Happy Earth Day 2018!
While we typically celebrate Earth Day by planting a tree, spending time in nature, or cleaning up local parks, there are plenty of things that we can do every single day to make a bigger impact.
Sustainability and the food industry actually go hand in hand. They should definitely be best friends.
According to FAO, approximately one-third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year gets lost or wasted. This is roughly 1.3 billion tons of food.
Plastic is another byproduct of the food industry that has been making detrimental effects on the environment. According to National Geographic, 8 million tons of plastic are deposited into the ocean every year, killing over 100 million sea creatures. You can help by selecting reusable products and recycling the plastic that you do use.
Food waste and plastic waste from food products is without a doubt a global problem but here are five small things that we can all do to combat this waste.
- Stop Overbuying Food. We've all been here, looking at that bag of rotten spinach. Sitting down to plan your meals once a week can help you in many ways. This will help determine how much food you need to buy (creating less waste) and help you stick to a grocery budget (saving you money).
- Shop Local and Seasonal. Buying from local farmers helps to support our local economy and your food has less of a carbon footprint since it does need to travel far to your table.
- Eat Appropriate Portions. Ordering more food than you can eat often leads to big amounts of food waste if you're not taking leftovers to go. But also, how many times have you thrown out those leftovers? Plus, monitoring your portion sizes is better for overall health and can help prevent unwanted weight gain. For more information on portion sizes and nutrition needs, visit https://www.choosemyplate.gov
- Use Reusable Bags. Plastic bags are a large contributor to waste. The average American family uses 1500 plastic bags a year and less than 1% of all plastic bags are actually returned for recycling according to WasteManagement. Buying reusable bags is a great way to eliminate plastic bag waste entirely.
- Say No to Straws. Every single year 175 billion straws end up in our landfills and oceans, which endangers the lives of wildlife and pollutes our planet. By going straw-less, you help contribute to a cleaner, safer earth. To learn more about living without straws, visit https://thelastplasticstraw.org