We could, conceivably, generate a lot of power using food waste. A whole lot. Chances are you’ve heard the statistics: About a third of the world’s food goes uneaten. What isn’t sold due to perceived aesthetic defects or is thrown away due to inaccurate expiration dates is left to decompose in landfills. This contributes to harmful greenhouse gas emissions that could be harnessed to produce electricity, and the situation continues to keep low-cost or free groceries out of the homes of the food-insecure.

Save on Energy, an online marketplace that helps consumers shop for electricity and natural gas, posted a graphic that maps out just how much power could be generated by converting food waste into electricity. While this technology exists and is very efficient, it’s still not widely used.

And no, we don’t need to power 5.5 billion electric heaters (unless we all move to Canada — a story for another day). But if you can visualize the big picture, it may inspire you to find a use for those past-prime carrots.

Power Using Food Waste