Sustainable Blog

4 Surprising Findings About Food Waste

New surveys delve into U.S. consumer attitudes about wasting food

Packages of bulk chicken

A trio of new surveys on U.S. consumer food waste has been released in the last month, which is encouraging news for those of us who are looking for ways to help Americans waste less food. Much of the current body of food waste research, while helpful, has been conducted in other counties, so it’s great to see a trend toward figuring out what’s really happening in American kitchens. Here’s a rundown of interesting findings from the reports.

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Introducing the New Shared Earth

No Yard? No Problem. We can help you find a place to garden

Shared Earth, connects people who have land with people who want to garden or farm

The interest in food gardening is growing like, well, a weed. Many people who want to garden don’t have enough space or time to devote to it. At the same time, we have enough front and back yard space in America—10 million acres–to grow 43.5 million tons of food. Why not match up people who want to garden with people with available land? Thanks to technology, now we can!

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Racing to End Food Waste

A raceway joins the food waste reduction movement

Food waste reduction efforts at NASCAR, April 2015

Whether we’re eating peanuts in the cheap seats or grazing from buffets in a luxury box, eating is an integral part of cheering on our favorite teams. But game-day noshing contributes to the problem of food waste, and many sports leagues and events are taking notice. Sustainable America recently conducted a pilot program with NASCAR to speed up the food waste reduction movement.

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Are School Buses Ready to Go Electric?

New technology can make our nation's most important fleet leaner and greener

school buses

We often blog about how businesses with vehicle fleets can be more fuel-efficient. But what about our nation’s largest fleet: school buses. Tasked with carrying 25 million children to school every day, our collective school bus fleet is the largest form of mass transit in the United States. Making the 480,000 buses in operation more fuel-efficient would go a long way to reducing oil usage in our country.

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What Everybody Ought to Know About Starting a Farmers Market

The trials and triumphs of starting a farmers market

Starting a farmers market

Two women started a farmers market in their neighborhood last year, and it’s a big hit with the community. Despite its success, this may be a make-or-break season for Black Rock Farmers Market. Find out why…

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UPS Commits to Renewable Natural Gas

Close to 400 delivery vehicles will run on RNG

A UPS worker refuels a truck that runs on natural gas

Renewable natural gas (RNG) got a boost this week when UPS announced an agreement to supply three of its California fueling stations with the fuel. According to UPS, nearly 400 of its vehicles will begin run on RNG starting this month, making it the shipping industry’s largest user of this alternative fuel.

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How Electric Vehicles Can Work for You

Are concerns about electric vehicles roadblocks or red herrings?

Sustainable America's Public EV Charging Station

As a Washington, DC, native, I thought I understood traffic well, but I didn’t truly know how bad it could be until I moved to Connecticut. I drive a Ford C-Max Energi to work, and this 16-mile drive can easily take an hour door-to-door, and that’s all highway miles.

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Enter the #IValueFood Earth Day Instagram Contest!

Win a CompoKeeper Kitchen Compost Bin!

I Value Food Earth Day Instagram Contest

To celebrate Earth Day 2015, Sustainable America’s I Value Food campaign and CompoKeeper are teaming up to host an Instagram photo contest. We want to see all of the creative ways our food-waste savvy followers are reinvigorating those once-forgotten leftovers, repurposing dinner scraps and keeping food out of the landfill.

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Food Waste Tips from Real People

Our staff shares their favorite ways to reduce food waste

food_waste_real_people

Our staff thinks a lot about food waste at work, whether we’re researching data for the I Value Food campaign, helping events go zero waste or composting our coffee grounds in the break room. But even though we’re well versed on strategies to reduce food waste, we all still have to work hard each day to waste as little food as possible in our own lives. In order to find out what practices really work, we asked our staff to share the tips that have made the biggest difference in their own kitchens. Here’s what they said…

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New Ways to Reduce Idling in Your Community

We’ve heard you. You’ve taken our pledge to stop vehicle idling, and you want to do more. Now you can.

Idling reduction campaign materials

Are you ready to take action against vehicle idling? Whether you want to educate drivers in your neighborhood or launch your own idling reduction campaign, we just launched a range of resources and toolkits anyone can download and order on demand. It’s your turn to turn it off and pass it on.

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How to Compost at Work

A starter guide to reducing food waste in the workplace

Sustainable America's office compost bin

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!

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Can You Host a Dinner Made From Salvaged Food?

Salvage Supperclubs, food waste pop-ups, and how to throw a party with food destined for the trash

Salvage Supperclub diners dine in a dumpster

From dinners held in dumpsters to a high-end pop-up restaurants, food waste is being elevated to haute cuisine as a way to spread awareness about the issue. Learn more about the trend, and how to host your own wasted food dinner party.

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New York City May Enlist Citizens to Help Enforce Idling Laws

Citizens could submit video and share the fines collected

I Turn It Off Bumper Sticker

Laws against idling vehicles are on the books across the country, but in many places, including New York City, they aren’t heavily enforced. Two New York City Council members are hoping to change that by introducing a bill on Wednesday that will reward citizens for reporting idling violators. If adopted, citizens could upload videos of idling vehicles to a city website and receive a payment if fines are collected.

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A Milestone for Zero-Waste Events

We’re ready to help your event go zero-waste

Volunteers from Sacred Heart University helped patrons at Chilifest sort their food waste.

On Superbowl Sunday, we partnered with a local culinary competition event to help them compost their food waste. We just learned that the event diverted more than four times as much waste to compost than last year’s event — that’s 2,840 pounds of food scraps and compostable items that are being recycled into a nutrient-rich soil supplement instead of being incinerated!

The numbers are one thing to celebrate, but Chilifest has also helped us reach an important milestone as an organization. We’re now equipped with the tools and expertise to help even more events around the country compost their food waste.

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New Dietary Guidelines: Cut Back on Meat to Help the Environment

The nation's dietary advisors connect healthy food choices to food security for the first time

Beef for sale at meat counter

Last week brought big food news affecting everything on our dining room table, from eggs and coffee at breakfast to steaks at dinner. It came in the form of the latest recommendations from the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee for amounts of various foods that Americans should eat. Read Executive Director Jeremy Kranowitz’s reaction to the news.

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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.