What Can We Do to Reduce Food Waste?

Image1For many of us, tossing away food from plates, fridges, bags, and/or storage is a routine that we take for granted. When we discard food habitually, we rarely pause to consider the consequences of our actions.

According to a recent press lease by U.S. Department of Agriculture: 

–  About 133 billion pounds of food are wasted in the U.S. every year. To put this in perspective, a family of four each year throw away more than two million calories of food, worth about $1,500.

– Food waste is the single largest component of disposed U.S. municipal solid waste.

– When food is disposed in a landfill, it rots and becomes a significant source of methane – a potent greenhouse gas with 21 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. Landfills are the third largest source of methane in the United States.

As we can see from the above facts, throwing away food is an issue much bigger than a personal habit. When we routinely discard food, we would be contributing to a problem that has severe economic and environmental consequences. Economically, food loss means unnecessary deprivation of productivity and depletion of resources. Environmentally, food waste causes landfill overload, green house emissions, and climate change. If we continue our unmindful routine, we would exacerbate the problem and eventually, hurt ourselves.

As busy teenagers, how can we do our part to reduce unnecessary food waste?


image7– When buying lunch from a school cafeteria, think about whether you’ll eat what you are buying and when you’ll eat, and buy accordingly.

image11– When eating at home, think about how big your appetite is and load your plate accordingly.



image9– When taking your own lunch to school, plan your lunch food based on your activities on that day and pack accordingly.

image5– For those of us who cook, plan meals and recipes ahead of time and use a shopping list.



image10– Save – and actually eat – leftovers.




image12– Donate canned food to food banks.




Next time when you are about to habitually dispose of food you are no longer interested in eating, pause and ask: What can I do to reduce wasting food?

If we all do the same, we can make a difference.

Reducing food waste starts from you, and from now!

28 thoughts on “What Can We Do to Reduce Food Waste?

  1. Excellent post on such an important topic. And did you know that reducing American food losses by just 15 percent would provide food for more than 25 million people in the United States every year? Crazy! I love your tips for how to reduce food waste on a personal level.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the additional info! It is amazing that wasted food can provide for so many people. That points to another angle to see the issue: by reducing food waste, we can actually help solve the problem of food insecurity.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great tips Chris! We all need to do our bit. Last year there was a campaign started to help reduce food wastage; the British public have a part to play but supermarkets and other food providers are just as guilty. UK supermarkets waste millions of tonnes of food. It’s ridiculous that so much food was wasted because they felt that the masses would not purchase cosmetically imperfect produce; some even chose not to donate (at least at the time) their excess supplies to charities that would greatly benefit from it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am so happy to say that I don’t waste food, me and my husband eat the leftovers and if we did not finish a meal, the next day we will finish it, I don’t make another, to not waste. I don’t like to throw food. I plan our meals, I freeze some but not waste it.

    Liked by 1 person

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  5. Pingback: Say No to Food Waste—A New Idea | Youth Food – Meals Under Pressure Cooker

  6. Great post! It’s only when we read facts like these that we realise how much food waste is actually being generated on our planet to date! There are definitely not enough people in this world who promote, address and help alleviate the food waste problem as you guys do!

    Similar to your blog, our campaign aims to provide university students and business owners with information and solutions on how to change their poor waste habits. With your support, we can help spark a behavioural change amongst university students.

    Please check out our campaign and feel free to share your stories with our community. Remember, it only takes one spark to start a fire.



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