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13 May 2019 03:44 pm

SustainableQATAR’s Weekly Challenge 11: Feed others, not the landfill

Khadiza Begum
Khadiza Begum
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SustainableQATAR’s 52 weekly challenges – that is one challenge per week for a whole year themed by month – are Qatar-specific and Qatar-relevant opportunities for all residents to take actions in personal life, work and within our communities.

To participate, please read the short statement about the impact of our personal actions and why it matters to start doing things differently. Learn why it matters and how you can make a difference by following the suggested alternative.

Challenge #11: May 13 ~ CLOSE THE LOOP: Feed Others, Not the Landfill

We feel a deep appreciation and gratitude for food and respect for those who grow and produce it, and who prepare delicious meals for us. Keeping this in mind, SustainableQATAR, hopes to inspire conscious and careful shopping by exercising our purchase power to eliminate toxic food additives and by carrying reusable shopping bags to reduce plastic waste (there are faster checkout lines at local grocery stores that honor bring-your-own bag).

How are you at estimating quantities needed for meal preparations and entertaining at home? After meals is there more food leftover than was needed or can be eaten the next day? Share leftover food that is safe to share, for instance, food that won’t spoil quickly, like breads, uncooked food, and non-dairy sweets.

Food that spoils and goes bad quickly still has value, however, and is an untapped resource. Millions of tons of food waste are generated each year, and if diverted from landfill, creates many economic opportunities, including composting, to close the loop. Currently less than 10% percent of food waste is used for composting.

Food is the largest single component of everyday domestic waste stream that goes to landfills and incinerators. When food goes to the landfill, it’s similar to tying food in a plastic bag. The nutrients in the food never return to the soil. The wasted food rots and produces methane, a greenhouse gas that is roughly 25 to 30 times more dangerous to our atmosphere than carbon dioxide.

Cutting your food waste in half will cut in half the greenhouse gases (methane and carbon dioxide) generated by the decay of food in a landfill and contribute to delivering UN Sustainable Development Goals #2 – Zero Hunger, #12 – Responsible Consumptionand #13 Climate Action. (CO2e = Carbon dioxide-equivalent)

Follow the food recovery hierarchy, feed others, not the landfill!

  1. Source Reduction – Plan carefully, purchase wisely. Purchase only as much food as you really need.
  2. Feed Hungry People – Neighbors, Charities, Workers. Find others that can take the unspoiled, healthy, leftover food.
  3. Feed Animals – Live near a farm? Know anyone with chickens or pets? Donate unspoiled food to feed animals.
  4. Industrial UsesRecycle your cooking oil with Green Brokerage for Oil (GBO). GBO is an ISCC (International Sustainability and Carbon Certification System) certified Used Oil Collection Company in Qatar approved to recycle your oil safely. (tel +974 5033 5054, Facebook)
  5. Composting – if you live in a compound / villa with a small garden or space for a compost bin, use it! Composting is a great way to transform your vegetable peels and leftover uncooked food to home-made soil. If you are handy, make your own composting bin from packing pallets or one for the whole compound to share.
  6. Landfill – the last resort is to send your food waste to landfill, after reducing the quantity through the steps above.

Take a photo of your weekly action and post it on social media using hashtags #SustainableQATAR #52Challenges.

About SustainableQATAR

SustainableQatar, an independent action-based think and do tank that addresses environmental sustainability in Qatar, was founded in 2008 to raise awareness, share actionable knowledge, and encourage connections and collaboration between individuals and groups.

Website: http://www.sustainableqatar.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SustainableQatar/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SustainQatar
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/sustainableqatar/

We know it takes more than a few small personal initiatives to make our planet eco-friendly. But if you can make one lifestyle change each day this coming week, it’s a start! So are you going to participate in this week's challenge? Let us know what you think about SustainableQATAR’s 52 weekly challenges! And also don’t forget to give us a like and a share – you know it keeps us going!