Last updated on July 19, 2023
Editor’s Note: This article is a part of the Holos Project, a four-way partnership (ENGin, The Los Angeles Times Insider, Published Points of View, The Outspoken) established to empower the voices of Ukrainian students across the world through one-on-one journalism mentorship. This article was written by Svitlana from Ukraine with the mentorship of Kiera Horne from the United States. “Holos” is the Ukrainian word for “Voice”.
Have you noticed that at least 5% of your food is in the trash can? The average American will produce 4.40 pounds of trash daily and throw out around $1,500 in food annually! That’s a lot!
As the waste sector of climate change has become a crippling issue in our society and a detriment to our future, it is important to consider the amount of food we buy and the waste we produce as individuals. It is terrifying to picture the future of our planet if we as a global society continue down this path. Food waste speeds up global warming, pollutes marine life, and pollutes our planet. Though many feel that climate change is out of our hands, there are so many small things each person can do to make an impact and better the environment. Everything we buy and use has an impact on the environment. It all must come from somewhere, and that uses energy, water and sometimes scarce materials. Additionally, it can create pollution in the environment and use land which could be used for more useful aspects of life or left to nature. The best solution for this problem is to avoid unnecessary waste by reducing excessive grocery purchases, investing in eco-friendly storage containers, and donating leftovers.
Here are some tips:
One can start by planning their menu before going to the store. A large portion of waste derives from duplicate ingredients. If you go to the store without a list, you may purchase products you already have at home. The new items in your cart can expire before you finish the duplicates at home, creating food waste. Professionals recommend to plan your meals for the week and jot down the necessary ingredients you will need from the store to reduce excess food. Therefore, that would help lower the percentage of one’s waste and limit one from overspending.
Next, one can also start investing in effective storage containers. Individuals can decrease waste by investing in practical storage containers. Stackable glass containers increase the efficiency of leftover preservation in one’s refrigerator. They also prevent pests from interfering with food storage better than plastic wrap or other methods. In addition, investing in reusable storage containers can limit one from investing in plastic which is a big factor when it comes to waste. Plastic has a big influence and affect on marine life and the environment as a whole.
Third, one can donate leftovers. If individuals have limited room for storing leftovers, they can donate them rather than throwing them away. Various urban food recovery programs take food scraps and create meals to feed underserved community members. Many Americans experience hunger at some point in their lives, and food donations can provide relief and reduce waste. Humanity is trying to lower the world’s garbage due to limited resources. Everyone should contribute to the fight against food waste so that we are able to leave our planet habitable.
One part of humanity suffers from hunger, while the other throws away a lot of good food without thinking about the consequences. To balance this situation and help many people, those who have too much food for their own consumption should give it to the needy. Waste issues show that hunger in the world is caused, not because of lack of the resources, but of how we manage them. As smart consumers, we can consider our purchases and reduce the amount of waste on the planet, thereby changing the course of events for all of humanity. Sharing is not only about an act of mercy, but also about the attitude towards our planet’s resources. Reduce your consumption and help others-the key to solve the growing problem of food waste. The most important changes start with you!