Saturday, June 11, 2011

How Much Food Do We Throw Away?

Hello again my composting friends. I would like to apologize for not writing for a longer period of time, but my life got very busy this past month. Nonetheless, I am back and it is my goal to write more often in the future. I am very excited to announce the statistics of my waste collection that I promised you a while ago. I thought that it would be very interesting to put the composting into numbers so that you can see what impact you can make by choosing to compost your food waste as opposed to send it to a landfill.

For the past two months I have been diligently weighing all the food waste that went into my composting bin. (Note: I did not weigh any yard waste that I composted). I was able to collect and compost 46.89 pounds (21.273 kg) of food waste what resulted in the reduction of food waste send to a landfill (note: my household consists of two adults). If we extrapolate this number to a one year period, I will remove 281 pounds of food waste from the waste stream each year. This accounts to emissions reduction of 51.985 kg* of CO2e per one year period. It does not seem to be much, but it quickly adds up with more households composting.

Since the start of the Composting Challenge 11 households signed up to take the Challenge. The following table shows the breakdown by state.

I am very pleased to see that 9 states participate in the Challenge. Massachusetts is so far the winner with two households and total of 6 people composting. Go Massachusetts!!! Collectively we removed so far this year approximately 1876 pounds of waste from the waste stream and avoided 347 kg of CO2e. Great job!

Do you want to make your composting fun? Do the same exercise as I did and weigh your food waste for one month. You will be surprised how much organic waste we create in our households. Don’t forget to share the results with the group! This blog was created to share ideas and help each other, so please do not hesitate to post your own comments, success stories or concerns. Happy composting!

* The CO2e was calculated using U.S. EPA’s greenhouse gas emissions data - Measuring Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Waste

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