According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, wasted food is a significant contributor to climate change. Wasted food that rots in landfills releases methane, a greenhouse gas that the EPA notes is 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide. That's a considerable threat, especially when considering that wasted food totaled 35 million tons in the United States alone in 2012. But wasted food is not only hurting the planet, but many people's bottom lines as well, as the EPA points out that the average family of four loses $1,600 a year from wasted food they toss out. That wasted food could be composted to benefit the environment, but the vast majority of it ends up in landfills. Men and women who want to reduce their food waste and the harmful effects that waste has on the environment can buy less food, donate food they would otherwise discard to area food banks or compost leftover food in an effort to enrich their property's soil and decrease their carbon footprints.