The scoop: Food takeout and delivery accounts for considerable waste. About 29% of all greenhouse emissions come from packaging. And food takeout uses a lot of packaging.
The problem w/ takeout packaging: *orders burrito* Let me wrap that in foil for you. Here are plastic utensils and paper napkins wrapped in plastic. Oh, and three packs of ketchup + hot sauce. And a paper bag was placed in a plastic bag. Salt and pepper packets no one's eaten since the 90s? Take it. *eats with hand*
Facts and figures:
- Finding the best material is complicated. One study found that Polystyrene/EPS Foam had a 7-28% lower environmental impact than aluminum and a 25% to six times lower impact than Polypropylene.
- Plastic waste impacts over 700 marine species
Sustainable packaging solutions: Reduce and reuse. Recycling (in this context) is kinda BS. Buy in bulk. Use creative alternatives on the go. Shop at restaurants that use sustainable plant fibers or limited packaging. If you have a good relationship with your local food business, talk to them about affordable options.
Dig deeper → 3 min
Busy? Try the speed read.
The scoop: A compost pile is an eco-friendly, efficient way to maximize your garden’s potential. And it’s super easy to set-up and maintain.
Step 1: Pick a location, choose how to store it. Choosing a spot for your compost depends on where you live. If you end up putting it in a bin, poke some holes and cut out the bottom.
Step 2: Collect, collect, and collect more waste. Make it a habit to add organic materials to your compost. See below for a full list of compostable (and non-compostable) items.
Step 3: Wait, use, and maintain. After a few months, you will be dripping in black gold! Once your compost is set up, keep adding more materials to maintain it.
Dig deeper ➝ 3 min
The problem with food waste
- 30% of all food in the US is thrown out (UN Environment)
- Food waste is often incinerated, which causes pollution... instead of feeding hungry mouths, or nourishing soil as compost.
- Food waste harms the environment, which is already stressed by food production’s demand for land, water, and the associated release of greenhouse gas emissions.
What you can do
- Plan meals ahead of time
- Use leftovers creatively, in multiple ways
- Shop responsibly, with a purpose
- Store food intelligently; don't let it go bad too soon
- Support local initiatives, there are good-neighbor ways to help
Bottom line As individuals, we can reduce the environmental consequences of food waste by making simple adjustments to our food habits. Cultivating awareness around food waste will help us work towards a more sustainable food system.
Dig deeper → 4 min