New Study: Food Waste a Key Contributor to Climate Change

As the climate crisis becomes more serious, we all want to play our part in creating a more sustainable, hospitable world. Sometimes, it can be tough to identify practical ways to affect change, which can leave us feeling helpless or powerless. One way forward is to gain a better sense of climate change’s causes, which can in turn direct us toward meaningful, corrective action.

A new study, published in Science, is especially noteworthy. The study confirms what many have long suspected, which is that emissions from our world’s landfills play a major role in creating climate change. More pointedly, the study shows that food waste is one of the primary culprits.

Let’s take a closer look at the study and consider some of its implications in the fight against climate change.

What Causes Climate Change?

While there are undoubtedly many factors that contribute to the climate crisis, the Science study shows that solid waste is toward the top of the list. With regard to human-generated greenhouse gas emissions, landfills account for about 20 percent.

What’s most striking about this study, though, is the extent to which food waste plays a part in these landfill emissions. Some specific findings from the study:

●      In 2019 alone, the United States generated an astonishing 66 million tons of food waste.

●      Much of this waste came from households, restaurants, and food retailers, with about 60 percent of it being buried in landfills.

●      While some food waste is addressed via donation, compost, or anaerobic digestion, an overwhelming majority of it ends up getting tossed.

The bottom line: Our landfills are a persistent source of climate-altering emissions. And all the food that we throw away plays an especially major role.

What Can We Do to Reduce Food Waste?

Identifying the severity of this problem is an important first step, but what practical measures can we take to cut back on all that food that we throw away? Some suggestions:

●      Take some time to understand all of the adverse effects of food waste. Check out our WasteXperts blog post on the topic.

●      Consider disposing of your food waste via a compost heap, as opposed to tossing it into a bin where it will ultimately wind up in a landfill.

●      Be a smart, strategic shopper the next time you’re at the grocery store, cutting back on both food and plastic waste.

●      Whether you live in a private residence or an apartment complex, ensure you’re working with a waste management vendor who takes sustainability seriously.

That’s where we come in. At WasteXperts, we have a proven track record helping our clients facilitate meaningful, eco-friendly approaches to waste, including food waste. Contact us whenever you’re ready to discuss environmentally conscious waste and recycling management solutions.

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