We’ve all gotten a lecture or twelve from our parents about the importance of finishing all of the food on our plate, but just because we’ve been ingrained with a moral obligation not to throw excess food away, that doesn’t mean that we don’t still have quite a way to go when it comes to being mindful about food scraps. And while being convinced to finish the perfectly dressed salad or well-seasoned chicken on your plate is one thing, the task of “not wasting” things like apple peels or less-than-fresh bread isn’t always as natural to wrap your head around. Still, finding ways to reduce these kinds of waste is critical to sustainability, which is exactly why we’re all about composting or getting creative with turning our food scraps into dinner. But to take things even one step further, a lot of companies (and even states) are making moves to turn food scraps into renewable energy.
The concept of disposing of food scraps in a more sustainable way is hardly a new one (states like Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York had laws in place requiring certain businesses to separate food waste from regular trash for years). However, as climate change and environmentalism become bigger considerations than ever before, people have started to see the value in not just disposing of food scraps properly, but actually using them in a more innovative way. In some cases that might be as simple as cooking more creatively with food scraps. But the real winner when it comes to using food scraps more responsibly is finding ways to convert those scraps into renewable energy.
Companies are increasingly looking for ways to convert food waste into energy where possible. One company, HomeBiogas, for example, has created a simple biogas system that essentially allows people to convert their food waste into energy for the home. The device basically acts as a large composter that then uses the methane gas produced during the composting process to create power that can power your kitchen and home sustainably.
Meanwhile, companies like Waste Management are also working to create solutions that address the food waste-turned-energy initiative. In this case, for example, WM divides up the food scraps that it collects and sends a portion of those scraps to be composted while sending the others to organic recycling facilities where those scraps can be converted into energy.
While there’s still quite a ways to go before we can say we’re totally sustainable in how we approach food waste and creative solutions for food scraps, efforts like these on the parts of different companies help ensure that we’re at least moving in the right direction as far as minimizing “not wasting food” (per our parents’ request) on a grander scale.