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Canadians throwing away $1,700/year in food: Environment Lethbridge

Jan. 19: Martin Gooch with Value Chain Management International, the company behind a new report on Canadian food waste, joins Global News Calgary to talk about the details of the report.

Throwing away $1,700 sounds ridiculous but according to recent polls, the average Canadian household does just that each year as wasted and uneaten food goes to the curbs. In response, Environment Lethbridge has launched a new website.

Wasteless.ca offers tips and strategies to Lethbridge residents on how to reduce food waste, dispose of items more thoughtfully and save money in the process.

READ MORE: More than half of food produced in Canada is wasted: ‘It would horrify our grandparents’

Suggestions include strategically planning meals, understanding what those pesky “best before” dates really mean and properly storing different foods to ensure they are used before they go bad.

Environment Lethbridge Executive Director Kathleen Sheppard says the savings people see from changing their habits won’t just be in their wallets.

“About 20 per cent of the waste that goes into our landfill is food waste,” Sheppard said.

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Environment Lethbridge Executive Director, Kathleen Sheppard says wasteless.ca will help empower residents to take action with different strategies to reduce wastefulness.
Environment Lethbridge Executive Director, Kathleen Sheppard says wasteless.ca will help empower residents to take action with different strategies to reduce wastefulness. Global News

“It is a big concern. Food waste goes into the landfill and takes up unnecessary space. On the other side of it, in southern Alberta, we grow a lot of food and that takes a lot of water.

“So it’s basically the equivalent of just taking all of that water and wasting it too.”

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As heavy as the numbers may seem, Environment Lethbridge is adamant that a series of small habits can make the biggest impact.

READ MORE: Trash talk inspires Lethbridge residents to #wasteLESS

“When it comes to what people can do, I think a lot of it is easy stuff that we know we should be doing,” Sheppard said.

“It’s making a grocery list, making sure food is stored properly, cooking the food you need instead of that extra bit of spaghetti or whatever you’re cooking. We’ve got lots of resources to help people refine those behaviours.”

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You can access the information from the organization’s website or directly at wasteless.ca.