The famous phrase "Waste not, want not" is an idiom that dates back to the 1500s. It basically means that the less we waste, the less we will need in the future. While this saying is centuries old, it is more relevant than ever.
When it comes to food, research shows that we humans are much more wasteful than you might think. As the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) says, "the fact that significant amounts of food are produced but not consumed by humans has substantial negative impacts: environmental, social and economic."
While it may not seem like much, reducing food waste at the individual household level will benefit the planet and the people around us.
Food waste and our environment
If recent events have taught us anything, it's that tackling global problems requires teamwork, unity and solidarity. By all accounts, food waste is a global problem. In fact, the Washington Post recently reported that globally, wasted food accounts for about 8% of all greenhouse gas emissions, which trap heat in the atmosphere and contribute to global warming.
While one might think that this problem is on farms and in factories, research shows that 37% of food waste occurs in the home. In other words, it's not that food is produced and no one buys it, but rather that food is bought and not consumed.
We're probably all guilty of losing food at the bottom of the fridge or storing perishables poorly, but homegrown produce tends to last longer. And that's not all: growing your own food is one step you can take to be more conscious of your food buying habits and reduce your impact on the environment.
It's easy to think that sustainability is just another buzzword that companies use to appeal to a specific audience. However, McGill University defines sustainability as the process of "meeting our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs."
Sustainability is critical to how we address some of the most pressing issues facing our planet, including food waste. This means taking responsibility for our actions and ensuring that our personal solutions to food waste have both short and long-term benefits.
On an individual level, this can change the way we source, eat and throw away our food. So growing at home not only means fewer trips to the grocery store, but it also helps reduce carbon emissions. And that's not the only benefit of homegrown produce. Did you know that 86% of our followers on Instagram also report using more plastic when buying store-bought products? Clearly, growing your own food avoids plastic waste and results in fresher, more nutritious, and more conscientious produce!
Reducing waste - food waste, plastic waste and water waste - is a Tower Garden benefit we like to brag about. Only one-third of the world's water is available for agriculture and urban use. So any action to save water is welcome! With 20 gallon (75 L) (Towergarden FLEX) and 13 gallon (59 L) (Towergarden HOME) tanks, our growing systems are designed to recycle nutrients and water on a constant basis. In fact, aeroponic gardens like Tower Garden use approximately 98% less water than traditional soil-based growing methods.
How to get started
Gardening is a popular and proven way to reduce food waste and make your home more sustainable. But don't just take our word for it. Earlier this year, we surveyed more than 2,000 Americans about their food shopping habits. About one in three respondents said they would consider gardening to reduce food waste.
While traditional growing methods require space, tools and some planting knowledge, Tower Garden requires no tools, no green thumbs and only one square foot of space. A growing system can produce three times the yield of a traditional garden in one-third the time. Just plug in your unit, plant your favorite crops and start growing!
Want to take the first step toward reducing waste with the help of Tower Garden? Click here for more information on our versatile indoor and outdoor gardening systems.