Monday, November 17, 2014

Waste Not, Want Not

"If we don't waste what we have, we'll still have it in the future and will not lack (want) it."

This morning I heard a story on NPR that struck close to home. In fact, Adam and I just talked about this two weeks ago. The amount of food Americans waste is astounding. I'm guilty of it. We're all guilty of it. 

Image credit: Love Food Hate Waste site

I HATE that I waste food and someday when I have my own house, I plan have a compost pile (more on that later), so any food that is thrown out is at least turned into something I'll use. 

However, until that happens, this is the plan of action I need to take. Not to mention, the statistics are astounding. Read the NPR story here because I think it will strike a chord with you, too.

I go visit my aunt and uncle in California as often as possible. It is now law in California that whatever can be composted, must be. This includes coffee grounds, orange and banana peels, and napkins that have food waste on them. The state made it easy, by giving a green plastic bin with a lid to each household. You can buy compost-safe bags at the grocery, and once that is filled up you take it out to the big green bin outside, right next to the black trash bin and the blue recycling bin.

Hopefully, eventually, other states will pick up on California's composting program and we can begin to take better care of this planet we call home. Until then, consider composting in your yard. You can buy compost bins at garden nurseries, that you can easily spin (this movement is imperative to the breakdown process... if the food doesn't move, oxygen can't get to it and it doesn't break down. This is why landfills are a bad design and fill up eventually). All of that thrown away nutrients becomes fertilizer for your flower and vegetable gardens. You can't find soil much better than that!

What is heartbreaking to me, is that this is something both of my grandparents and parents grew up doing. This was the NORM. My mom grew up in the country and while they burned their trash (which I obviously do not recommend), all food waste was turned into fertilizer, for their huge vegetable garden. Only in recent history have we gotten so far from our roots; convenience is killing our planet, and our bodies. If everyone adapts these food-saving practices--either planning their meals and wasting less, or composting what we do waste--we're just making our world that much better. 

Today's Takeaways:

1. Plan meals so you don't waste food you purchase, especially produce
2. Split entrees with a friend or significant other when you do dine out
3. Start a compost pile or bin in your yard (here's a website with easy to follow steps)
4. Research. Learn more. Pass on the information. 

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