How to Effectively Avoid Food Waste and Save Money Annually
Did you know over 1.3 billion tons is lost or is wasted every year (worldcounts.com, 2022). The average household wastes around $1,866 annually (MedicalNewstoday, 2020). However, by implementing simple planning and storing techniques we all can save money while contributing to sustainability.
The food industry is responsible for one-quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions
The food on your plate has been on a journey; from being harvested, mixed, combined, packaged, and then shipped requires heaps of energy and cost.
According to the UN, global food waste adds 3.3 gigatons of CO2-equivalents to global greenhouse gas emissions annually. Food production is responsible for one-quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions (ourworldindata, 2019).
How to contribute to a greener future
We all need to rethink and question the way we food shop, what we eat and how we depose of it. We have pulled together some easy steps to help you and your family become conscious food shoppers while saving on the pennies!
Plan your food Shopping Trip
On a food shop we have all been tempted to grab an extra ingredient, and then forget about it days later. The challenge is forgetting food can lead to food waste and an expense which could have gone elsewhere; but this can be easily avoided by:
- Firstly, check the ingredients you already to stop you purchasing more than you need to.
- Ask everyone in the household to inform you on what they would like which prevents assumptions.
- Create a shopping list to avoid impulsive purchases which reduces your shopping bill and prevents food wastage.
Purchase Food in Season
Shopping for local in-season produce reduces the amount of carbon emissions going in the atmosphere. When you see an exotic fruit in the middle of winter at the supermarket there is a high possibility it may have been shipped in. Yet, in-season local produce takes less time to be delivered therefore the food is less costly and the freshness lasts longer.
Purchase your Produce from a Local Business
Shopping from a local business offering local produce champions sustainability and keeps money circulating in your local community. For instance, food that isn’t produced locally is often shipped and adds fuel to the atmosphere, in addition chemicals may also be used to keep the ingredients fresh. However, locally sourced reduces travel fees, has less chemicals and is better quality.
Don’t Forget the Wonky Fruit and Vegetables
Over 50 million tonnes of fresh fruit & vegetables is being discarded across Europe every year for aesthetic reasons (thegrocer,2018). Unfortunately we have been conditioned to believe perfection is healthy, for instance; bright, perfectly round and shiny apples can mean quality but in most cases it’s enhanced with synthetic chemicals. So next time you’re in the supermarket remember to select wonky fruit and veg.
Sharing is caring
Food is a love language and by simply sharing your food with others, whether you’re hosting a party, offering food to a shelter, or giving leftovers to your neighbour is ultimately a kind act. Providing others with a meal can support them mentally, financially, and physically but also avoids wastage.
Store your Food Correctly
Food wastage isn’t just caused by leftovers but also because the food is expiring too soon. Next time you open your fridge or cupboard assess whether you will consume it imminently or store which can save wastage and money.
There are lots of ways to store your food to keep your food fresh and less exposed to bacteria, for example:
- Wrapped in Beeswax wraps
- Glass containers
- Reusable food packaging
Be extra conscious about the environment by avoiding the following items:
- PVC Cling film, single-use plastic that takes over 1000 years to degrade
- Brand-new plastic containers
And if you need to throw your food out, compost it! Composting reduces carbon emissions. Compared to food that ends up at the landfill, composting at home allows oxygen to circulate which keeps methane-producing microbes away (CNN, 2022). You can create your very own compost bin or contact your local government to collect organic waste.
Ultimately, every action aimed towards sustainability is helping build a greener future. Try implementing at least one or two of these actions to create a healthy habit.
Remember to share these tips with anyone keen to save money and live a better-quality life.