When you want to start living more sustainably, you may try to reduce the usage of plastic, commute by bike rather than a car, or use a solar battery to recharge your phone. But have you ever thought that certain small and presumably ‘harmless’ everyday actions, like throwing away some veggie leftovers, also affect the environment?
Think about this: approximately one-third of all food produced in the world is not consumed. Well, this sounds very irrational, especially when almost one billion people in the world are hungry. But apart from this striking disbalance in the amount of food we waste and the number of people who suffer from undernourishment, there are some alarming environmental tendencies connected to food waste. Read on to learn why every piece of garbage matters.
The food that is ultimately lost or wasted generates about 8% of global greenhouse emissions every year. First of all, this happens because of all the energy, water and fertilizers used to grow and produce food. All these immense resources not only leave a huge carbon footprint but also get misspent. On the top of that, instead of being composted naturally, the food waste most often ends up in the landfills where it emits harmful greenhouse gases.
This lost or wasted food also consumes close to 25% of all water used by agriculture annually and required land area more significant than the size of China. 30% of the world’s agricultural land area is used to produce food that will be wasted. Using extra land leads to deforestation, which, as you know, adds up to global greenhouse emissions into the atmosphere.
In the USA only, 40% of food goes uneaten. This equates to Americans throwing out as much as $218 billion each year. At the same time, almost 80% of people in the big cities believed that they were wasting less food than the average.
45% of all fruit and vegetables are grown in the world go to waste. According to research by Karlstad University in Sweden, lettuce is one of the top 7 most wasted products in the produce section of the supermarkets.
In developing countries, vast amounts of food get lost unintentionally because of the inadequate equipment, transportation issues, and non-developed infrastructure. But in wealthy countries, most of the food gets merely discarded by retailers for not being “beautiful enough,” or gets thrown away by customers because they bought too much and unused leftovers lose their freshness too fast.
At Click & Grow, we believe that growing at least some of your food at home is not only fun and stress-relieving, but it also contributes to a better environment. Grow your own vegetables, herbs and greens, harvest and use only as much as you need at a time!