It seems that food waste is having a moment.
When we launched I Value Food a year ago, we knew the food waste issue was starting to get more attention, but we couldn’t foresee the tremendous progress the movement would make in 12 months. Looking back, 2015 may go down in history as the year Americans finally looked eye-to-eye with the 70-billion-pound mountain of food waste and decided to dismantle it.
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.
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.
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.
The problem is clear: Two of the top three expenses for most Americans are food and fuel, even despite today’s lower gas prices. Our current food and fuel systems are tightly interconnected and unsustainable. Sustainable America’s mission is to tackle these issues by helping to reduce America’s oil consumption by 50 percent and increase food availability by 50 percent over the next two decades. Here are a few highlights of our organization’s accomplishments and milestones that made a difference in 2014.
I drive a plug-in electric hybrid to work, and often mine isn’t the only PEV in the lot. With all this electric vehicle traffic, we realized it was high time to install an EV charger at our headquarters. We are not the only tenants in our building, and we wanted everyone to be able to fill up their batteries at work. Here’s how we went about it, plus some tips for those of you who want to lobby your employer to install a charger at your workplace.
We love food in this country, so it’s mind-boggling to learn that 40 percent of the food we produce never gets eaten. Especially when 49 million households deal with food insecurity every year. In an effort to tackle this pressing issue, we’ve just launched IValueFood.com, a movement that takes a fresh look at how food gets wasted and offers tools everyone can use to make a real impact on food waste, both personally and nationally.
When my daughter celebrated her bat mitzvah this fall, we were incredibly proud of her accomplishments and poise, but also pleased with her choices to make the reception a sustainable one. Weddings, funerals and rites of passage like bar mitzvahs and confirmations can generate a tremendous amount of waste, but with a little forethought, these celebrations can be meaningful, fun and sustainable.
We had the privilege of participating in a tremendous event on Saturday: Feeding the 5,000: Oakland. The event saved thousands of rolls and loaves of bread and a staggering 11,200 pounds of apples, sweet potatoes, carrots, onions, acorn squash and spaghetti squash that normally would have been destroyed because they were cosmetically imperfect and could not be sold to grocery stores. Learn more about this groundbreaking event.
The first step to getting people to switch to alternative-fuel vehicles is to get them behind the wheel of one. That was the idea behind our “Cars and Cocktails” event last week in Stamford, where we assembled something for everyone—from super-affordable electric cars to a top-of-the line Tesla—all in one parking lot.