If food waste were a country

Founding Mother, Chard & Stripes

Let me tell you what:

I have no plans to stop flying to curb climate change.

It’s not like I’m a jetsetter anyway, but I do have plans to travel more with my man, without driving nonstop in an electric car or crossing the Atlantic in a zero-emissions boat.

No, my friends, I shall not be reducing my travel to lessen the burden I place on the planet.

Among the things I will do, however, is get more serious about having fun reducing the amount of food I waste. I hope you will too and spread the effort in your family, community and beyond.

According to Our World in Data (but in my words), …

Food waste by retailers and consumers is about three times worse than global aviation when it comes to putting greenhouse gas—heat-trapping gas—into the world.


If food waste were a country, it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gas, after China in first place and the U.S. in second.

Yikes…but yay at the same time:

The large impact of food waste means that “everyday” folks like you and me can do easy—yet meaningful—things to address climate change.

For example, …

We can master The Art of Freezing and save food past its prime so that less goes in the trash.

We can use the Guest-imator to get closer to buying the right amount of food for social gatherings.

We can cook with scraps and compost in our kitchens, which I’m loving right now, thanks to the All Season Indoor Composter, which doesn’t smell and has a spigot for “compost tea” to water houseplants and your yard, if you have one.


I’m a newbie at using the thing but it’s been great so far. It comes with bokashi, an all-natural compost starter that speeds up the breakdown process and controls odors.

I live in an apartment, so I might bury my compost at my sister’s house, with guidance from SCD Probiotics. I can also haul my food scraps to a farmers’ market. Perhaps you can too. Check your city government website to research public composting where you live.

To learn more about food waste, visit The Natural Resources Defense Council at NRDC.org.

UPDATE: I have the good fortune of living somewhat close to a MOM’s Organic Market, which has a great recycling center where I now drop off my food scraps and glass.

Dr. Mary-Elizabeth Harmon is a scientist turned storyteller and Founding Mother of Chard & Stripes, a “school” of prosperity making and word-of-mouth marketing platform for businesses in food, fashion and more. Subscribe to her weekly newsletter here.