At The Green Moustache, we try to live up to our name and look out for the Earth. With the launch of the Sea To Sky Thrivers Society, our sister non-profit, we thought we’d share with you one of our joint initiatives which we think is pretty neat. It’s called Compost to Soils to Microgreens – and we’re quite proud of it!
Food waste is a massive problem
In Canada, we pour $31 billion of food into landfills every year. That’s 40% of the food we produce! When you add in associated costs like energy, labor, and infrastructure, the UN estimates it costs our country more than $100 billion a year.
All that adds up to a LOT of wasted resources and harm to our beautiful planet. According to the FAO report Food Wastage Footprint: Impacts on Natural Resources, wasted food costs the Earth:
- A volume of water equal to the annual flow of Russia’s Volga River
- 3 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere
- 4 bn hectares of land
- Massive loss of biodiversity due to monocropping and as wildlands are cleared for agriculture
- Millions of gallons of oil and fossil fuels
- Destruction of ecosystems through chemical agriculture
“We simply cannot allow one-third of all the food we produce to go to waste or be lost because of inappropriate practices, when 870 million people go hungry every day” – General José Graziano da Silva, director of the FAO.
On top of all this, rotting food in landfill emits huge quantities of methane, which is 25 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than CO2. Dumping food in the bin is driving global warming.
It got us thinking…
If an average home can divert about 150kg a year of food waste from rotting in landfill, how much could a café like us save? And could we do something good with it?
Working with Sea To Sky Soils, we started composting.
We collected up all of our food scraps (and yours!) and started carting them down to Sea To Sky Soils, a first-nations initiative that supports local food production with cradle-to-cradle composting in a valiant attempt to close the recycling loop.
We realized we could use our waste to grow tomorrow’s crops. As well as cutting methane emissions by reducing food sent to landfill, composting fertilizes soils reducing the need for nasty chemicals, and even reduces water waste in agriculture, by enhancing soil water retention.
Plus, it turns out compost is quite the antidote for aggressive farming! It can aid in the revitalization of destroyed ecosystems by improving damaged or contaminated soils, and can even capture and destroy 99.6% of industrial volatile organic chemicals in the air. Finally, compost can aid carbon sequestration – literally sucking extra carbon dioxide out of the air and into the ground.
And the best part? Sea To Sky Soils uses that very compost to grow organic, nutritious, delicious and planet-saving microgreens – which we then serve fresh back to you at The Green Moustache Restaurants.
Pretty neat, huh?