Organizing Your Fridge to Reduce Carbon Emissions

Organizing your fridge to reduce carbon emissions.
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Organizing your fridge to reduce carbon emissions. Image: Unsplash

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Feng Shui, an ancient art of arranging objects to achieve harmony can also help with organizing your fridge to reduce carbon emissions.

Practising Feng Shui, an ancient Chinese art of arranging buildings, objects, and space in an environment to achieve harmony and balance, in your kitchen can also help reduce food waste and your carbon footprint.  

The impacts of food waste

It’s easy to get lost in the clutter. Our on-the-go lifestyles can mean less time for cleaning up and decluttering. You may think of decluttering of your clothing or everyday items, but what about your kitchen? And importantly, what about organizing your fridge to reduce carbon?  

In 2019, it was found that Americans throw away 103 pounds of spoiled food from their fridge every year. The average American will toss four spoiled items from their fridge weekly. There could be many reasons why so much food is being thrown away. For example, our packaged items might be expired (based on the best-before or use-by dates), the produce has rotted or wilted, or we can’t stand to eat the same meal more than once a week. All valid reasons.  

Did you know food waste has significant impacts on the environment? Producing food requires resources like water, energy, and land at the source. When food is wasted, all these resources go to waste, too. Food waste, especially if it is not composted, contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. When organic matter, such as food waste, decomposes in landfills, it produces methane. Food waste accounts for around one-quarter of these greenhouse gas emissions.  

From a consumer standpoint, food waste is a waste of money. And with the cost of food these days, we should be focusing on how to use it and avoid, when possible, throwing it out.  

Organizing your fridge to reduce carbon emissions

Jiaying Zhao, an Associate professor in the Department of Psychology and IRES at the University of British Columbia, TED talk, she demonstrates how we should feng shui our refrigerators to help reduce food waste and curb climate change emissions.  

One of the main takeaways from Jiaying’s talk is where to place your items in your refrigerator. She advises putting perishables (produce, milk, or vegetables) at the front of your fridge or on the door, somewhere where they will be easily accessible and seen. This makes it easier to use up food before it spoils. Items with a longer shelf life, such as hot sauces or sodas, can go in the back.  

Organizing your fridge to reduce carbon allows you to practice first in, first out (FIFO) rotation, where older items are placed in front of newer ones. This ensures that perishable items are used before they expire, minimizing waste. When your fridge is clutter-free and well-organized, you have a clearer view of what you already have, which helps prevent overbuying or purchasing duplicate items. This will also reduce the likelihood of food sitting unused and eventually being wasted. 

Feng Shui emphasizes the importance of decluttering and maintaining an organized space to allow positive energy to flow freely. Organizing your fridge to reduce carbon also helps reduce clutter, creating a sense of order and harmony in the kitchen. Moreover, Feng Shui teaches that cleanliness is essential for maintaining good energy flow and promoting health and well-being. Keeping the fridge clean and organized contributes to a hygienic environment.  

It’s important to note that your fridge might not always be well organized, and you might have to throw out food at certain times. But just ensure that if you do throw away food, compost it either in backyard compost or with a service provided by your municipality.  

Organizing your fridge to reduce carbon can help you achieve mindful consumption, even if the rest of your life is hectic. Additionally, in this world of environmental uncertainties, keeping your fridge organized is one easy way that you, as an individual, can make a difference and ensure that your food is eaten and your emissions are going down.  

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