This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Vitamix.
The 15th of November is America Recycles Day; the only nationally recognized day and awareness effort dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the United States.
Globally, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that one-third of all food grown is lost or wasted, which amounts to about 130 billion pounds and $161 billion worth of food annually. In America, food waste is estimated at between 30-40% of the food supply, also representing a waste in food production resources from land, water, energy and inputs. In other words, for an American family of four, the average value of discarded produce is nearly $1,600 a year.
What’s also shocking, is that food waste is the single largest component going into municipal landfills; as landfill waste decomposes, it produces a number of pollutants, (air toxins, volatile organic compounds, carbon dioxide, and methane). Landfills are the second-largest industrial source of methane emissions in the United States, accounting for 20% of methane emissions (2014 statistic). If methane is allowed to leak into the air before being used (aka seeping out from a landfill), it absorbs the sun’s heat, warming the atmosphere. For this reason, it’s considered a greenhouse gas (like carbon dioxide), but its far more devastating to the climate because of how effectively it absorbs heat. This is obviously a massive problem regarding climate change. These unfortunate realities are seamlessly connected, and it’s a cycle that’s very broken and staggering to believe.
THE GOOD NEWS – there’s a really easy way to avoid further contributing to this issue: COMPOSTING.
Composting is a great way to not be wasteful, and support a greener and healthier world. My favorite and easiest way to compost regularly is by using a Vitamix to help break down all my food scraps. If you’re not familiar with a Vitamix, it’s one of the best kitchen and home appliances I’ve ever invested in for culinary reasons, and now I’ve just found another 🙂
How to compost with a Vitamix:
- Put your scraps into the Vitamix (avoid dairy, meat, or other cooked items).
- Add a cup or two of water – this will help the scraps liquefy.
- Pour your liquid compost on top of already watered soil, let it sit for 24 hours and then turn the soil. If you have a larger garden, pour the mixture into large bucket and fill with water to cover more surface area.
- Add 2 cups of soapy water back into the Vitamix blender to clean, then rinse.
- Maintain your pile: every couple of weeks, use a garden shovel to mix the pile around. Make sure the center stuff goes to the outside and the surrounding stuff moves to the inside. If you see steam rising, that’s a good sign – your pile is literally heating up as a result of the materials in it decomposing.
- Feel like a better human by knowing you’re doing your part to make the world a healthier place.
A few helpful composting tips:
- Keeping your pile fresh may yield earthworms, and the center of the pile will turn into black, crumbly, sweet-smelling “black gold.” If that happens then you are on the money!
- Brown scraps help remove smell (the pile should smell like good soil), so you can always throw in some leaves that have fallen if necessary.
- Involve your kids or little ones – when was the last time you were permitted to play with your food?
As an active New Yorker my groceries sometimes will go unused which is a real shame, but to compost with a Vitamix is one way to remedy that issue and turn potential food waste into a useful regenerating compound. Plus, this habit will significantly lessen your environmental impact, allow you to grow plants more sustainably (hello, fresh, awesome basil and rosemary), and save thousands of dollars in resource use for our world.