39% of Americans feel guilty about wasting food, making it the #1 source of green guilt by a wide margin. Other activities that lead many to feel remorse include leaving the lights on when they are not in the room (27%) and wasting water (27%.) Surprisingly, not buying CFLs elicits little regret (only 9%) as does not managing the house temperature to save energy (7%.)
Why do consumers feel so guilty about throwing out food? It likely has to do with socialization (“Clean your plate, there are kids starving in Africa!”) Additionally, it is highly visible and occurs frequently, making it hard to ignore.
Americans’ food usage has lots of room for improvement. 40% of the food produced in the US is not eaten. The average family of four throws out between $1,300 and $2,700 of groceries annually. If just 15% of that food could be saved, it would make a dramatic difference in the country’s hunger issues.
Food gets tossed by shoppers for a variety of reasons including confusion about dates on labels, poor planning, and buying in bulk due to retail incentives.
At the consumer level, 33% of seafood, 28% of produce, and 27% of grain products are wasted.
Should we consider new products that help consumers waste less food?
Will this be the year when global warming returns to America’s radar screen? There are some compelling reasons to think the answer is “Yes!”
There are also reasons to think that climate change will continue to be ignored for at least another year.
What do you think? Will the nation embrace and address climate change this year?