With COP26 in Glasgow now wrapped up, there is no better time than now to consider the changes we can make to improve our impact upon the planet.

The most effective way to combat the problem is not necessarily by expecting every restaurant out there to develop its own sustainability strategy. Many eateries are currently struggling to recover from the events of the previous years. Instead, entrepreneurs, innovators, activists, and legislators must all join the battle against food and plastic waste. So, what can be done?

Kitche – A free app designed to save you money and reduce your food waste at home

Kitche’s app is designed to be both cost-effective and long-lasting in order to prevent food waste. Kitche, based in London, will scan food products from all major grocery receipts, keep track of what you have at home, and, most importantly, help you match your leftover carrots and tomatoes with hundreds of recipes so you don’t waste anything. British firm QVentures invested six figures on the free app in the hopes of addressing the ongoing issue of food waste.

Winnow – AI-enabled tool which allows kitchens to automatically track food waste

Winnow is a London-based tech platform for decreasing food waste in restaurants. They hope to accomplish this by allowing restaurants to gain a better understanding of how much food they waste. This determines how food waste might be improved and quantifiable goals can be set.

Winnow, like many of these disruptive technologies, has a large potential win-win situation. It not only generates a more ethical business, but also one that is more financially viable and more likely to flourish. The software has intriguing features such as a “smart scale” that counts how much food is thrown away digitally. Employees are updated in real time, making them far more aware of how much food is thrown away, and these statistics are uploaded to the cloud for short and long-term study. Even if a restaurant isn’t very concerned about its carbon footprint, the promise of saving between 3% and 8% in cash, as Winnow claims, must entice them.

Air Protein – Turning elements in the air into sustainable meat protein

Air Protein appears to be the stuff of science fiction in its early stages of development. It’s mission is to “Feed the planet’s rising population with an ultra sustainable solution: air-based beef,” says the California-based business. This is accomplished in a similar manner to brewing beer or creating yoghurt, by combining air elements (such as carbon dioxide, oxygen, and nitrogen) with water and mineral ingredients to create a nutrient-rich protein. However, it will most likely be a few years before we see a real product on store shelves.

iFarm.Creating technologies that enable anyone to grow fresh vegetables, berries, greens and edible flowers for personal use or commercial purposes anywhere

As more people live, work, and exist in cities, agritech businesses have come up with a variety of innovative solutions to the problem of how to grow fruit and vegetables in the concrete jungle. iFarm is one startup that could have figured it out. The business aspires to build urban farms for personal (or possibly commercial) use, with the goal of making them as widespread in homes as computers. iFarm develops technologies that allow anyone, no matter where they are, to grow fresh vegetables, berries, greens, and delicious flowers from their homes or offices.

Too Good to GoAn app that allows you to save perfectly good, surplus food from your local stores and restaurants

The Denmark-based company connects with hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, and other businesses that have leftover food at the end of the day and offers it to customers at a discounted price. Customers pick up the food at a predetermined time. Too Good to Go began in Europe, but this year raised $31 million and extended to the United States. Businesses benefit because it generates income from discarded foods. Consumers benefit because they save money on delicious food. And the world as a whole benefits since less food waste ends up in landfills. 

These are just a few of the innovative solutions to climate change out there, with many more interesting innovations out there.