According to the United States Department of Agriculture, 30-40% of food produced is wasted each year.We often dispose of food simply because we take too much. The United States’ food and beverage production is responsible for 13.6% of fossil fuel emissions, according to the USDA. All this wasted food is sent to landfills where it then produces ozone-depleting methane gas. The Environmental Protection Agency (which was recently defunded) determined that landfills are responsible for 17.7% greenhouse gasses. Having more green living zero-waste grocery stores could reduce the amount of food that is wasted each year. By shopping at zero-waste grocery stores, you are able to purchase precise amounts, even if that means just a cup of sugar for a cake recipe or a half-cup of beans for taco recipe. Reduce Non-Biodegradable Waste: Have you ever struggled for over a half hour just to open a package? I am confident that a fair amount of millennials and their baby-boomer parents have opened at least a few seemingly impossible-to-open Barbie or Power Rangers boxes in their lifetimes. Out of the 258 million tons of trash that the EPA determined were produced in 2014, 34% was recycled. The remainder was brought to landfills where it will take that plastic hundreds if not thousands of years to biodegrade. A large portion of the non-recycled plastic disposed of in landfills is a result of food packaging. According to the Pacific Institute, 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide were produced in water bottle production alone. When you bring your own reusable containers and bags and buy from bulk bins at zero-waste grocery stores, it can drastically reduce the amount of plastic produced and disposed of in landfills. How Can You Visit a Zero-Waste Grocery Store?: If you live in Europe, you will have a much easier time finding a zero-waste grocery store than you will if you live in the United States. You are in luck if you live in the green living Denver area. On April 1, 2017, Zero Market is opening a location in Aurora, CO. Vancouver just opened its first market with the same name. Even if we succumb to the traditional grocery store, we can certainly be more mindful of the food we purchase and bring our own reusable containers and bags.