Reduce Carbon Emissions by Reducing Food Waste

Target: American Consumers

Goal: Cut carbon emissions by limiting the amount of food wasted caused by overconsumption in America.

A recent United Nations report has found that a total of over one billion tons of food a year is thrown away. This results in emissions of over three million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The report also stated that one third of all the food we produce ‘goes to waste due to inappropriate practices while 870 million people go hungry every day.’ This discrepancy is staggering.  A main factor contributing to the West’s food-wasting epidemic is the tendency of consumers to buy more than they really need. This hoarding of food encourages waste.

Similarly, restaurants and grocery stores purchase their food products in bulk, but oftentimes a large amount of these products go bad before they can be put to use. The increased carbon dioxide emissions caused by surplus of food rotting away in landfills increases rates of global warming and ocean acidification. The United States is one of the largest consumer nations in the West. If every American did their part to monitor and lower the amount of food they waste, carbon emissions would be reduced drastically.


Dear American Consumers,

We’ve all witnessed the effects of climate change on our environment. If you want to take positive action against reducing America’s carbon footprint, you can begin by simply monitoring the amount of food you purchase. American overconsumption–buying more of a product than can be used before it expires–leads to food wastage. According to a recent study conducted by the United Nations, food wastage is the world’s third biggest source of carbon dioxide emissions after industry in the United States and China.

A main cause of food wastage in America, and in Western nations in general, is overconsumption. Grocery outlets often buy more of a product than they can successfully sell, and Americans often buy more products than they can successfully use. This means that a large amount of food remains uneaten and gets thrown away into landfills. However, this does not have to happen. If consumers closely monitored their purchasing habits with regard to food products and ensured that they were not purchasing more than they could successfully use, less food would go to waste. As a result, there would be less rotten food laying in landfills and releasing carbon into the earth’s atmosphere. America is home to one of the world’s  largest consumer republics. If we can successfully reign in our consumption habits and exercise more care when purchasing food, we can help save the environment we depend upon for the production of food. Reduce carbon dioxide emissions by reducing the amount of food you waste.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Nick Saltmarsh via Flickr

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