How to make food waste reduction a SMART goal

by | Jan 9, 2024 | Environment, Food Waste

In a world where sustainability is increasingly becoming a top priority, addressing the issue of food waste at the household level is an important step towards a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. One effective way to approach this challenge is by setting SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.  

Let’s explore how to make food waste reduction in your household a SMART goal. 

Specific

To make your goal specific, clearly define what aspect of food waste reduction you want to address. Instead of a vague goal like “reduce food waste,” specify whether you want to focus on reducing kitchen scraps, unused groceries or leftovers. For example, your specific goal could be, “Reduce kitchen scraps by composting and recycling organic waste.” or “Making sure all items on my groceries list find a use.” 

Measurable 

Establish measurable criteria to track your progress. Without measurable targets, it’s challenging to gauge whether you’re making a significant impact. Consider quantifiable metrics, such as the percentage reduction in food thrown away. For instance, “Decrease weekly food waste by 25% within the next two months.” or “Complete a food waste audit.” 

Achievable 

Ensure that your goal is realistic and attainable. Setting overly ambitious goals may lead to frustration and discouragement. Assess your household’s current practices, available resources and your commitment level. If you currently waste a significant amount of food, a more achievable goal might be, “Gradually decrease food waste by 10% each month.” 

Relevant 

Make sure your goal aligns with your overall commitment to sustainability and your household’s priorities. If composting aligns with your values, make that a central part of your goal. For instance, “Incorporate composting into our daily routine to align with our commitment to environmental stewardship.” 

Time-bound 

Set a realistic timeframe for achieving your goal. This creates a sense of urgency and helps you stay focused. Without a deadline, it’s easy to procrastinate. An example of a time-bound goal could be, “Implement a comprehensive food waste reduction plan over the next three months, with monthly progress assessments.” 

By turning food waste reduction into a SMART goal, you’re not only making a commitment but also creating a roadmap for sustainable lifestyle. Remember that small, consistent changes can lead to significant improvements over time. Monitor your progress regularly, celebrate achievements and adjust your approach as needed.  

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