Although it doesn’t seem like a great deal of money, imagine if that figure was doubled or tripled? In fact, the average American family can increase their spending power by at least that much, if not so much more, by learning ways to reduce waste in the home. That figure was an estimate released in the Guardian a couple years back on how much Americans waste in their kitchens alone. If you were to factor in the annual rise in the cost of living, it would probably be over $1,700 a year by a conservative estimate.
Food for Thought
This is something which waste management expert, Rod Proto, has been focusing on for over three decades in multiple countries throughout Europe, and at home here in North America. He even goes so far on his own website to offer 10 tips for reducing waste in the kitchen. If the average family just thought about all that food literally going down the drain, they might think again on changing their shopping, cooking and eating habits. Even with $1,600 extra to spend a year, just think of all the new clothes you could buy or that long weekend away you’ve never been quite able to afford!
Kitchen Waste on a Global Level
Over the years, Rod Proto has turned floundering waste management companies around from loss to profit and is no stranger to the amount of food countries around the world waste each and every year. Although it is a much bigger problem in the United States than anywhere else, the Environmental Protection Agency has found that wasted food is the single-largest occupant in US landfills and that it actually accounts for 1/3 of everything you will find there. Imagine wasting 1/3 of your shopping budget each and every week! That’s something every family should internalize. What could you do by increasing your shopping budget by 33.3% each and every week?
Why Americans Waste So Much
Now then, look at it in terms of annual waste on a national level. As of 2016, the United States wasted almost 60 million tons of food equaling some $160 billion in waste. How many homes could be provided for the homeless or how many American vets could get the services they need with those kinds of resources? So, why do Americans waste so much? One award-winning chef and activist, Tom Hunt, says that Americans are the pickiest eaters on the planet but not for health reasons! It’s all about aesthetics. If a piece of fruit is discolored, we throw it away.
Summing up what the Guardian found, a more realistic figure is that Americans throw away about 50% of all produce grown each year. This could go so far towards fighting hunger and funding so many programs that it’s time the United States implemented some kind of national waste management education for families. Rod Proto would be onboard with that and he would probably one of the most vocal advocates. Isn’t it time you thought about ways to reduce waste in an effort to live a more sustainable lifestyle?