Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Food waste can occur due to various reasons which can occur at various stages of food production. Reducing these wastes can significantly affect the economy of countries especially developing ones. This can bring down the prices of food, reduce the environmental impact and decrease the losses on food processing.
Reduce waste by using Biodegradable Packaging:
We all purchase our food items at the local market or a grocery store. But most of the time we do not carry a bag to bring back the food items in. At those scenarios, if a biodegradable bag is used instead of a regular plastic bag, it can reduce the amount of waste formed significantly. Consumers can be encouraged to always carry a jute bag to put their items in when they go to the market. This further reduces the amount of wastage caused due to packaging, also it provides a reasonable boost to the local jute textiles.
Reusing Leftover Organic Waste:
We throw out a lot of leftovers from our food items which are inedible but can be reused in the form of compost. Families can be encouraged to form compost pits in their backyards in which the organic food wastes can be put which would provide excellent fertilizer for plants in their gardens over time.
Recycling Organic waste from markets:
If noticed carefully, it can be seen that a lot of waste from crops are produced from the local markets. Inedible parts of the plants are thrown away as they are of no use to the sellers or buyers. Also vegetables which have gone bad are of no use to anyone. They are all disposed off which leads to an increase of waste. This organic waste, if treated properly can become a source of sustainable energy source for the market. They can generate their own power through the organic waste they are left with. Many possible options include a bio-gas plant, right next to the market place. This can help the local community in keeping the roads and surrounding clean, as well as providing a sustainable and renewable source of energy. This ensures the 100% utilization of the products, not a part of the food crops are left to go to waste. Recycling in this manner leads to “Zero-Waste” production. Even the organic waste left from the Biogas plant can be used as fodder for the local cattle, which again ensures more income for the local community as well as keeping the market place clean.
Reducing waste by changing the menu:
Most of the household food waste is caused when we buy in excess quantity or buy perishable items which we won’t be able to consume by the time they go bad. Making a plan can help reduce this waste significantly.
- Buy non-perishables in bulk. That way it reduces the carrying and packaging waste.
- Buy only as much as you need. This way you can be sure you are always consuming the freshest of ingredients.
- Try local grown food items. This helps the local farmers as well as guarantees the freshness of the products.
- Cook recipes that ensure the full use of the food products. You can cook items that uses the whole food instead just a part of it. Also this ensures that the food is nutritious.
How readily can these ideas be applied?
These ideas are all based of on scientific research and have been used and experimented on before. These ideas are community based and have been proved to give results. The solutions are economic, sustainable and beneficial to the community as well. It ensures more employment in management of these biogas plants, encourages to reduce the waste and teach about smarter and healthier living.
How much infrastructure is required for these prototypes?
Not much. Most of the space required can be found in the market places and backyards. Little or no external power and management is required, the local community themselves can manage and administer the plants.
How beneficial are these ideas?
These ideas ensure zero waste. All parts of crops are used up, thus ensuring a cleaner locality. The power generated is self-sustaining, hence it is more economic. They employ local people to operate and manage thus allowing place for more employment.