Our World, Trash Is Tragic, What You Can Do To Save The World






Bad news, my trashy babies! The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report stating that “urgent and unprecedented” changes are needed to keep global warming below 1.5°C. Or else what? Well, the details are horrifying but basically, we’ll unleash a climate more confused than a dosed dreidel on Christmas. Many species will face extinction. Those of us who survive will do so on a drastically altered planet. What a time to be alive! Or not alive, depending on your future circumstances.

Climate change is a huge, urgent problem. It’s easy to say fuck it, I quit. Order a six-er of bottled water from California with next-day delivery on (kill the) Amazon (via C02 emissions) Prime. Suck down your sorrows via a plastic sippy-cup of DUNX Sub-Zero Diabetic Delight Latte, feat. Hazelnut Orgy. My friend: RESIST THE URGE. If there’s one thing my parents and eight siblings have taught me, it’s that life (and my parents and eight siblings) will hit you, hard, and being a little bitch about it isn’t always an option. Time to act.

The IPCC report confirms that societal change on every level is needed to curb the effects of climate change. And who makes up societies? People! Everyday subterranean freaks like u and me. We can stop overbuying. Reuse things. Compost. Bike, walk, take the T, if able. Eat less animal and more plant-based foods. Cut out plastic. Have fewer children, or none, or adopt. Vote out politicians sponsored by oil.

So, how are you planning to freak with climate change on the regs? Here’s an easy way: REDUCE YOUR FOOD WASTE.



Have you been living under a giant glacier (lol less likely every day)? Knock the white person dreadlocks out of your ears, you crop-topped neo-hippy! According to research from Drawdown, “up to 35 percent of food in high-income economies,” such as the USA, “is thrown out by consumers.”

“Producing uneaten food squanders a whole host of resources—seeds, water, energy, land, fertilizer, hours of labor, financial capital—and generates greenhouse gases at every stage—including methane when organic matter lands in the global rubbish bin. The food we waste is responsible for roughly 8 percent of global emissions.” – Drawdown

Drawdown ranks “reducing food waste” as the third most effective solution for limiting climate change. Number three – out of 80 solutions. But did they research the impact of methane emissions from my farty bed after Soda Water Saturday? Mozzy Stick Monday? Drawdown did not respond to a request for comment.




1. Buy the right amount of food. This is the most important tip, because it addresses the problem of consumer food waste at the source. If we ‘Mericans throw out 35% of our food, it reasons that we could save both money and emissions by buying less. Here are some practical tips on how to do it:


2. Buy local food as often as possible. Local produce can be purchased year-round in Massachusetts via CSAs and farmer’s markets. Yes, they exist in the winter! Locally-grown food travels fewer miles from farm to consumer, emitting fewer greenhouse gasses. Also important, it keeps money in the local economy.


3. Store food properly. This will keep it from escaping. I mean, rotting! Read How to Store Fruits and Vegetables: Tips and Tricks to Extend the Life of Your Produce Without Plastic, by Berkeley Farmers’ Markets.

As a general rule, keep fruits and vegetables separate. If you eat bananas, keep them away from everything. Many fruits and some vegetables create the gas ethylene. Ethylene causes produce to ripen, changing its texture and flavor. Some produce is very sensitive to it and will quickly rot when exposed.


4. Be sensual. The sell-by, use-by, or expiration label on packaged food is a guideline for food quality, not food safety. So quit repressing your natural instincts with authoritarian muster! Use your five senses to determine if a food has gone bad. If you have a sixth sense, throw that into the mix, too. I often invoke the spirit of rotting vegetables in my monthly seance circle.


5. Overripe produce playing with madness? Cook or slice ’em all. Soups are like baptisms for flaccid, wilting produce. They emerge from those spicy waters born anew! You’d never know the zucchini had been kinda dry, or the onion once had a drug habit. The same principles apply for roasting. Hail satan!

If you have produce that can be eaten raw, try this magic trick: cut it up and leave it in a bowl on a table. It will disappear. This dark magic works in a break room, kitchen, seance circle, or meeting of Mushroom Trippers Anonymous.

