SUSTAINABILITY ARTICLE FOR THE WEEKENDER HERALD
BY LIDDY DOLMAN MAY 2013
'MANAGING OUR OWN FOOD WASTE'
Humans have always generated some form of food waste, in itself, that is not specific to the modern world. The problem arises from the number of humans now on the planet AND the sheer quantity of food waste we generate.
In Australia alone we waste 4 million tonnes of food every year. It is said that 40% of the average household garbage bin is food. Mind boggling isn’t it?
The primary issue is that when food decomposes in landfill it creates Methane, a greenhouse gas which is 25 times more potent than Carbon Dioxide. The issue we don’t often consider, is that we also waste the water, fuel and resources needed to grow, package and distribute the food we then throw away.
Planning your weekly menus, not shopping when hungry and using leftovers efficiently are just some strategies we can all put in place to limit our food waste in the home.
Ok, so what can you do with the food waste that still fills that little container on the sink every day? I am happy to say there are a myriad of options for you to consider. My personal favourite, and one that I have successfully used for over 5 years, is the Bokashi system. Using a specifically designed bucket and Bokashi mix, this system ferments all your food waste and provides liquid soil conditioner and nutrient rich organic matter that your garden will thank you for.
A hit with many families is the worm farm. Worms eat organic waste and turn it into liquid fertiliser and worm castings (the organic material that has been digested by the worms). Remember, worms don’t like the sun so ensure they are set up in a cool, shaded spot.
Chooks love food waste, keep you in eggs and produce fantastic chook poo compost for your garden. A real win/win situation.
You may consider building an open compost if you have the space or purchasing a compost bin. Make sure you do your research and purchase a bin that best suits your needs. Set the bin up in direct sunlight to assist in the process of breaking down the waste. Go to www.composting101.com and www.ecolife.com>garden>compost for good, unbiased information on composting.
Next edition – ‘Energy, what you may not know’
Visit me at Ecolateral 411 Magill Road St Morris or visit www.ecolateralshop.com.au for more info on sustainability.