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Reduce your Methane Footprint by Reducing Food Waste

13 August 2014

Szczel-creative commonsIn 2011 Americans produced 36 million tons of food waste, of which 96% of ended up in landfills. In a landfill food decomposes anaerobically which means it produces methane, the second most common green house gas (GHG). What’s so bad about this?  Methane is much better at trapping radiation which makes it 20 times worse than CO2 in contributing to climate change.

How can you help?

First, try to reduce your food waste by planning out meals, freezing veggies before they go bad and eating leftovers. Reducing the amount of food you throw is the first line of defense! More on reducing food waste.

Secondly, compost the food waste you do have. Composting food causes it to broken down through aerobic decomposition. This means that the food is decomposed into CO2 instead of methane. Though CO2 is still a GHG- it is less potent than methane. As an added bonus compost turns into nutrient rich soil that is re-used and often lowers the need for fertilizer (source).

Learn how to compost in your back yard or find out if your city has compost drop-off locations. Both Ramsey County and Hennepin County have free drop-off locations.

 

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