We all know that uneaten food and some other materials, like fresh grass clippings, soon start to look unappealing and smell. That’s because they are organic materials and once their life is over they start to decay or decompose. The energy stored in the organic materials is a food source for various microbes.
In a landfill, materials are compacted and covered with soil. The environment soon becomes depleted of oxygen. When food and other yummy (to bacteria) materials decompose in an environment with no oxygen, 2 gases are produced — carbon dioxide and methane — in roughly equal proportions. Both are greenhouse gases but methane is a more powerful greenhouse gas. On a 20-year timeframe methane has 86 times more Greenhouse Warming Potential (GWP) than carbon dioxide. Reducing food waste translates to a reduction of carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere.
Stop by the climate action table during coffee on Sundays in November for more information about food waste reduction.