Change and progress are not easy. If they were, we all would be better, faster, stronger, or whatever “-er” we want to be. However, if you ask a life coach (or a sports one) what it takes to make improvements on a daily basis, the answer would be quite a short one. “Life is nothing but a habit” they would say. Once you start doing something regularly, you would easily reach a point of no return and progress would be inevitable. This is a hundred percent true if you aim at having a more sustainable lifestyle. You got into the habit of separating glass from paper from plastic some years ago (we hope you did, right?). Now you just cannot imagine throwing a beer can with the food scraps, can you? You don’t print emails and you use the back of one-side printed documents for your meeting minutes.
All these habits are praiseworthy, but not enough if you want to call yourself a truly environmentally conscious individual. The ultimate goal most probably is to reach the so-called “zero waste home”, but to most of us it looks like living in another universe. Zero plastic, zero packaging, zero thrash. Impossible. Almost. But the fact that there are people out there who achieved it, should serve as an example and motivation for the rest of us. At least to give it a try. They say that even the longest journey starts with a small step. We believe that with CogZum we are helping you make a huge step towards that ultimate goal of a genuinely sustainable lifestyle.
Why reducing household food waste matters?
Growing, packaging, transporting and storing food uses the earth’s natural resources. And they are becoming scarce and scarce with each year. The good news today is that there is enough food on the planet for everyone. Those almost a billion people starving are victims of the uneven distribution of the food produce, not because of the lack of it. The bad news of tomorrow is that by 2050 this most probably would not be the case. The prognosis that the amount of resources needed to sustain the planet’s population growth exceed what is available calls for urgent measures. Both governmental and individual. And since 70% of the freshwater on the planet is used to water the soil for food production, taking extra care of the food already produced is a must.
Where to start?
Just like with recycling or energy saving, we suggest you start with building self-awareness and nurturing a habit. Start with monitoring your shopping routine, fresh and dry food storage, cooking and eating out. What are the foods you throw away most regularly and why? Fruits and veggies that are not stored properly? Or baked dishes that were too much for today’s dinner and tomorrow’s lunch box?
CogZum app was designed with exactly this monitoring process in mind. First, it gives you all the necessary tools to build your complete household groceries and pantry inventory. Getting into the habit of keeping tabs on everything you buy, may seem like too much of a hustle – and if you try doing this with boards and notes it will be. Thankfully, mobile phones can be used for something better than snapping pictures of your favourite pet (nothing wrong with that) and we continue pushing the technology to create a truly intelligent household assistant – your 21st-century butler. We are close to the day in which it will take less than 5 min a week to do the job.
Remember, separating glass from plastic from paper was also not that fancy some time ago. Now we are doing it, almost subconsciously, and we don’t mind the extra trash containers for recycling at home.
Second, CogZum allows you to review your household food waste. You might think you know how much food you throw away, but we bet you don’t. Studies show that the real figures are double the people assumptions. For UK the average loss is 11 meals per month per family. And it’s not because they haven’t heard of the starving Somalian children. It’s because of lack of awareness, will and tools to manage household food consumption efficiently. What we are trying to do with CogZum is to assist each and every family do this easily, regularly and cost-effectively.
Does my stale loaf of bread matter?
Yes, it does. Before you point a finger to grocery stores, hotels and restaurants as being much bigger food wasters than individual households, look at the global trends. World’s number one catering company pledges to reduce its food waste by 10% by 2020. How would they do it? By using a similar to CogZum technology that is designed for businesses, not individual households. Starbucks donates 100% of their unused food to charity. France, Italy and Denmark are working on a national level to reduce supermarket food waste. So now is the time for us, as individuals, to take responsibility on a personal level and fight domestic food waste.
What will be my personal impact if I participate in the zero food waste movement?
You will be richer and happier. No, it’s not a joke. Less food in the trash means more cash in the pocket. More cash in the pocket…
From the environmentalist point of view, you would contribute to using earth’s resources more efficiently. Here are some rough figures:
It is estimated that Americans throw away 35 million tonnes of food per year.
56% of them feel guilty when they throw away food.
So we have potentially 19,6m tonnes of food that could be saved.
If we manage to save only 10% of it, this still will be 1 960 000 tonnes of food.
These would be enough to feed about 27 million people each year.
Once again, that’s just 10% percent reduce in household food waste from only those Americans that feel bad when they throw away food.
We couldn’t impress you more, could we?
We at CogZum are more than willing to take part in the global food saving momentum that is speeding up in the last few years. No, we are more than willing, we are actually doing it. The first mobile app that helps you plan your shopping smarter and reduce your family food waste effectively is already in Apple app stores – Bulgaria, United Kingdom and Ireland. Soon after, United States and rest of the world.
Get it, use it, share it and let’s bring this sustainable lifestyle closer, sooner.