers. You can also freeze what’s left with you because freezing will help you preserve the food longer and avoid spoilage.
If you don’t have a garden, you can ask your neighbors or if your local farmer can use it. You can also find compost pick-up services online to help you with your uneaten leftovers.
Make a bold move today by joining non-profit groups that organize food recovery. These groups facilitate giving excess food to needy people. If your community doesn’t have one, it might be time for you to start a group with the mission to eliminate food waste.
Become more eco-friendly this year’s Thanksgiving. Here are some extra kitchen tips to help you celebrate a more sustainable Thanksgiving this year: Buy produce from your local farmer. Organic and in-season produce is more nutritious and tastier. Do it yourself. Avoid buying pre-packed and pre-prepared food so to eliminate or minimize the single-use plastic waste.
Buy in bulk, cook in bulk. Buying in bulk means less packaging and less waste but make sure you can consume what you buy. We’re not saying that you should only cook one dish but minimizing the number of dishes you need to prepare will not only save you some time and energy but also water and electricity.
Cookware. If you’re buying additional or new cookware, buy the ones that are not made of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) or more commonly known as Teflon. Choose ceramic-based or better yet, get a cast iron pan.
Prepare early. Prepare all your ingredients, peel everything that needs to be peeled, dice and chop everything that needs to be sliced. This will save you a lot of time and electricity when you started cooking. If there are unaccounted guests, prepare extra food that you can freeze and reheat when the time comes.
Cleaning solutions. Use plant-based detergents, dishwashing liquids, and cleaners rather than petrochemically-based solutions.
Bathroom. First, get rid of that leaky faucet to save on your water expenses. Use eco-friendly tissues so you can help minimize the carbon footprint in the environment. Our Wheat Straw Tissues are 100% plant-based and made from renewable materials. Help stop the cutting of trees for paper.