Environmental Issues

How to Reduce Food Waste
on Your Travels

Around 1.6 billion tons of food are wasted worldwide every year, which represents a large amount of food that could have been eaten without hesitation.

This is precisely why the United Nations has declared the reduction of food waste to be one of its Sustainable Development Goals. The calculation of food waste also includes the resources needed to produce the food. The water consumption of agriculture is about 70% of the total water demand. Therefore, if more food is thrown in the garbage, more water and land will be wasted at the same time. 

Food waste situation in travel industry

There are also problems in the travel industry in terms of food waste and there are not enough food waste solutions yet. If you think about large cruise ships, which must estimate how much food is needed to meet the needs of the travellers, this is rather difficult. It is quite natural that more food is brought on board than necessary, but what not all vacationers see is that the leftovers are usually simply thrown in the trash.

It is much the same with all-inclusive hotels with buffet, where everyone can take as much as they want. In Germany alone, hotels produce more than 200,000 tons of food waste annually. There is still a lot to do here, to reduce food waste.

Food waste solutions in the travel industry

The travel industry, hotels, and cruise ships should pay more attention to really buying the amount of food that is eaten. Some hotels are already using systems like RESOURCEMANAGER FOOD. Here you can simply enter how much food is needed. Another way to reduce food waste is to have a good supply chain and a better food management in general. There is less food waste if there is a smaller menu.

When you look at restaurants, it would be great to leave the customers take away options, so they can take their leftovers home, and nothing gets wasted. If there is still very much food left in Hotels, Restaurants, or similar, then it would be a good idea to give the food to charities or give the food to some animals in need.

But what can we do as a traveller?

It is okay to vacation on a cruise ship, or in a hotel, if the food is handled well and not wasted too much. Buffets are a crisis point, but the important thing is  the food is not thrown away afterwards or not.

It would be best to choose a hotel or restaurant that has a food management policy and implementation, which means they know approximately how much food they need to be purchased to meet the demand. A menu that is not too big or a buffet that does not exist can be the first clues here. Otherwise, it is simply important to go through the world with open eyes and perhaps leave positive suggestions with the hotels.

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