What happens when you influence someone to waste less food?

BY DBS, 18 FEB 2021

You may be well on your way towards living a sustainable lifestyle. But what happens next? When you start sharing with others about your own habits, here’s exactly what you can achieve for the world.

A single Singaporean household chucks five kilograms of food waste a week. Now, if you have 10 friends, that’s a whopping 50 kilograms of food getting wasted weekly from their homes. Stretch that out to a month, and it becomes 200 kilograms!

Food waste researcher Mattias Erickson says we’re in denial: “most people, they don't actually waste food, according to themselves.”

On the flip end, the amount of measurable good that you’ll achieve from pointing just one friend towards a zero food waste lifestyle could far surpass five kilograms of food – even 200. It’s a lifetime of food, energy, and resources that you’ll both save. That’s also one more person rallying for others around them – communities, businesses, networks – to rethink their everyday actions.

Here’s why that little bit of extra work that you put into making someone rethink their shopping and cooking habits matters so much.

You’re helping ease social inequity by sharing your food! Let everybody get a piece of the pie.

The statistics are jarring: if the world’s food waste was consumed instead, we could feed two billion people across the globe. That’s more than twice the number of hungry people across the globe.

And according to a study by Boston Consulting Group in 2018, food waste could rise by almost a third by 2030 if current trends continue, shooting up to over two billion tonnes that will be binned.

As our parents would tell us when we were young, every bit of food that we waste could go to a person who would appreciate it. To make a direct impact, you could look out for opportunities to help and make sure no one around you is going hungry.

Such as how Adele Tan stepped up when she saw different segments of society struggle with Covid-19. She connected DBS Treasures drivers, who no longer had clients to ferry to and from the airport, with the DBS Stronger Together Fund to help deliver food to those who needed assistance.

If you run a business, you could even make a social activity out of donating your extra food every week. With digital platforms like The Virtual Foodbanking app by DBS and The Food Bank Singapore, it’s easier than ever to redistribute food!

You’re reducing the global resource drain.

In a dream world, the Earth would be able to gift us infinite resources. Reality is that food waste is a direct representation of resources being squandered, including water, land, energy, as well as labour and capital. In dollars and cents, food loss and waste equate to approximately $990 billion every year.

Reducing global food waste would help us put global resources to better use, while allowing Earth to regenerate its resources. As it stands, we’re not doing too well.

Heard of Planet Overshoot Day? It marks 29 July 2019, the day that we consumed nature 1.75 faster than Mother Earth can regenerate in a whole year.

You’re helping lower global carbon footprints.

When you convince one friend to avoid wasting just three kilograms of food, you’re preventing them from generating an equivalent of 23.3kg of carbon emissions. Every spoon of food we consume is responsible for greenhouse gas emissions before they even get to our plates!

And at the heart of it all, you’ll find your consciousness in today’s world.

Where reducing food waste is concerned, there’s no solution too small or whacky. Organisations like Ento Industries continue helping us recycle the Earth’s resources in the most unconventional of ways. The social enterprise uses Black Soldier Flies to give food waste a new lease of life. As a result, they upcycle food waste into high-value food for the agriculture industry.

Ento Industries is a recipient of the 2020 DBS Foundation Social Enterprise Grant.

Let’s start talking more for change.

Your tireless sprint to spreading the zero food waste message might even inspire the next big food waste solution! Remember, all we need to do to feed 25 million people is to rescue and consume 15% of our food waste.

As one of the main sponsors of MasterChef Singapore Season 2, DBS shines a spotlight on how we can each reduce our food waste in the kitchen.

Learn more about how you can continue your journey #TowardsZeroFoodWaste.

Find out more about DBS’ other partnerships and initiatives #TowardsZeroFoodWaste.

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