Fighting Food Waste and Climate Change
Put ’em up: Fighting Food Waste Also Combats Climate Change
Most people point to renewable energy as the solution to curbing carbon emissions and alleviating the impacts of climate change. As that is a huge part of slowing down the warming of our climate, there are also easier, more accessible solutions, such as fighting food waste.
Why is food waste a big deal?
Food waste is one of the most significant sources of heat-trapping gasses and it directly contributes to climate change. Nearly one-third of the food produced in the United States is either lost or wasted.
When food is produced, acres of trees and land are cleared to harvest crops. This process emits a lot of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. When trees are chopped down, not only do they release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, but they are no longer there to absorb and offset the gas. When food is thrown away, it ends up in a landfill with the rest of society’s trash. Since landfills are no-oxygen environments, they turn organic matter into methane – which traps 30 times more heat than carbon dioxide.
According the WasteDive, between the emissions associated with food production and emissions associated with food decay in landfills, food waste nears 4.4 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
Is fighting food waste hard?
Fighting food waste can easily be done on the individual level. Whether its by starting an at-home compost system (check out our blog on How To Compost) or by changing your food habits at the grocery store and in the kitchen, everyone can do their part in fighting food waste.
Cities can fight food waste on a large scale by employing donation programs for those in need. Additionally, cities can utilize large-scale compost systems and anaerobic digestion. The last place we want our food waste to go is the landfill or to be incinerated.
Renergy partners with food manufacturers in Ohio and surrounding states to recycle food waste through anaerobic digestion. In September, our anaerobic digesters processed nearly 7,306 tons of food waste. Join us in this fight to end food waste and curb climate change!