Children are often told by parents not to waste food and finish every morsel on their plate. And, when children and adults waste food, it is an utter shame. This said, some amount of food waste is inevitable. Things such as teabags, eggshells and vegetable and fruit peelings are part and parcel of any household. However, did you know the food you waste and the food waste together do eat into your monthly budget and are detrimental to the environment?
There are several things you can do to save money, and the environment at the same time.
If there is food waste, you should not think twice about home composting. Not only will this prevent food waste and wasted food from making their way into landfills, home composting also will provide you natural, organic fertilizer for your garden and vegetable patch.
When food that is edible is thrown away, it makes it way to landfills. Here, the food begins rotting and releases methane, which is a greenhouse gas. However, that is not all. Throwing away food and food waste is also wasting water, packaging and energy that are used to produce, transport and store the ingredients that go into making food.
Alternative to Home Composting
In many cities and towns, the local government and not-for-profit organizations are introducing food waste collection centers that allows families to come and dispose food and food waste. These centers then send the uneaten food and food waste to recycling plants, where it is converted into fertilizer or soil improver. In some parts of the world, recycled food waste is even used to generate electricity, which is then transferred to the national grid. Amazing!
Your next question would be how food waste is recycled. Well, recycling companies use different methods. Two most common methods are as follows:
• Anaerobic Break Down: In this method of recycling, the food waste is broken down using microorganisms that do not need oxygen. This is done in a closed system and the resultant methane that is produced during the process is collected and transformed into biogas. The biogas is used to make fuel for transportation or generate electricity. The material that is left behind in the vessel is used as a fertilizer or soil improver, as it is rich in minerals and other vital nutrients.
• Enclosed Composting: Unlike home composting that is done out in the open, this method of recycling uses an enclosed vessel to mix food waste with organic garden waste. The vessel is kept at 70 degrees Celsius for 2 to 4 weeks to kill harmful pathogens. Thereafter, the material is then put out into the open and turned regularly for the next month or three. Once the compost is ready, it is sold as soil improver or conditioner.
If you make an effort to reduce food waste, you prevent the wastage of resources. And, the best way to conserve resources, such as energy and water, is by opting for food recycling. Some airports in the UK and United States have started recycling food waste – uneaten inflight food and food from restaurants at the airport. These green airports have realized the importance of reducing the amount of waste that reaches landfill and now it is time for laypeople to also realize and understand this fact.