Curb Your Food Waste – It’s Good For Your Budget, And For Your Grandchildren

Every year, in the United States, $54 billion worth of food is thrown away. Ninety-eight percent of the food ends up in landfills instead of compost bins. What does this have to do with climate change?

Global climate change is connected to both how our food is grown and what happens to it when we send it to the landfill. Of course, in many parts of the world no food at all is wasted. But in the industrialized world, we have become a “throw away” society, and that includes food.  Landfills produce methane, which is a much more powerful greenhouse gas that carbon dioxide. According to the EPA, landfills are the second–largest human-related source of methane in the U.S., accounting for 23 percent of all methane emissions in 2007. Methane is generated in landfills and open dumps as waste decomposes under anaerobic (without oxygen) conditions.

So, if you have a fridge full of leftovers, don’t let them go to waste!  In our house, we love leftovers for lunch, but if you’re not that keen on having what you had last night for supper again the next day, freeze a single-serving container to enjoy for a future hassle-free lunch. And, of course, compost food scraps if you can – everything but meat and dairy.  In our corner of the world, people sometimes are opposed to composting because they’re concerned that compost piles attract bears and other wild animals. All I can say is,  we have been composting our food scraps for 10 years without a bear ever going near our bin (I did see a mouse once, though).

Here’s a video about food waste and how to avoid it:


And while we’re on the topic of food, I thought I’d share a picture of the amazing pizza my husband made recently.  It tasted as good as it looked!

Mark's homemade veggie and sausage pizza

Remember, today is Meat-Free Monday, so consider ways you can eat vegetarian today.  One of our favourite, and fast, meat-free meals is Broccoli Garlic Pasta (click on the title for the recipe).

More links:

Methane: Sources and Emissions

10 Ways to Curb Your Food Waste

The Meatless Monday website offers recipe and information.

0 thoughts on “Curb Your Food Waste – It’s Good For Your Budget, And For Your Grandchildren”

  1. So true, so true…

    We have been in our present residence for nearly 14 years, and the compost bin – it’s a triple hole version – was built right away. It was a natural for us as we have composted all our lives. It was something my grandfather taught me to do 60 years ago in England.

    The only thing that we routinely see in the compost is birds. And if they want to find something to eat there, that’s perfectly OK with us.

  2. Our regional municipality (Nanaimo) recently got serious about this. Garbage collection is down to just one container every two weeks. Recycling is collected on alternate weeks. Every week, however, the collector also empties our organic waste bins – meat, veg, even greasy cardboard is taken for composting. My neighbours seem quite pleased with this system. I get by just fine with one garbage container every two weeks but I imagine it must be a strain for couples with young families.

    • Wow – I’m impressed with Nanaimo’s system – it sounds like they’d be saving $$ as well as the environment, by cutting down on the garbage truck trips.

      I’ve been threatening my family with a move to Nanaimo ever since I found out last month that my absolutely favourite hair stylist is moving there in July – now I have another reason! 🙂

  3. I just got a composter 2 weeks ago! I just need more snow to melt so that I can put it in its spot. My mom and sister live in a community just outside my city, that has organics picked up every second week. So in the meantime, I have been saving my kitchen scraps and tossing them in their bins. It will be great to get my own composter going though – I need it for my garden! I also agree on the food waste – it is astonishing how much is wasted before it even gets to the supermarket shelves. I am also much more mindful of where my food is coming from, which helps me manage the fridge better. It is amazing how much our food footprint contributes to climate change…

    • I hope you share a picture once your composter is set up, Sherry. Composting is such an easy way to reduce our waste output – and what gardener ever has enough compost?


Leave a Comment