#1 We are wasting too much food
Most of our organic waste is food waste. Take a look at your organic waste bin (we sure hope that you do separate your organic waste from non-organic), and pay attention to the type of organic matters that you threw in there:
Fruit and vegetable peels, fish bones, chicken feet, expired food ingredients, uneaten yesterday’s dinner, and many more–some still fresh, others may already give that distinctive fermentation smell–ready to decay.
Do you notice how much food waste that you and your family make in a day?
FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation) has mentioned that roughly one-third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tonnes — gets lost or wasted.
In Indonesia alone, we are facing the fact that almost 13 million tonnes of food are wasted every year. The wasted food could feed roughly 28 million people, the same number of hunger rates in Indonesia (according to a study made by Detik Finance).
Considering that organic waste is one of the biggest contributors to global warming, the statement about food waste situation in Indonesia has drawn much attention from food and waste experts all around the world.
Take a guess, which country holds the champion of EIU’s 2016 world food waster? No, it’s not United States. Because no matter how much we heard about overeating cases from United States, they are apparently only squandering nearly 277 kilograms of food per capita each year in 2016. Indonesia is far worse than that with us wasting nearly 300 kilograms of food per person each year. The number one EIU’s 2016 World Food Waster is no other than Saudi Arabia with the country throwing out almost 427 kilograms of its food per person each year.
Why is that our country Indonesia and Saudi Arabia waste so much food? One of the reasons lies in the almost-similar tradition between the two countries: excessive marriage ceremonies. It is found that 90 percent of food supplied during marriage ceremonies in Indonesia and Saudi Arabia are end up in garbage boxes as people use such events to show off their status.
Now, with all those food and organic matters being wasted, do you ever wonder what impacts your organic waste has on the environment?
#2 The mixed, neglected, organic waste is one of the biggest contributors to global warming
As much as we hate to say it, we have to inform you that plastic and the other non-degradable waste aren’t the only problems for us right now, the degradable waste also takes part in worsening our current environmental situation.
One thing you should keep in mind: most of the time, it’s not the waste that damaging our environment, but the way we treat it. Plastic waste becomes a problem because we keep on producing it without caring about how we will recycle it in the end. Microplastic becomes a nuisance to us because we keep on throwing it out without making sure that it will not end up in the sea.
Similar thing goes with organic waste: it depends on how we treat it. Organic waste holds countless benefits to our life: it could be made into a compost that enriches the most infertile parts of our land, it could become the nutritious food for our beloved pets and living stocks, all to the creation of new renewable energy source: biogas. It’s highly valuable and filled with advantages, but only if we let it decays in a correct and most responsible way.
#3 The Anaerobic Reaction of Organic Waste Creates Methane Gas (CH₄) which is Harmful to Our Ozone Layer
The anaerobic (zero-oxygen) decomposition of organic waste produces methane gas (CH₄) in its process, and methane gas is a type of Green House Gas (GHG) that accelerates the degradation of our earth’s ozone layer.
Here are all the things that you may have heard about organic waste:
- Organic waste should be separated from the non-organics.
- Clean your recyclables from organic waste before throwing it away to the garbage bin so it wouldn’t contaminate the recycling process later.
- Since organic waste could decay, you’d better keep your organic waste nicely in a closed-lid compartment so it wouldn’t spread unpleasant odors to your surrounding, or worse: attract pests and dangerous bacteria to your living place.
All of the tips above are correct and it is strongly advisable to be applied in daily life. Continue in doing so but do add one more point to your to-do list:
Make sure that your organic waste doesn’t get mixed up with the other waste in the landfill and end up releasing methane gas to the air.
One thing you should never do with your organic waste:
Wrapping or keeping your organic waste in a plastic and throw it away without separating it first.