Although the concept of a lunch hour has changed in recent decades, millions of Americans still eat in the workplace nearly every day. That means that millions of sandwich crusts, banana peels and coffee grounds (lots of coffee grounds) get tossed out in the office garbage. Although many employers and corporate office buildings in America have implemented successful workplace recycling programs, few can say the same about composting programs. Here’s a look at how we started an office composting system, and you can too!
By the Numbers
Currently 50 million households suffer from food insecurity, meaning that family members cannot always meet their basic food needs.
10 million people a year could be fed through the recovery of just one-fifth of food waste.
Only 2% of food waste is composted or otherwise recycled—62% of paper is recycled.
Consumers throw out about 40% of the fresh and frozen fish they buy.
The U.S. produced 208 pounds of meat per person in 2009—60% more than Europe.
Low income commuters spend a much higher proportion of their wages on gas—8.6% versus 2.1% at $4 per gallon.
Food prices rose 35-40 percentage points between 2002–2008.
Americans consume 25% of the world’s produced oil, but our nation holds less than 3% of the world’s proven oil reserves.
The International Energy Agency says greenhouse gas emissions rose 3.2% last year, with a 9.3% increase in China offsetting declines in the US and EU.