Food wastage is not only a huge problem worldwide, it is also a major problem here in Australia, and we are each playing a big role in the issue. Just as we do our best to make our food production more friendly to the planet, we can also reduce the amount of food being thrown out. Worldwide, the impacts of food waste are astonishing! When food is disposed in landfill, it rots and begins to produce methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Not only is it contributing to greenhouse gas emissions it also using freshwater we can’t really afford to sacrifice, costing farm animals their lives which in turn accounts for billions of dollars worth of human labour, not to mention the forests being cut down and wetlands drained purely for production of food that is never even eaten! Food and organic wastes have big impacts economically in terms of disposal costs as well as having major environmental impacts.
In Australia alone, about one-third of food produced for human consumption goes to waste in each year! It is estimated food waste is costing the Australian economy $20 billion each year, and that over 5 million tonnes of food ends up as landfill. This is enough to fill 9,000 Olympic sized swimming pools! Proper disposal of our food scraps can make a HUGE difference to our environment, and we can all help make a different through composting our waste in our very own homes.
What is composting? It is the natural decomposition of organic material by microorganisms, into a brown crumbly organic substance called compost. Composting your food waste at home helps to reduce landfill waste and harmful emissions as well as being great for the land. Recycling food wastes as compost improves soil structure and health as well as reducing the need for supplemental water, pesticides and fertilisers. Compost is magical stuff, especially if you have made it at home yourself. It is FULL of nutrients and life, improving your soils moisture and nutrient-holding capacity which equals healthy, disease resistant plants, yay!
Done with your banana? Don’t throw away that peel! Food scrap items such as vegetables, fruit, meal leftovers, coffee ground, tea bags and grains can all be composted. A common misconception with home composting is that it smells funny, is messy and is far too complicated, however, composting the right way is actually quite simple. Make use of our DIY compost bin within your kitchen and start accumulating your compost materials then mix them with your store-bought organic potting soil to create the perfect soil for your plants and your planet!
These can be materials such as:
- Fruit scraps
- Vegetable scraps
- Coffee grounds
- Tea bags
- Shredded newspaper
What NOT to compost:
- Anything containing meat, oil, fat or grease
- Dairy products
- Pet faeces
Create your very own compost bin using the one thing mostly every household has, the Newspaper! A quick and simple DIY job for your weekend ahead that is going to help your soil AND most importantly, save your planet!
Check out our great tip of the week videos on making use of food scraps in your household - you can find them here:
Coffee scrub: https://www.dinnertwist.com.au/blog/tip-of-the-week-coffee-scrub
Eggshell compost: https://www.dinnertwist.com.au/blog/tip-of-the-week-eggshell-compost