Carbon footprint of food waste at home

10 March 2022

11.2 million tonnes: that's the amount of food waste thrown away by Canadian households each year, which could have still been consumed.

This represents enough food to feed all of Canada's residents for nearly 5 months.

For a Canadian family's budget, this represents approximately $1,100 in losses annually, and for our country, $17 billion.

And what about all the resources dedicated to producing this wasted food, also going to waste... Did you know that the production of all this lost food alone requires about a quarter of all water used in agriculture each year?

In addition to causing enormous economic losses, food waste is one of the main contributors to climate change: all these discarded foods end up in landfills or incinerators, producing a significant amount of greenhouse gases.

It needs to change.

Understanding the impact of our food waste on our planet

For us, it's simple: we sort what goes into the garbage and what goes into recycling. However, the waste management cycle is much more complex than it seems and much more harmful to the environment than one might think. After waste collection, it is sent to an incinerator, landfill, recycling center, or composting center. Over half of our waste ends up in incinerators or landfills, and that's where it becomes a problem.

Incinerators emit a significant amount of CO2 (about 1 to 1.4 tonnes of CO2 per tonne of waste burned), while landfills emit methane, a biogas 25 times more harmful than CO2.

Globally, 1/3 of methane emissions come from landfills.

Methane production results from the fermentation of our organic waste in landfills. Being deprived of oxygen as they are compacted underground and covered with a sealed membrane, they ferment, leading to the release of methane into the air.

These significant emissions directly (and to a large extent) contribute to global warming, which is why it is so important to try to reduce our food waste.

But there is hope! More and more individuals are making efforts to waste less, and we wanted to join this fight too! That's why we decided to talk to you about composting, a practice that is close to our hearts at Réserve Locale!

A solution to reduce your ecological footprint: composting

Of course, the #1 solution to decrease our carbon footprint is to reduce our food waste and therefore not waste. The recycling of food waste, commonly known as composting, is also a very interesting solution because it avoids sending our food waste to landfills, which, as you may have noticed, are excessively harmful to the environment!

This treatment process significantly reduces the volume of waste. The carbon contained in organic waste is effectively "eaten" by living organisms and then released into the air in the form of CO2. Since CO2 originally comes from the atmosphere and cannot be considered as a polluting release in itself.

In Quebec, it's easy to compost during the summer thanks to the warm temperatures and to reuse the fertile soil resulting from it in your garden and flowerbeds. For the rest of the year, it's a bit more complicated. However, there are now new alternatives, such as the company Tero, which offers a solution that will revolutionize the management of your organic waste at home, regardless of the season. The FoodCycler is an intelligent composter that turns your food waste into fertilizer! Fruits, vegetables, meats, fish... almost everything can be composted!

You'll discover a company that shares our values and will undoubtedly convince you to reduce your ecological footprint.

Every little gesture can help reduce food waste

Meal planning, making a grocery list based on what you already have in your pantry and fridge, going to the grocery store on a full stomach, managing your fridge well, learning how to preserve your foods for longer, and of course, maximizing the use of your freezer!

At Réserve Locale, it's not for nothing that our products are frozen. We encourage our customers to use the full potential of their freezer, reduce trips to the grocery store, and support only local and responsible producers. Visit our online store to discover our themed boxes and all our individual products, perfect for stocking your freezer for the months ahead.

Remember: every gesture counts!

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