And, a refreshing bonus, it saves hard-earned family money – in effect giving each of us a pay raise. For businesses like farms, grocery stores and restaurants, it is like picking up free money lying around on the ground.
This is simple economics… why would any of us work hard to create something only to throw some of it away?
Reducing food waste goes a long way to saving the planet, because so much fossil fuel pollution is created the way we currently grow and transport food. So if we simply wasted less food we’d create less greenhouse gas pollution and thus create less global heating.
Well, when we are truly mindful we discover we do that a lot… but the good news is that makes our food habits an easy win when looking for climate change solutions.
In developed countries (31% lost food), food waste happens mostly at the consumption end – in homes and restaurants. And in developing countries (75% lost food), that lost cash/lost food happens mostly in the upstream end of the process – in transportation and markets.
To give us a tool to make these numbers better, misleading food “sell by” or “use by” packaging labels are finally being fixed. From this piece by Georgina Gustin, which appeared in Inside Climate News: “Some of the world’s biggest food manufacturers and retailers agreed they would try to simplify these labels for consumers and whittle them down to just two. The companies, which include Walmart, Kellogg’s, Nestle, Unilever and Tesco, said they would make the changes by 2020.”
But inside the US, misleading labeling will get fixed even sooner in 2018, as the Food Manufacturing Institute and the Grocery Manufacturers Association trade groups agreed last year.
On a background note, Gustin also points out that the United Nations in 2015 set an aggressive, exciting goal of 50% reduction in food waste worldwide by 2030, in all phases of the supply chain. Here is a link to their 2017 progress report.
To me, reducing food waste – any waste, really – is a mindfulness exercise and certainly a great habit to cultivate.
But if that doesn’t appeal to you, consider that it will also keep hard-earned cash in our wallets, or consider that we have a moral and ethical imperative not to harm others by creating the emerging climate crisis with our excessive lifestyles!
The great news any way we look at it, reducing food waste is a powerful global warming solution.
Inside Climate News is a nonprofit, nonpartisan Pulitzer Prize winning environmental journalism team which we support… here is a link if you would like to support their work as well.
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Not sure how to start saving the planet (civilization, really)… Start by remembering the saying: “Hope is a renewable resource.” Keep your morale up.
Then, our immediate practical first step becomes “Deeply know our personal Superpowers,” those skills over which we all have 100% control:
3) To save the planet, USE OUR VOICES and take advocacy seriously in all its many flavors: Never miss a vote and never stop influencing your government. Influence the vast business world by voting with your buying power… business listens when you speak its language. Set a solid example in your personal life. Tell friends what we must do. Finally, have a carefully-chosen annual donor program. All of these are ways you can use your voice.
No one can take your personal power away. Stay focussed on the list of substantive global warming solutions.
And at all times, cast aside the “learned-helplessness” that infects so much of modern life… the time is now for action.
Never give up.
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