• Accokeek Foundation

Modern Homesteading: Simple Steps toward Sustainability

Did you know that food makes up the largest percentage of waste in US landfills? On average, we toss 40% of our food in the trashcan, where it ends up in oxygen-deprived landfills to sit for years – largely intact – producing large volumes of methane, a very potent greenhouse gas. Not only is it harming the environment, and burdening our already overflowing landfills, but as a nation we are effectively throwing out $165 billion each year, when one considers the costs to grow, ship and dispose of all that uneaten food.

But there are simple steps that each of us can take to restore the balance and reduce the environmental impacts of food waste.

  1. We can start by buying less, and processing or preserving excess food when we have it, so that it can be enjoyed at a later date. Interested in learning more about food preservation? Join us for our free Modern Homesteading Preserving Workshop, September 14.

  2. If you find yourself with more than you can eat, share your bounty with those in need. With one in seven US households currently food insecure, reducing food waste can be as simple as donating food to the neighborhood pantry or making a home-cooked meal for a friend. While these steps require you to make small changes in your buying and eating habits, shopping and cooking smart can become second nature in no time and help to save you money and protect the planet. If you take these steps, you’ll find that far less food is headed for the garbage.

  3. Some amount of food waste is inevitable though, but that doesn’t mean it has to be destined for the landfill. A simple step anyone can take to further reduce food waste is composting. You can compost whether you own five acres or rent 500 square feet. Not only does composting keep food out of the waste stream, but it also provides you with a nutrient-rich soil additive that you can use in your home or garden, thereby saving you even more money in lawn care costs.