Tag Archives: food waste

WED 2013

5 Jun

Today mark’s our 3rd year anniversary of the No Waste Wednesdays Blog!  Happy 3rd birthday to us…   Fittingly it is also World Environment Day 2013 and we are excited to share the hype around this year’s theme –  Think Eat Save.

WED2013

World Environment Day is an annual event that is aimed at being the biggest and most widely celebrated global day for positive environmental action. World Environment Day activities take place all year round and climax on 5 June every year, involving everyone from everywhere.

Days like WED fit in well with No Waste Wednesdays because they are about coming together to participate – if we start small and start together we can get somewhere.

 “Although individual decisions may seem small in the face of global threats and trends, when billions of people join forces in common purpose, we can make a tremendous difference.”- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon

So if you have an event planned be sure to register your activity with WED and use #WED2013 to track them.  If you don’t, check out the activities in your area to attend.  For some inspiration today we wanted to share a few items from a post by Food Tank – 21 inspiring initiatives to reduce food waste around the world…

WED burgerThe U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that 1.3 billion tonnes of food are wasted annually. Some countries are, unfortunately, greater culprits than others; according to the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition (BCFN), the total amount of food wasted in the U.S. exceeds that of the United Kingdom, Italy, Sweden, France, and Germany combined. In addition, the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP) estimates that global food production accounts for 70 percent of fresh water use and 80 percent of deforestation. Food production is also the largest single driver of biodiversity loss and creates at least 30 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

5. Dickinson College Campus Farm (Pennsylvania, United States) – This student-run farm composts daily deliveries of salad bar scraps from the cafeteria. In 2005, Dickinson expanded the compost program into a campus-wide initiative with student farm workers, partnering with facilities management to ensure that campus food waste is composted.

12. Love Food, Hate Waste (United Kingdom) – This program teaches consumers about food waste and provides them with helpful portioning and planning tips, as well as an array of recipes to make sure food doesn’t go to waste.

WED chicken

13. The Postharvest Education Foundation (Oregon, United States) – This organization offers training materials, e-learning programs, and mentoring opportunities that help farmers around the world prevent food loss. Their postharvest management guide is available in 10 languages, featuring topics such as how to choose the best time for harvest and the advantages of different transportation methods.

16. Society of Saint Andrew (United States) – This national network connects volunteers with farms to glean produce that has been left unpicked after a harvest. The Society distributes the gleaned produce to food banks and other organizations serving marginalized communities. In 2012, the Society gleaned 10.4 million kilograms (23.7 million pounds) of produce across the United States.

These initiatives cover a wide range of sectors – private businesses, universities,and  nonprofit organizations – and illustrate the extent to which collaboration is the key to change.

WED apple

To read the full list see here..
Do you know of other initiatives to reduce food waste in your area?  Tell us about it – leave a comment.

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Pea Pods vs. Plastic Packaging

23 May

In an ideal world we would have no packaging on food. We would eat right off the tree all year around and our earth would smile back at our perfectly environmental lifestyles. The reality is that we cannot completely escape food packaging. Although, one important thing to note when trying to cut back on food packaging is the benefits food packaging can have on our solid waste footprints. Often we try to live as green as possible with very good intentions. Although despite our good intentions sometimes there are other means of waste reduction when it comes to food packaging rather than just cutting out the packaging itself.

In underdeveloped countries often food packaging is incredibly limited or nonexistent altogether. It is also in these countries that food losses of 30-50 percent often occur. In the United States, where food packaging fills the grocery store shelves food losses are less than 3 percent.

Food packaging can decrease solid waste generation. Packaging protects our food from bacteria, oxygen, light and disease that can come form insects and other small creatures getting into food before it ends up on your dinner table.

Food packaging can reduce waste. For example, a pod of fresh peas is 62 percent inedible. In order to get a pound of fresh peas, about 2.6 pounds of peas and pods would have to be purchased, resulting in 1.6 pounds of discarded pods. However, buying 1 pound of frozen peas leaves the customer with only a 1-ounce plastic pouch to dispose of. The pods of the frozen peas remain at the food processor where they are turned into recyclable by-products such as animal feed. In New York City alone, consuming packaged vegetables annually eliminates the need to dispose of over 100,000 tons of fresh produce waste.

The U.s Chamber of Commerce developed an estimate:

On average, every pound of paper packaging eliminates 1.4 pounds of food waste. Plastic is even more efficient. One pound of plastic packaging reduces food wastes by 1.7 pounds.

Although food packaging can reduce solid waste that does not mean we are off the hook when it comes to reducing, reusing and recycling. Aluminum cans can be recycled an unlimited amount of times without their physical properties degrading. More than 60 percent of aluminum cans are recyclable so put in the extra effort to do so!

We can be encouraged that a lot of food manufacturers are trying to eliminate the size and weight of packaging and to use recyclable materials for packaging.

Aluminum cans are about 25 percent lighter than when first introduced.

Here are some simple ways you can reduce your food waste as well as reduce food packaging:

1. Buy fresh fruits and vegetables instead of that in cans, frozen boxes and bags.

2. Buy in bulk, using your own containers from home

3. Buy big boxes of cereal instead of individually packaged cereals.

4. Refrain from buying individual “snack-sized” boxes

5. Buy a large tub of yogurt instead of individual servings

6. Make your own popsicles using reusable molds.

Do you have any of your own tips to reduce food packaging? Share them with us!