Combating Food Waste: Saving the World Through Sustainable Growing
The famous phrase “Waste not, want not” is an idiom that has been traced all the way back to the 1500s. It loosely means the less we waste, the less we’ll need in the future. While the saying is centuries old, it’s more relevant today than ever before.
When it comes to food, research shows that we, as humans, are a lot more wasteful than you might think. As the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) puts it, “The fact that substantial amounts of food are produced but not eaten by humans has substantial negative impacts: environmentally, socially and economically.”
While it may not seem like much, reducing food waste at the individual household level will benefit the planet and the people who surround us.
Food Waste & Our Environment
If recent events have taught us anything, it’s that tackling global issues requires teamwork, unity, and togetherness. By all accounts, food waste is a global issue. In fact, the Washington Post recently reported that globally, wasted food accounts for about 8% of all greenhouse gas emissions, which trap heat in the atmosphere and contribute to global warming.
While we may think this comes down to farms and factories, research shows that 37% of food waste happens at home. In other words, it’s not that food is being produced and no one is buying it, but rather food is being bought and not eaten. In fact, in a recent poll of our Tower Garden Instagram followers, a staggering 94% of people indicated that they often find themselves throwing out grocery store food that’s gone bad.
We’re likely all guilty of losing food to the back of the fridge or improperly storing perishable items. But according to 94% of our Instagram followers, produce grown at home tends to last longer. Not only that–growing your own food is one step you can take towards being more conscious of your food buying habits and decreasing your impact on the environment.
It’s easy to think that sustainability is just another buzzword companies use to appeal to a specific audience. However, McGill University defines sustainability as the process of “meeting our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
Sustainability is key to the way we address some of the most pressing issues facing our planet–one of which is food waste. This involves taking accountability for our actions and ensuring that our personal food waste solutions have both short- and long-term benefits.
On an individual level, this may change the way we source, eat, and discard our food. According to our Instagram followers (88%), people want to know if their food is sustainably sourced. So, growing at home doesn’t just mean fewer trips to the grocery store, it also helps reduce carbon emissions. And that’s not the only benefit of home-grown produce. Did you know that 86% of our Instagram followers also say they use more plastic by purchasing store-bought products? It’s clear that growing your own food avoids plastic waste and results in fresher, more nutritious, more conscientious produce!
Reducing waste–food waste, plastic waste, and water waste–is a Tower Garden benefit we love to boast about. Only one third of the world’s water is readily available for agriculture and city use. So, any action we can take to save water helps! With its 20-gallon (FLEX) and 13-gallon (HOME) reservoirs, our growing systems are designed to recycle nutrients and water consistently. In fact, aeroponic gardens like Tower Garden use roughly 98% less water than traditional, soil-based growing methods.
How You Can Get Started
Gardening is a proven and popular way to reduce food waste and make your household more sustainable. Don’t just take it from us, though. Earlier this year, we polled over 2,000 Americans about their food buying habits. About one in three respondents said they would consider gardening to cut down on food waste.
While traditional growing methods require space, tools, and some planting knowledge, Tower Garden requires no tools, no green thumb, and just 3 square feet of space. One growing system can produce 3x greater yields than a traditional garden in a third of the time. Simply plug in your unit, plant your favorite crops, and get growing!
Want to take the first step in reducing waste with the help of Tower Garden? Click here for more information on our versatile indoor and outdoor gardening systems.
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