Helping the Planet Through Prepared Meal Delivery Services
The world events in 2020 have been a constant reminder of the interconnectedness of our actions to those around us. This included the constant repercussions of climate change which not only is causing extreme weather events, affecting wildlife habitats and populations, rising seas, and other impacts. These changes are a reflection of the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Did you know you can lower your carbon footprint by ordering prepared meals?
Each person has a carbon footprint which is the amount of carbon dioxide produced through the burning of fossil fuels through a person’s activities. This includes using electricity, driving a car, and other activities that generate CO2 emissions.
A recent study published in Resources, Conservation & Recycling journal compared the environmental impacts from meal kits and grocery store meals and the results are surprising. At each stage of meal preparation, packaging, and delivery, there are environmental benefits that might not be evident when thinking of prepared meal delivery services.
1. Meal Preparation
According to the City of Toronto, the average single-family household throws away over 200 kg of food waste a year. This includes food waste that is unavoidable such as bones, eggshells, tea bags, fruit cores and peels, but 50% of the waste is made up of avoidable food, including leftovers and untouched food. We often buy too much, cook too much, or store the food incorrectly which leads it to spoil. This waste of food is estimated to cost each family an average of over $1,100 per year.
In contrast, prepared meals are measured and proportioned to the exact gram which means there is no food wasted when preparing meals. By receiving perfect portions, this reduces the amount of leftover food that is thrown away.
Our chefs at Smart Eats are very attentive to the quality of food and ensure there is no food that is wasted in the meal preparations.
When buying groceries most, if not all, produce, dairy, meats, and processed food is in some kind of packaging. When coupled with the problem illustrated above, the amount of waste generated just in packaging is a lot.
By getting your meal fully prepared, the amount of packaging and waste involved in individuals' grocery shopping is avoided. This means that your individual carbon footprint decreases significantly!
At Smart Eats, we place your meal in reusable plastic containers that are great to keep and reuse in the future. We also provide the option to return your containers in your next order to be sanitized and reused for future orders. We do not over-package your meals or use materials that cannot be recycled.
Research at the University of Washington found that the individual trips to the grocery store create more carbon emission in comparison to using grocery delivery services which can cut carbon dioxide emissions by at least half. This study also found that the cooling packs in meal kits are also easier on the environment than the refrigeration used in stores.
At Smart Eats, our prepared meals are delivered on Monday and Thursday which allows us to fill our truck to capacity and deliver to our Smart Eaters clustered in neighbourhoods, which reduces carbon dioxide emissions. Think of it as carpooling for your meals across Toronto and the GTA! Each order is delivered with a cooling pack that you can keep, or left outside during your next order to be picked up, sanitized, and reused at Smart Eats.
Meal delivery services provide many individual benefits but they help the planet. Now more than ever, it is important for each person to be more conscious of their actions and do their part in reducing their carbon footprint. We're constantly trying to improve our own carbon footprint at Smart Eats and we have something simmering. Stay tuned for further eco-updates!
Stay hungry. Stay healthy.
Paola & Adriana