This is because organic waste going to landfill produces methane, which makes a massive contribution to climate change, many times more than carbon dioxide.
In addition to rotting, there are other emissions related to production, distribution, and transportation of food that goes to waste when food ends up in landfill.
To put it in a local context, close to 60 percent of Wellington’s household waste to landfill is organic! And on average, Wellingtonians spend almost $600 a year per household on uneaten food that goes to landfill.
Based on this, there is a significant potential to curb our environmental footprint (and save money and resources) from our homes.
Research shows that consumer decisions and habits rank high when it comes to food waste. In other words, each one of us can make a difference by being more conscious about our food waste.
To make that happen, limit avoidable food waste as much as you can and divert the rest. Avoidable food waste is food that was once edible, which we’ve allowed to go to waste.
To improve on reduction, become a food-conscious household by planning ahead for shopping, reusing leftovers, sharing extra food with friends or neighbours, storing and freezing well to prevent spoilage, and regularly checking your pantry and fridge for forgotten food.
You can make it a family or a group mission to reduce as much food waste as possible at gatherings and events.
To find loads more ideas, and recipes, check out lovefoodhatewaste.co.nz.
To divert unavoidable food waste such as fruit and vege cores and peels, compost or bokashi at home if you can.
Check out wellington.govt.nz/composting for advice to get you started.
Alternatively, you can use the ShareWaste app to connect with local composters, or visit kaicycle.org.nz to explore their options for taking food scraps.