The number one thing tossed in landfills will shock you


Landfills are filled with all types of waste. The number one thing that fills a landfill is something that could be totally preventable.

Do you know the number one thing tossed in landfills? While more and more people are conscious about reduce, reuse and recycle, garbage bags are filled to the brim. In a recent study by General Mills and Feeding America’s MealConnect, a landfill is filled by one item that can be easily reduced, food waste.

While many people have done documentaries, studies and raised awareness on food waste, the typical American family still produces a huge amount of food waste. It is said that the average family wastes $1,500 in thrown away food, 20 pounds of food is tossed and 20% of purchase food is never eaten.

Take a moment to look at your refrigerator and pantry. How often do you clear out a shelf because there is wilted lettuce, stinky lunchmeat or stale bread? That answer directly relates to this discussion.

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In today’s highly consumable culture, people buy and buy more. It is easier to just buy another loaf of bread, just in case. That scenario could have families with multiple loaves of bread in the house. Will all that food get eaten?

In many cases, people don’t eat everything that filled the grocery cart. It could be the sale was too good to pass up. It could be that the family just plain overbought. Whatever the reason, too much food is being wasted.

To be more conscious about food waste, shop in your pantry before making that shopping list. All those boxes of pasta don’t necessarily have to be pasta and meat sauce. There are thousands of pasta recipes that could be used. A little creativity in the kitchen is always a good thing.

Another idea is to cut back on the food purchased. Instead of buying the 20 pound bag of potatoes, try buying a smaller bag. While so many people want to save at warehouse stores, those gigantic portions can be just too large. It isn’t a good deal if you throw food away.

Also, leftovers can be a good thing. Although some people don’t like the same meal two days in a row, think about a way of transforming that meal. Steak on day one can be tacos on day two. Again, a little creativity goes a long way.

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Filling landfills with food waste is an event that can be avoided. A head of lettuce takes 25 years to breakdown in a landfill. Think about that fact next time your throw away some wilted lettuce.