It’s Waste Reduction Week in Airdrie

Whether it’s food, garbage or time, nobody likes to waste. Too often, we get comfortable in our routines and we start to overlook waste because it simply becomes normal in our everyday lives. It is currently Waste Reduction Week in Airdrie and we’re choosing to focus on food. Did you know that the average Canadian household wastes $1,766 worth of food annually, approximately 40 per cent of the food produced in Canada? Neither did we! This works out to around $46 million of food wasted right here in our very own Airdrie. That is why we’re here today to inform you about food waste reduction and techniques to help you live smarter.

In a household, food is often wasted due to a number of factors:

  • You buy too much food at one time and the perishables expire before you can get to them.
  • Food is stored incorrectly, going moldy, stale or spoiling before you eat it.
  • You get bored of leftovers and either throw them away or don’t eat them before they spoil.
  • Food gets lost in the fridge and you forget you had it in the first place.

To lower food waste in your home, try implementing these tactics to reduce the amount of food you waste and increase the efficiency of your food bill:

  • Make a weekly meal plan before you go shopping so you know what you need to buy for the upcoming week.
  • Grocery shop more often so that less fresh food goes bad before you eat it. Make sure you look in the fridge before you go shopping so that you don’t purchase something that you already have.
  • Get creative with your leftovers so that you don’t get tired of eating the same food over and over again.
  • Go through your pantry once a month to check expiry dates so that you know what needs to be used right away.
  • Organize your fridge with perishables at the front or in one specific area so that you know what needs to be eaten first.

Following even one of these suggestions can help lower your food waste in the home. If you have food items at home that you know you won’t eat, consider donating them to the food bank. First check that the item is unopened and the expiry date has not passed, then take it to the Airdrie Food Bank so that it can go to someone in need.

We do understand that some food waste is inevitable, such as food scraps, peels, etc. Besides wasting valuable food that could go towards nourishing someone, there is another important reason that food waste should not go into our landfill. “Organics need oxygen to turn into soil, which isn’t present in a landfill. Organics buried in a landfill releases methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times stronger than carbon dioxide. They also create leachate, a toxic liquid from garbage, which has to be collected and treated to protect the environment,” says the City of Airdrie.