On a similar note, don’t be afraid to purchase very ripe produce from the store if you’re going to use it right away. You might just deliver it from evil. I mean, divert it from the landfill.


6. Forsake fussy recipes and let what you have dictate what you eat. Soup, salad, stir-fry – these are but a few of many simple meals with versatile ingredients. Invoke them on the regs.

Peaches and I have oatmeal almost every morning. It’s a healthy, easy thing to make first thing. We sex it up with seasonal fruits, spices, nut butter, honey – whatever’s around. Soup’s another endlessly variable meal that kills it as leftovers. The ingredients are simple – vegetables, spices, a grain, beans. The flavor varies by what’s on hand, in season, and appealing. Go crazy – throw a fried egg on top, some sensual avocado, or hot-n-heavy hummus. Sexy!


7. Eat leftovers. A friend recently confided that her sister refuses to eat leftovers. Can you believe her? Leftovers are the crux of my apartment’s civilization. They allow us to eat home-cooked meals while spending less time in the kitchen. The dark days of flaccid $12 lunch hoagies are gone. Hail leftovers!

Label leftovers in your fridge. Eat them for your next meal. Freeze if you can’t eat within a few days.


8. Freeze food scraps. I freeze my vegetable scraps in a glass jar (no moldy scraps, please). Once a week I’ll use it to make free, delicious vegetable stock. I save apple cores the same way, and make free apple scrap vinegar. I’ll zest juiced lemons and freeze that, too. Sexy beany dip tip: citrus zest is great in bean spreads.


9. Get your roommates involved. Gotta reign in the kale orgy happening in your vegetable crisper? Produce on hand the night before tour? Sacrifice excess groceries to the roommate gods. If you notice a roommate’s food is rotting, gently remind them, and ask if you can cook it up. Ask roommates to add food scraps to your broth jar.


10. Buy the ugliest produce you can lay your greasy dick I mean hands on. Americans won’t buy produce if it isn’t camera-ready. We’d rather have debaucherous orgies of food waste than a slightly bruised banana. Is it really a big deal if a carrot has two legs? Or if a peach has nicer ass than you? Open your mind to the visually-interesting and absolutely-normal-tasting world of “ugly produce.” Test the waters by purchasing some scarred apples. See, totally normal. Plus, those guys have the best stories!


11. Dumpster dive. In the olden days, the Trader Joe’s dumpster didn’t lock. We’d hit it up after hours and find ourselves up to the tits in baked goods. Then we’d slip the coppers and flap the Charleston all the way down to Trolly Square! What dumpsters are open now? Ask around.


12. Donate your food to a local pantry or shelter. Ideally, you won’t have enough extra food kicking around to make this a realistic option. But just in case, here’s a list of Boston-area food pantries from foodpantry.org Also: Pine Street Inn, Food for Free, Rosie’s Place. If you live outside the Boston area, find a local food drop-off via Feeding America or FoodPantry.org.


13. Last resort: Compost. What’s the diff between food in a landfill and food on the compost heap?

“Compacted in a landfill, food lacks exposure to air. Anaerobic bacteria—bacteria that thrive without oxygen—break that food down. The bacteria produce methane gas as a byproduct, a greenhouse gas much more potent than carbon dioxide. On the other hand, if that same food becomes compost, it not only returns nutrients to the soil, it actually sequesters carbon dioxide. Of course, food should be eaten first and composted as a last resort.” Zero Waste Chef

Build your own composter, find one used, or buy. Other compost options in the Boston area:
Remember – Cambridge has curbside composting for residents with trash/recycling pickup, in buildings with up to 12 units.

Some Whole Foods Markets will still accept compost – check the parking lot at your local WFM.

Bootstrap Compost is a compost pick-up service which returns finished compost for your plants or garden.

Google it!



Freestyle Cooking: the Recipe for Reducing Food Waste via Zero Waste Chef

Reducing Food Waste at Home via EPA.gov

11 Practical Ways You Can Reduce Food Waste and Save Money via Mashable

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