How to Turn Food Waste Into Resources
Updated : June 28, 2021 16:06 IST
Do you know that food that ends up being in landfills produces a potent greenhouse gas called methane that’s a major contributor to global warming?
Let’s admit that we all waste food despite knowing about the economic and environmental costs associated with that. Tristram Stewart, the author of Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal once said, “If food waste were a country, it would be the third largest producer of greenhouse gases in the world, after China and the U.S.” This statement holds truth.
Do you know that food that ends up being in landfills produces a potent greenhouse gas called methane that’s a major contributor to global warming? Methane is around 36 per cent more effective in trapping heat than carbon dioxide. All we are trying to make you understand is that every time you throw an overripe banana, wilted coriander leaves, or bruised vegetable in the trash, you add to the problem. Therefore, we need to find a solution and we have one for you. It is composting. If you have a garden you can easily become a part of this solution. Let’s know about it in detail.
What is Composting?
Composting is an environment-friendly solution to millions of tonnes of food waste. It has benefits that are beyond just minimizing the emission of methane from wastes in landfills. Composting is a process that involves the natural decomposition of plant and food wastes (organic material). When you mix food waste which is a source of nitrogen with carbon, that’s present in yard debris and paper, and then leave them in an oxygen-rich environment, it becomes a perfect food for microorganisms. Constant feeding on the mix transforms the waste into a nutrient-rich substance that can sustain the future growth of plants.
It is a time-taking process that we can speed up by creating an ideal environment. You need to just mix a bunch of food and plant waste (anything that comes from the ground) in a compost pile. Let the waste sit. You just need to keep mixing them over time.
Doing this will get you nutrient-rich soil amendment. The compost can be used as a fertilizer and reduce the need of chemical options. Moreover, the compost can eliminate around 99.6 per cent of harmful organic compounds in the air. Notably, these volatile compounds can cause health problems like throat irritation, nausea, etc.
Composting helps in carbon sequestration too. It is essentially a process of capturing and storing carbon dioxide present in the atmosphere to reduce global climate change. Compost potentially traps and contains carbon in the soil and prevents it from wreaking havoc on the planet.
By now, you must have understood why we need to waste as little food as we can and how can we turn these unusable into something that serves a greater cause. So, think before you throw and save the planet.