Do you have food in your kitchen that will probably end up in the bin? Did this happen last week as well? Take a look at the food in your fridge and the bread, potatoes and fruit in bowls or bags in the larder or on the table. Can you guarantee that all of it will be eaten?

Jeannette Tsoulos, Vice Chair of ICJW’s Committee for the Environment and Sustainable Development, was inspired to ask this question by the work of Ronni Kahn, instigator of OzHarvest. This was originally an Australian organization devoted to cutting food waste commercially and in the home. In 2004, noticing how much food was being thrown away, Ronni began by collecting leftover food from restaurants, supermarkets and events and donating it to charities to feed the poor. From small beginnings, her organization has grown to become a partner with the UN and other world organizations in setting targets to reduce food waste around the world.

Worldwide, billions of tonnes of perfectly good food is waste every year. It ends up in landfill, where it rots away to produce methane, a greenhouse gas 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

Ronni was a guest speaker at the ICJW Quadrennial Convention in Sydney, Australia in May 2018. She galvanised the audience by demonstrating that each one of us can make a difference by changing our wasteful practices. By buying only as much food as we need and using all the leftovers, we can reduce our food waste dramatically. By composting vegetable scraps or starting a worm farm, we can reduce it still further.

This is an easy and practical way that we can do our bit to help the planet in cutting greenhouse gas emissions. It would become even more effective if it became a global effort.

The ICJW Environment Committee has joined with OzHarvest in their campaign “Fight Food Waste“. We urge our members and affiliates to join the campaign and fight food waste in your communities.