Does Delivery Food Harm the Environment?

If you are looking for ways to increase sustainability in our environment, take a look at how often you are getting food delivery services. It’s not the food that’s the problem, it’s the packaging and increased carbon footprint of delivery. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that food and its containers make up almost half (44%) of all municipal solid wastes! And according to Scientific American, those extra trips on the road are contributing to a projected 32% rise in carbon emissions in 2022.

Delivery Food Packaging is a Huge Problem

Although the food you buy at the grocery store may also include packaging, delivery food is usually much worse. Consider your last Chinese food order. It likely contained a few Styrofoam containers, paper napkins, plastic utensils, and sauce packets, all bagged up in a plastic bag. 

Most of the plastic used for takeout still derives from natural gas and petroleum. Producing this type of plastic accounts for about 1% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the US. The plastics production process also accounts for other negative effects through its use of fossil fuels and harmful chemicals.

Food Delivery Produces More Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Transportation is one of the largest offenders for greenhouse gas emissions. Doordash, one of the biggest food delivery apps in the U.S., employs around one million drivers. That is one million cars on the road, making deliveries, for just one company. This example illustrates the huge problem that food delivery poses for carbon emissions. As more and more people are loving the convenience of Doordash, there will be increased cars on the road, contributing to the problem. 

Sustainable Solutions

How can you help make this problem better?

1) The easiest way as a consumer is to reduce the amount of takeout you order.
2) If you are going to get takeout, pick it up yourself, and combine it with another errand vs. taking a trip just to get the food.
3) Choose restaurants that make an effort to use sustainable packaging. There are many plant-based takeout packaging options available now.

A Different Approach with Foodom

If you’re ready for a much more sustainable approach to your weekly meals, try Foodom.

Foodom offers over 250 dishes to choose from on our website, then pairs you with a local vetted chef to cook those meals for you for the week in your home. This requires one trip to the grocery store, and one trip by the chef, reducing transportation on the road. By purchasing fresh produce (or growing your own), buying meat, and often using spices, flour, and other ingredients you have in your pantry already, you’ll cut down on food package waste.

Learn more about how Foodom can work for your family!

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