April 22nd, 2022 was Earth Day – a time when people around the world celebrate the birth of the modern environmental movement. It is also a time to reflect on how well we are caring for the planet and to find ways to treat the planet better. The sad reality is that we are consuming the Earth’s resources faster than the Earth can replenish them. In fact, according to https://www.overshootday.org/how-many-earths-or-countries-do-we-need/, we would need 5 planets if everyone consumed at the level we do in the United States.
As if that’s not bad enough, we waste a LOT. Somewhere between 30% and 40% of the US food supply is wasted every year https://www.usda.gov/foodwaste/faqs. That is staggering when you consider the growing hunger problem in the US. Food is just one category of waste – there are many. So what can we do to make things better?
Let’s start by consuming less food. Use lists when you go to the market and stick to the plan! Not only will you end up with less waste, but you’ll also save money! Be sure to organize your kitchen with First In First Out to make it easy for you to eat the oldest foods first. Don’t let things hide in the back of the fridge. Eat leftovers – don’t keep cooking new meals when you haven’t finished eating the meals you cooked earlier in the week. Enjoy those leftovers – many dishes taste better the next day after the seasonings have a chance to really saturate the food. Try your hand at composting and/or invest in a garbage disposer for scraps. They are earth-friendly ways to dispose of organic waste. Pack a lunch – a great way to handle leftovers. Finally, read and understand the dates on food products. Don’t get rid of things too early.
Let this be the year that you commit to wasting less. That is just one way to be good to the planet that is within your control!