Food waste is a huge problem in the United States. The good news: Each of us can help solve it.
Consider this: A typical household of four tosses out about $1,600 worth of food annually. Up to 40% of the food that's produced never makes it to our mouths, and all this waste is enough to fill the highest skyscraper in Chicago 44 times a year, according to an estimate by the Department of Agriculture. Meanwhile, 1 in 8 Americans struggle with food scarcity.
Our discarded food often ends up in landfills, where it rots and then starts to emit methane — a greenhouse gas far more potent than carbon dioxide. A recent report from the United Nations panel on climate change estimates food waste accounts for as much as 10% of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions.
While many environmentally friendly practices — say, buying an electric car or installing solar panels — require an upfront investment, you can start saving immediately once you put in place these tips to reduce food waste.
Here are five simple ways to start reducing your food waste at home today.